Al Zalabiyah is a popular gulf favorite especially during Ramadan. This sugary sweet is served with Arabic coffee. Many people add a few drops of food color to obtain a bright color. Red, orange and yellow are the traditional colors used. Fresh saffron can be used to obtain a natural golden color.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 cups + 2 tablespoons warm water
3 tablespoons rose water
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
Sunflower oil for frying
2 cups sugar syrup
1. In a small bowl add yeast, sugar and 2 tablespoons of warm water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes until frothy. In another small bowl add rose water and saffron and allow sitting for 5 minutes as well.
2. In a large mixing bowl add flour and cardamom. Add rose water and yeast mixture. Carefully add water until a buttermilk consistency forms. The mixture should not be too thick or thin. Mix well removing any lumps. Cover with a damp towel and allow sitting in a warm place for 1 hour.
3. In a large sauté pan on medium heat add 6 cm of oil, enough for frying. Meanwhile, pour sugar syrup in a medium sized bowl and prepare a large platter or strainer. In a small spout or funnel pour batter into small spiral circles quickly. Allow to cook until golden on each side.
4. Remove from oil, roll in sugar syrup and allow excess syrup to drain.
Yields: 2 dozen