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 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.
Fried dumplings and festivals 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 Amazon.com
Fried Dumplings Recipe
- 1 ½ C. self-rising flour
- 2 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
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.