Recipe: banana fritters à la Fatima Sydow

19 May 2021 - 11:25
By nb-uitgewers/publishers AND NB-Uitgewers/Publishers
Cape Malay cooking queen Fatima Sydow's banana fritters.
Image: Supplied Cape Malay cooking queen Fatima Sydow's banana fritters.

The Cape Malay cooking queen is back!

Fatima Sydow Cooks is an ode to Sydow's authentic self and the delicious, flavoursome family food she loves to cook. Think mussel curry, home-baked bread to mop up the creamy sauce, slow-braised, soft-as-butter short ribs, a real-deal masala steak sandwich and a hearty, wholesome oxtail stew. A book for everyone, with a bit of Fatima magic – and a few novel twists to some of the classics. (After all, who else would turn a lamington into a cake, a roti into a curry pie, or a peppermint crisp tart into a strawberry delight?)

Here Sydow shares her recipe for banana fritters, which still reminds her of her Bo-Kaap neighbour, Fatima Bobbs.



1 egg
250 ml (1 cup) milk
15 ml (1 tbsp) butter, melted
15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar
10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla essence
2 medium bananas, chopped
250 ml (1 cup) cake flour
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
pinch of salt
oil, for frying
cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling 

In Cape Town, an exchange of Ramadan treats happens every night before the break of fast. One evening when I took some cakes to our neighbour, Auntie Fatima Bobbs, she ushered me into her beautiful kitchen and in return filled my plate with golden, light and dreamy banana fritters. Nowadays when I make them, they always make me think of Auntie Fatima. I hope mine are perfection, just like hers.


1. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg, milk, butter, sugar and vanilla essence. Add half the banana and use a whisk to mash the pieces into the batter.

2. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix thoroughly with a spatula. Add the remaining banana pieces and stir until coated with batter.

3. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick pan over medium heat. Carefully place spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until brown. Flip the fritters and continue to brown. Remove the fritters from the oil and drain on paper towel.

4. Sprinkle over cinnamon sugar and serve while warm.