Fried Dumplings Recipe

an easy video tutorial on how to make these sensational quick biscuits

If  Ackee & Saltfish is Jamaica’s national dish then fried dumplings ought to be our national side dish. Fried dumplings and festivals (a sweet fried cornmeal dumpling) are commonly served alongside so many entrees it might be easier to list the ones that it doesn’t accompany. These little fried biscuits are quick, super easy to make and very addictive so, eat cautiously. A complete fried dumpling recipe is below.

Fried dumplings served w/ Ackee & Saltfish and Steamed Cabbage.
Fried dumplings served w/ Ackee & Saltfish and Steamed Cabbage.

Fried dumplings in various flavors and forms are popular throughout the Caribbean.  There’s fried bake, pholourie and several others. Dumplings are served in private homes, at street side stalls, and in casual dining restaurants all over the islands.  Still Jamaican fried dumplings are arguably the most popular version of this irresistibly delicious, very easy to make quick bread. Where ever Jamaican cuisine is sold, you will find fried dumplings on the menu. They are usually as an ala carte item or served with spicy meat dishes like jerk chicken or pork.

dry ingredients for fry dumplings

Flour, baking powder and salt mixed with cold water is all you need to make a batch of tasty fried dumplings. For added texture and flavor, I almost always add a bit of cornmeal (1tsp ea. per cup of flour) to the mix.
mixing dough for dumplings

When using this or any other fried dumpling recipe… use a mixture of ½ milk ½ water to make dough for lighter crispier dumplings. If you are using a packaged mix follow the instructions on the pack for best results.
Kneaded dumpling dough

A soft dry dough is your goal every time. Soft enough to pull easily but dry enough that it doesn’t stick to your hands when you hold it.
frying dumplings

Fried dumplings and festival have become so popular that several reputable Caribbean food companies now sell their own version of this tasty treat in mix form. You can find fried dumpling and festival mixes in local stores where Caribbean foods are sold or purchase from online retailers including 

I have used the Grace Johnny Cake mix a few times and found it a bit salty but the texture is excellent. If you’re using this mix I suggest you add at least ½ C. of flour and ½ tsp of baking powder to stretch the mix and reduce the salt/ flour ratio.

Fried Dumplings Recipe


crisp, golden brown on the outside and a soft tender bite on the inside. Fried dumplings are a perfect accompaniment for almost any entrée.

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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  • 1½ c. all purpose flour*
  • 1½ tsp baking powder*
  • 1 TB Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ C. milk + ¼ C. water, combined
  • 1 ½ C. vegetable oil


Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly add liquid while mixing with a spoon. When all the liquid is absorbed put aside spoon and knead dough. Dough should be soft but dry and not stick to your hands. If dough is sticky, add flour 1tablespoon at a time until dough is soft and dry. If flour is not fully absorbed add water 1 teaspoon at a time and mix. Break dough into 3 pieces and roll into long strips on a cutting board.

Heat oil in a skillet, for about 2 minutes, over medium heat. Cut strips into small pieces. Use your hands to roll each piece into small circles. Drop pieces in hot oil and let dumplings fry until they are golden in color, about 5 minutes. Use slotted spoon or fork to remove dumplings from oil. Drain


Substitute 1 ½ C. self-rising flour for the all purpose flour and baking powder

Steamed Callaloo with fried ripe plantain and fried dumplings
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