Crunchy fritters with spiced sugar

Crunchy fritters with spiced sugar

Zoolbia

By
From
Saraban
Makes
15
Photographer
Mark Roper

These light-as-air, delicate spiral fritters are well known as jalebi in Indian sweet shops and in other parts of the Middle East as mushabek. Traditionally they are dropped straight from the hot oil into a sugar syrup, and become sticky and translucent. We prefer to dust them with a spiced sugar, as this way they retain their crispness and are less tooth-achingly sweet.

Some batter recipes call for bicarbonate of soda as a leavening agent but we prefer the texture and flavour yeast provides. This batter holds up really well, and if you leave it to stand overnight, the flavours develop beautifully. Serve the fritters as a sweet treat or with fried bananas and maple syrup for breakfast.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
120g icing sugar
50 ground pistachios
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Fritter batter

Quantity Ingredient
175g plain flour
1 tablespoon dried yeast
250ml warm water
75g thick natural yoghurt
pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons Saffron liquid

Method

  1. Combine the icing sugar, pistachios and cardamom well and store in an airtight jar until ready to use.
  2. To make the batter, sift the flour into a bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast, then whisk in the warm water and yoghurt to form a batter. Stir in the saffron liquid and salt, then cover and leave to stand for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.
  3. Pour vegetable oil into a small, deep, heavy-based saucepan to a depth of 5 cm. Heat the oil to 190ºC. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, the oil will have reached temperature when it is shimmering, and when a blob of batter sizzles up to the surface in a few seconds.
  4. Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted with a narrow nozzle, or into a plastic squeezy bottle. Pipe the batter into the oil, working from the centre outwards in a spiral. Use the size of the saucepan as the template for your fritter size. Don’t worry if you do not make a perfect spiral, as a free-form, lacy effect is just as pretty.
  5. Cook for 1–2 minutes, moving the fritter in the hot oil with a slotted spoon so it colours evenly.
  6. Once the batter has set, turn it over in the oil to colour. Lift the fritter out of the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels for a moment. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  7. Dust the spiced sugar over the fritters and enjoy with a cup of strong coffee or tea.
Tags:
Saraban
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Iran
Iranian
Middle Eastern
Persian
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