Monday, July 15, 2013

Spicy Banana Fritters (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

This fritter is inspired by the Puerto Rican dish, Alcapurria. In the original recipe, banana and taro root masa are used to envelope seasoned ground meat. The wrapping portion can get a bit messy and difficult to get right, so I skipped that part, and just added my cooked and seasoned meat to the masa. The original recipe also calls for sazon with achiote and other flavorings, but I just chose the spices I already had in the kitchen. It is a very versatile recipe, so experiment with it! I actually made the batch pictured above a few weeks ago, but there was something off about the seasonings I used in my first batch, so I gave it another go about a week ago. I added cumin and cinnamon, and wow, what a difference it made. 

Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 2 green bananas
  • 1 lb of taro root
  • 1/2 lb of ground beef, pork, or turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 c chopped onion
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Peel and grate both the banana and the taro root, using either a food processor or a hand-held grater (Optional step: once grated, you can process the mixture to a finer consistency if you have a food processor.) Add 2 tsp of the paprika, 1 tsp of the cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix everything together until well combined, then reserve in the refrigerator. 
  2.  On medium heat, cook garlic and onion in a pan until the onion is translucent. Add ground meat to the pan, along with the cinnamon, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, the remaining cumin and paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook until the meat is browned, then let cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Bring about an inch of olive oil in a frying pan up to medium high heat. Combine meat mixture with the shredded banana/taro mixture. Spoon rounded tablespoons of the mixture into the hot oil. Let the fritters fry for about 3 minutes on each side. Drain the cooked fritters on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Nutritional Info (for the entire recipe)
Calories: 1344 calories
Total fat: 100 grams
Total carbs: 64 grams
Dietary fiber: 11 grams
Net carbs (entire recipe): 53 grams 
Protein: 41 grams


  1. These look unreal! What is taro root and where would I find some? I haven't seen it before (Australia) but it could be in the health food stores and I just haven't noticed it yet. If I can't find any, is there a substitute you'd recommend?


    1. Hi! This ( is how taro root looks like. It's basically a starch used in a lot of Asian, African, and Latin american cooking. If you can't find it, you can substitute it with other starches, such as potatoes.


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