Kaamaranga | Lonumedhu

Kaamaranga

 

Kaamaranga is a fried dough pastry that’s soaked in sugar syrup. It’s similar to Tulumba, a dessert found in Iran and regional cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire. Without the sugar syrup it’s also similar to churros, which now we mostly associate with Mexican cuisine.

Maldivians call these Kaamaranga because they look like star fruit, which in Dhivehi is called Kaamaranga. Sometimes locals refer to it as Balaksham too.

 

Makes: around 40

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water (for the dough)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 1 ½ cups water (for the sugar syrup)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 inches cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. rosewater
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups oil (for frying)

 

Instructions:

  1. Add the water, butter and salt to a pot and bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. Lower the heat and add the flour and vanilla essence. Keep mixing until everything comes together in a smooth dough at the bottom of the pot.
  3. Remove the dough from the pot and place it in a mixing bowl. Set it aside so that it can cool down.
  4. While the dough is cooling down, start preparing the sugar syrup by adding the water, sugar, cardamom pods and cinnamon to a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat and let it cook for another 3 or so minutes. Stir in the rosewater and set it aside so that it can cool down.
  5. When the dough has had some time to cool down, like at least 10 minutes, add the eggs in one at a time and knead the dough to a smooth and pipeable consistency. It’s perfectly doable by hand. But we used an electric hand mixer with the kneading attachment. When done it’ll resemble cake batter. At first it'll look lumpy and you might feel like it won't come together. But keep going and it will. 
  6. Transfer the batter to an icing bag with a star nozzle. We used a medium size one. If the nozzle is too big you won’t get the nice grooves. If it’s small your Kaamaranga will turn out just thinner.
  7. Heat the oil in a pot. Add a little ball of batter to the pot to test the oil temperature. When the test ball floats and you can see bubbles forming around it at moderate speed, that’s your cue to start frying.
  8. Pipe a 3 to 4 inch dough piece into the hot oil and snip it off using scissors or a knife. Do this until you have a few of them floating around in the oil. Don’t overcrowd the pot as that will result in uneven frying.
  9. Fry the Kaamaranga until they turn golden brown. You’ll have to flip them over to get them cooked on both sides.
  10. Once fried remove them from the oil and place them in the sugar syrup. Let the Kaamaranga soak the syrup for around a minute and then remove them to a plate.
  11. Keep piping and frying the Kaamaranga in batches and soaking them in sugar syrup as described in steps 8 to 10 until you run out of dough.

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