Minister Riyas relives delicious childhood memories of vada and pazhampori

Gopalan Nair (left middle) ran the hotel named 'Sree Krishna Lunch Home' near St. Joseph’s school in Kozhikode, where minister Mohamed Riyas (right, middle) was a student. Photo: Manorama

It looked like Kerala Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas was overwhelmed with childhood memories when he met hotel owner Gopalan Nair after decades.

The taste of the crispy vada and the banana fritters that he used to buy from Gopalan Nair's hotel, when he was a school boy, seemed to be still on his mind, if their hearty exchanges were anything to go by.

Gopalan Nair ran the hotel named 'Sree Krishna Lunch Home' near St. Joseph’s school in Kozhikode, where the minister was a student.

Apparently, Riyas used to visit Sree Krishna Lunch Home often with his friends during the breaks and enjoy the snacks. Riyas met Gopalan Nair again, recently, when he was at the school in Pookkad to attend an event. The minister embraced Gopalan Nair and inquired about his well-being.

It was in 1967 that Gopalan Nair started the hotel. His Sree Krishna Lunch Home was apparently frequented by many celebrities and political stalwarts like Thikkodiyan, K Raghavan, Akkitham, Balan K Nair and Khan Kavil. The hotel that was closed during the pandemic outbreak hasn’t been reopened yet. 

Do you feel like going back in time and tasting some crispy tea-shop style banana fritters yourself? Here's an easy recipe:

2 Nendra pazham bananas (long and ripe ones)
1 cup maida
¼ cup rice flour
A pinch of powdered cardamom
3 tablespoons of sugar
Oil as required for deep frying
A pinch of baking soda
Salt as required
A pinch of turmeric powder

Crunchy banana fritters with wheat coating
Banana fritters aka pazhampori is a much-loved snack across Kerala. File Photo

Combine the rice flour and maida, sugar, salt, turmeric and cardamom powders in a mixing bowl
Add baking soda
The batter should be smooth enough to coat banana stripes (shouldn't be too thick or too watery)
Cut banana into thin stripes
In a kadai, heat the oil for deep frying
Once the oil is hot, dip the banana slices in the batter
Ensure that the slices are well-coated on both sides
Slide the slice into the hot oil and fry it until golden brown and crisp
Drain out excess oil by placing it on a paper napkin/kitchen napkin
Serve the snack hot with tea or coffee

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