Guyanese Gulgula (gulagula) is a banana fritter typically made during Hindu Holidays. It is very similar to a drop donut. It is made with a yeast batter and is fried until golden brown. Some people make it without raisins but the raisins are my favorite part.
As a child in Guyana I ate so many of these on Phagwah or Diwali. My late grandmother Evelyn made these and like most things she made, they were amazing. The last time I ate these at home I was a teenager. My mom didn't have a recipe for the ones my grandmother made so I had to call around to get a good recipe. Thank you Seeta and Babita for sharing your recipe with me.
- Step by Step Instructions for Guyanese Gulgula
- Dropping the Gulgula batter
- Frying the Gulgulas
- Save it for Later
- Printable Recipe Card
- The Gluten Free / Dairy Free and Refined Sugar Free Recipe:
- Printable Recipe Card
- Try some other Hindu Sweets, like Guyanese Parsad (gluten free option included)
- Brown Sugar
- Evaporated Milk
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Cloves
See Recipe Card for exact measurements
Step by Step Instructions for Guyanese Gulgula
To make gulgula I started with a really ripe banana then I crushed with a fork. Next I added sugar, spices and warm milk. Warm milk is needed to activate the yeast in this recipe. Please don't skip it.
Next I added the flour, yeast and salt and mixed together to form a thick pancake like batter, finishing it off with the soaked raisins. The batter needs some time to rest to allow the yeast to do its thing. I used rapid rising yeast and let it rest for 30 minutes before frying up these beauties.
Dropping the Gulgula batter
Traditionally when cooking gulgula you drop it into the oil by filling your hands with palmfuls of the batter then squeezing small portions through the opening between your thumb and forefingers. Not only is this messy but it can also be dangerous. The best way to drop gulgula is by using a cookie scoop like this one here. This makes it really easy to scoop and drop the batter for frying. Alternatively you could just use a spoon to spoon the batter into the hot oil.
Frying the Gulgulas
Gulgula, like most fritters and donuts require a deep fry. Ensure that you have enough oil to fill your pot above the half way line or your gulgula will not have enough room and will be flat instead of that beautiful round shape they are known for. I love to test one gulgula to ensure the oil temperature is just right and it cooks all the way through before adding a batch. 350 °F is the ideal temperature for frying these but if you don't have a thermometer just keep the oil on medium heat and that should be good. Also keep turning the gulgulas while they cook, to allow for even browning and cooking.
Save it for Later
Printable Recipe Card
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar Divided
- ¼ cup Warm Water About 110 °F
- 1 tablespoon Dry Active Yeast
- 3 Ripe Bananas
- ½ Cup Warm Evaporate Milk May use regular whole milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3 ¼ Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cloves
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ½ Cup Raisins Rinsed and soaked
- 4-6 Cups Oil suitable for frying
- Dissolve 1 tablespoon of sugar in warm water, then add the yeast. Mix together, cover and let rest in a warm place until the yeast blooms and gets at least a 1 inch frothy rise (head)
- While the yeast is blooming, add the bananas to a bowl that is large enough for the dough to double in size. Then crush the bananas with a fork until there are no big chunks remaining
- Next add the bloomed yeast, sugar, evaporated milk and vanilla extract to the crushed bananas. Mix together well and set aside
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and salt together. Then Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together to form a soft batter. Cover and let rest in a warm place for at least an hour or until the dough doubles in size
Cooking the Gulgula
- When ready to cook, add oil to a saucepan deep enough to have 3 inches of oil and bring up to temperature on medium heat. If you have a rapid read thermometer, the oil should be about 300 °F. If using a large dutch oven, you may need more than 6 cups of oil
- Using a cookie scoop, or two spoons drop small balls of dough into the hot oil. Dough will sink to the bottom of the pot and then float to the top a few seconds later. Fry gulgula in two or more batches so as to not over crowd the saucepan and decrease the temperature of the oil
- Fry for about 3 minutes. Turn the gulgula once or twice for even cooking and browning. When gulgula is dark brown all over, remove from the heat and let rest on a few paper towel sheets. Allow to cool before serving.
- Keeping your oil better 300 °F and 325 °F will allow the dough to cook all the way through. If the oil is colder than this the gulgula may be soggy and oily.
- It should take about 3 minutes total to fry each batch. If the dough becomes dark brown before 3 minutes is up, then your oil is too hot and the gulgula may not cook all the way through.
- If the dough balls don't rise to the top a few seconds after dropping, use a spatula to gently free them from the bottom of the pan or they will burn on one side.
The Gluten Free / Dairy Free and Refined Sugar Free Recipe:
Printable Recipe Card
Gluten Free Gulgula
- 1 ripe banana
- 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- Pinch of ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ¼ cup of warm coconut milk
- 1 cup of All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
- 1 teaspoon of rapid rising yeast
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup of rinsed and soaked raisins raisins soaked in water to soften. Water is discarded and not added to the batter
- 4-5 cups of oil suitable for frying
- Add banana to a mixing bowl and crush with a fork until smooth
- Then add sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and vanilla extract and mix together well
- Next add the warm milk and combine
- Then add flour, yeast, salt and mix together to form a thick batter
- Next add the soaked raisins, mix well, cover and let rest for 30 minutes
- Then add oil to a pot suitable for deep frying and bring up to temperature on medium heat (around 350 °F)
- Next drop batter into oil using a dinner spoon or a cookie scoop
- Fry until deep brown in color, turning often to prevent burning
- Remove from the oil and drain on some paper towel, then let cool before serving
I fry these in two batches and try not to overcrowd the pot.
Deliciousness !!! Happy birthday 🥰