These delicious plantain pancakes are inspired by Nigerian flavors that are typically eaten natively with plantain. Plantains are a major food staple of Nigerian and West African cuisine. In fact if you were to question a Nigerian about their favorite food, a lot of the answers might include a variation of rice, jollof rice or beans with one thing in common: a side of fried plantains locally called dodo. As one of the favorite staples in the Nigerian kitchen, plantains are prepared in various ways to cater to the local diet; they are blended into a dry flour which forms the base of swallows like ‘amala‘, they are roasted whole as a snack commonly known as ‘Boli’, diced and fried and eaten with a sauce, stew, or as a side called ‘dodo’ or prepared as a pottage. One of the more recent ways to enjoy plantains is to make it into a pancake and thus we have this delicious twist on the classic pancake.
Here’s an overview of the ingredients. A concise list of ingredients with exact measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
- Extra ripe plantains: I recommend using extra ripe plantains to add sweetness and softness to the plantain pancakes. This is another reason I love this recipe because it offers me a way to use extra ripe plantains instead of tossing them.
- Milk: I used plant based milk but feel free to use any milk of your choice.
- Lime Juice: Juice from a half cut of lime should be enough.
- Vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- All purpose flour: I used the white, unbleached version
- Corn meal: I recommend medium grind
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Butter for frying
How to Make Plantain Pancakes
Step 1: Blend the plantains in a bowl until smooth using a normal blender or an immersion blender like I’m using.
Step 2: Mix in and whisk two and a half cups of milk, lime juice and a teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste Into the blended plantains.
Step 3: In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until it is just mixed. Try not to overmix the batter.
Step 4: On a hot griddle or frypan, add a small knob of butter to the pan, then cook the pancakes on medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
When many Nigerians eat fried plantain, it is not uncommon for them to eat it with a spicy sauce, so I represented that flavor combination with the addition of chili oil to the maple syrup to top off the plantain pancakes. As a nod to the other common street food in Nigeria: Boli and groundnuts, I also topped these plantain pancakes with crushed peanuts. All of these made for a delicious combinations of flavors that are very reminiscent of Nigerian cuisine.
Common Questions and Tips
Believe it or not, I have heard this question more times than I thought possible. Plantains and bananas are both a type of fruit but plantains have a higher starch content and are commonly cooked before they can be eaten.
You can tell a plantain is extra ripe using the color of the skin. The darker the skin, the riper the plantain.
Plantain Pancakes with Spicy Maple Syrup and Peanuts
- 3 extra ripe plantains
- 2.5 cups of milk I used a plant-based milk
- Juice from ½ a lime
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2.5 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup corn meal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 Pinch of salt
- Butter for frying
- Blend the plantains until smooth.3 extra ripe plantains
- Into the blended plantains, mix in the milk, lime juice and vanilla, then set aside.2.5 cups of milk, Juice from ½ a lime, 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.2.5 cups all purpose flour, ½ cup corn meal, 2 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, 1 Pinch of salt
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients until it is just mixed. Try not to overmix the batter.
- On a hot griddle or frypan, add a small nug of butter to the pan, then cook the pancakes on medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.Butter for frying
- Once the pancakes are golden brown on both sides, they are ready to serve. I topped my pancakes with a mixture of maple syrup and chili oil and finished with crushed peanuts.
Plantain pancakes are a new staple in my house, and after I had it with the maple mixed with chili oil from @Adùn it’s become somewhat of a legend. The full recipe for pancakes is on the yummy medley website, so check out out for measurements. Shout out to @Benny Mk for putting the idea in my head. Enjoy!♬ original sound – Yummy Medley