Banana Challah Fritters With Sweet Tahini Sauce

These easy fried challah fritters have lots of banana flavor and are served with a creamy tahini sauce.

Banana Challah Fritters
Banana Challah Fritters. Photo:

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Active Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
55 mins
Servings:
12

Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, these Banana Challah Fritters are like fried banana pudding, but even better. As is the case with most banana desserts, starting with overripe bananas will give you the best banana flavor; this is a great way to use those bananas that are just about to be tossed out.

Let the torn challah soak in a combination of eggs, milk, vanilla and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon to ensure that the fritters are full of flavor and moist in the center. After a quick fry, roll the fritter in powdered sugar or cinnamon-sugar for extra crunch. An earthy and bright tahini-agave sauce brings balance to the sweetness, but you can also serve it with your choice of melted chocolate sauce or silan. The recipe says it’s optional, but don't sleep on the silan; the sticky date honey is the perfect finishing touch to the fritter. This is a great recipe to prepare a day in advance and cook when you’re ready to serve them up, fresh and piping hot.

Ingredients

Fritters

  • 1 (1 pound) challah bread loaf

  • 4 large eggs, beaten

  • 1 3/4 cups mashed very ripe bananas (from about 4 bananas)

  • 1 cup whole milk or unsweetened nondairy milk

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup tahini (ground sesame seeds)

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons light agave syrup, as needed

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup cold water, plus more as needed

Additional Ingredients

  • 4 cups vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons silan (date honey) (optional)

  • Powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar (optional)

  • Warmed chocolate sauce (optional)

Directions

Prepare the Fritters:

  1. Tear challah into 1/4-inch pieces, and place in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, bananas, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt in a separate large bowl. Add challah pieces, stirring until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until bread soaks up all liquid and combines with banana, 10 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the Sauce:

  1. Whisk together tahini, agave (as needed), lemon juice, and salt in a medium bowl until very smooth (mixture will seize up but loosen as you continue to stir). Whisk in water, 1 tablespoon at a time as needed, until Sauce is thick but pourable; set aside.

  2. Pour oil into a 10-inch-wide Dutch oven or heavy pot; heat over medium-high to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet using paper towels.

  3. While oil is heating, stir fritter mixture well until ingredients are thoroughly combined. For each Fritter, roll about 1 tablespoon of batter into a ball using your hands. Press firmly together; roll again, squeezing into a firm ball, about 1 inch in diameter. Transfer to 2 large baking sheets.

  4. Using a spider, place dough balls in hot oil. Fry 8 at a time, being careful not to overcrowd Dutch oven, until bottoms of Fritters are dark golden brown, about 2 minutes total, flipping Fritters halfway through frying time using a slotted metal spoon or tongs. (Adjust heat as needed to maintain temperature and prevent burning.) Transfer Fritters to prepared baking sheet. Let oil return to temperature between batches. (If desired, keep Fritters warm in a 250°F oven on an ungreased baking sheet.)

  5. Transfer Sauce to a dish, and drizzle with silan (if using). If desired, sprinkle Fritters with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar; serve with Sauce and, if desired, warm chocolate sauce.

Make in Advance

Fritters may be made up to 1 day in advance; store in an airtight container in refrigerator. Place in a 250°F oven until heated through before serving. The Sweet Tahini Sauce may be made up to 2 days in advance without silan; store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Related Articles