Akaras appear in a multitude of recipes throughout the world, both sweet and savory. These banana akaras are a favorite breakfast in Sierra Leone. Light and fluffy, but also gluten-free, the taste and texture of these fritters is like banana pancakes combined with doughnuts. They're also ready in just 20 minutes, from start to finish, so they're the perfect breakfast for your days off where you want to cook yourself breakfast, but don't want to spend your entire morning in the kitchen.

Banana Akaras: Sierra Leone Banana Fritters [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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  • 4 bananas, ripe
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • Oil, for deep-frying
  • Powdered sugar, to garnish


  1. In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas, vanilla, and sugar until reaching a smooth consistency.
  2. Gradually add the rice flour and then hot water while mixing in the food processor bowl. The mixture should be moist but not liquid.
  3. Let cool 20 minutes.
  4. Heat oil in a non-stick pan.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the oil. Pay attention to leave enough space between each fritter and fry on both sides until browned.
  6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.


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  1. Following the recipe the batter was too thin. I had thought the water would draw the starch out of the rice flour. I did not have the time to go work on fixing it so fried them as pancakes. Taste was pretty good so might try again. Not sure if I simply need more flour or start out with less water and add it slowly until the batter is right.