A Recipe from my Childhood: Plantain Fritters

Hey guys! I guess I should be saying Happy New Year, even though it’s March! I turned 28 on the 4th, a birth date I shared with my grandfather, Benjamin Merriman-Johnson. Remembering him, and growing up, got me hankering after one of my favourite things to eat – plantain fritters. As my family will attest, there were very few things I actually wanted to eat as a child and my mother came up with inventive ways to ensure I got sufficient nourishment. Meal times were literally a song and a dance. Crusts had to cut off triangles of bread. Plantain seeds had to be cut out, yams and potatoes had to be blemish-free, or the little princess would refuse to eat. Only baked beans were tolerated for breakfast… My mom actually put yellow food colour in ogi (the Yoruba word for gruel made from grain) so that I thought it was custard! What a goose I was!

Anyway, amongst Lagosians (and I’m sure, other Yorubas in Nigeria), plantain fritters are called tatale – a spicy version of banana fritters.

After a few days of psyching myself to actually apply myself in the kitchen, I fried up a batch of these goodies:


So here’s how to make these:


2 overripe plantains

Ground red pepper, to taste

1 egg

2 hands full of flour (I used wheat flour)

A pinch of salt

A pinch of nutmeg powder

1 tablespoon of sugar

2 seasoning cubes

2 tablespoons of powdered milk


Oil, for frying


Mash the plantains with a fork. Add the pepper and all the seasonings. Mix the milk into a little water and add into the plaintains. Mix in the eggs, sugar and flour. The consistency should be thicker than pancake batter.

Heat the oil and drop in batter tablespoon by tablespoon. Fry each side until a nice light brown. Drain on paper towels or in my case, old newspaper.

Serve with beans (I haven’t perfected the art of ewa agonyin, so made do with the regular sort)!

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