Delicious Kabalagala Banana Pancakes are an egg-free, dairy-free vegan cassava flour pancake made in Uganda using small, ripe bananas.
The main thing to know about these pancakes is that the texture is not meant to be the same as American pancakes. These are delicious - truly! - but you need to be prepared for what to expect when you hear "pancake".
The proper texture is slightly chewy - which works surprisingly well with the banana flavor. These are like little fried banana bread bombs and I love them!
Questions About Vegan Cassava & Banana Pancakes
What are Kabalagala Bananas (Apple Bananas)?
These tiny bananas are grown in Uganda, where my podcast guest Sophie lives. They're grown in other warm regions around the world. The difference between Kabalagala (also called Apple Bananas) and the bananas available in most American grocery stores is a slightly tart taste. Sophie says the riper they get, the more the tartness comes through. She suggests letting them get good and brown before using for these Kabalagala pancakes.
Is Cassava flour gluten-free?
Yes! Cassava is the tuber (root) of a vegetable. It has no relation to wheat.
Are Cassava and Yuc(c)a the same?
So this gets a little confusing. Yuca is the tuber (the root) of the Cassava plant. Cassava flour is made by drying then pounding Yuca, the root or tuber, of the Cassava plant.
However, Yucca and Yuca are *not* the same. Yucca is a plant that commonly grows in desert areas in the US and has a wide, fanlike foliage. Here's what Yuca looks like and here's a picture of Yucca - totally different plants! Even more confusing?! - The spellings are often interchanged. In fact, the Cassava tuber that I bought for these images was labeled as Yucca 😉
Are these Vegan Cassava Flour Pancakes egg-free?
Yep! (I wouldn't call them vegan if they had eggs in them!) The rise comes from a small amount of baking powder in the dough. However, do keep in mind that these Ugandan pancakes are not meant to be fluffy like American pancakes. They're meant to be chewy.
What's the proper texture of the dough?
The dough may not need the entire 4 cups of flour. You want the dough to be somewhat soft and easy to roll. When you cut out the pancakes with a glass, you'll want them to be soft, almost like when you cut biscuits.
About Sophie, Contributor of this Vegan Cassava Flour Pancakes Recipe
Sophie joined us on The Storied Recipe Podcast from Uganda, where she writes the blog A Kitchen in Uganda and hosts a podcast titled Our Food Stories.
Sophie takes us with her to the communal gatherings she enjoyed by sunset and moonlight at the communal pestle, where women took turns pounding cassava, prepared dinner, and large extended families ate together in the moonlight. We'll learn from her all about the Casssva plant, Kabalagala bananas, and the pancakes her mother made and she sold to passersby for just a cent or two.
After hearing these stories, it's easy to understand the urgency she feels to perserve her food memories - and to learn about the food traditions of fellow Ugandans - through her blog and podcast. Conversations with her parents have convinced Sophie that Ugandan's food heritage is under threat by the forces of technology, modernization, globalization, religion, and vestiges of colonization.
Furthermore, Uganda is a country of tribes. The borders are abitrary (well, not quite arbitrary - she discusses how they were formed) and separate tribes from fellow tribe members while tossing together people groups with little culture or language in common. So, Sophie’s second goal in starting her podcast was to learn more about the food cultures of different tribes within her own country.
Sophie’s voice is gentle and melodic and in this interview, she taught me many things in the same way - with gentleness and thoughtfulness. I’m so delighted to introduce her to you today.
What this Vegan Cassava Flour Pancakes Recipe means to Sophie.
These pancakes are a very popular street food and snack that always remind me of school as a child where I would always look forward to getting a coin from my parents so I can buy some. Pancakes were also the first street food I learned how to sell.
Learn More About Sophie and Uganda
Follow The Storied Recipe in Your Favorite Player
How To Contact Sophie
Facebook: A Kitchen in Uganda
Youtube: A Kitchen in Uganda