Plantain Pancakes

Eaten hot or cold, these savoury plantain pancakes make a delicious starter or snack and with a generous serving of bean stew can be a very filling lunch.

When plantain skins turn black, they are over-ripe and that’s when, I think, they reach plantain perfection and are an ideal base for pancakes and puddings.   They are usually fried in palm fruit oil, but I prefer to use rapeseed oil.

A recipe from “A Plate in the Sun


  • 4 over-ripe plantains, peeled
  • ½ scotch bonnet chilli, deseed if you wish
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2cm/1 inch fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 280g/10oz plain flour or ground rice
  • salt to season
  • oil to shallow fry


  1. Place the ingredients in a blender and whizz to form a batter (drop-scone consistency). Set aside in a fridge until you are ready to fry.
  2. Heat a large frying pan and add a little oil. Pour half-cups of batter into the pan to form individual pancakes and cook over a moderate heat until bubbles appear.
  3. Carefully turn the pancakes over with a palette knife and fry for a further couple of minutes until cooked through, pressing and flattening the pancake with the back of a spatula. Transfer to absorbent kitchen paper and keep warm while you cook the rest.
  4. Serve with stewed bambara beans or black-eye beans and they are just as tasty with tinned baked beans.
  5. Try frying a spoonful first, adjusting seasoning and consistency as necessary, then continue with the batch.
  6. Alternatively tip the mix from step 1 into a greased loaf tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200oC/fan 180oC/375oF/gas 6 for about 40 minutes to make a simple savoury cake. Serve with peanuts.
  7. To make kakro (plantain balls) add a little more ground rice to the mix to thicken and then form egg-size balls and deep fry.

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