Zlabiya

Zlabiya

Fried sweet rosettes

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Makes
30
Photographer
Alan Benson

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons active dried yeast
375g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
corn or peanut oil, for deep-frying

Syrup

Quantity Ingredient
440g sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons rosewater or orange flower water

Method

  1. Dissolve the yeast in 60 ml warm water.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. Add the salt and sugar to the yeast mixture, along with 375 ml warm water. Pour the yeast mixture into the centre of the flour. Gradually stir in the flour to form a thick liquid batter, then beat vigorously for 10 minutes. (This can be done using ordinary electric beaters.)
  4. Cover the batter and leave to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Dissolve the sugar in 375 ml water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, add the lemon juice and boil briskly for 15 minutes. Add the rosewater or orange flower water, boil for 1 minute longer, then set aside to cool.
  6. Beat the batter again for 5 minutes, then let it rest for a further 30 minutes.
  7. Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a wide saucepan — a depth of 4 cm is sufficient. Heat the oil to 190°C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 10 seconds; the pastries must fry without colouring too much.
  8. Beat the batter again briefly. Spoon some of the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 5 mm plain nozzle. Hold a finger over the nozzle while filling the bag.
  9. Squeeze the batter into the oil in a 10 cm circle, and fill in the circle with a lacy pattern of squiggles or zig-zags, ensuring that the batter touches the outer circle in places. The finished pastry must look like a rough, lacy rosette.
  10. Fry for about 3 minutes, turning once to cook evenly. When golden, lift out the rosette with a slotted spoon, drain briefly, then place into the cooled syrup.
  11. Using a second spoon or a fork, turn the pastry in the syrup and lift it out onto a plate. (A second pair of hands will make the process much less complicated.)
  12. Continue cooking and turning the rosettes in the syrup until all the batter is used.
  13. Serve the rosettes piled on a plate. They will remain crisp for some time if the syrup is very thick.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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