Sunday, November 11, 2012

Trinidad Kurma

Trinidad is blessed to have a culture that embraces the festivals of different religions and every year I look forward to Divali, the Hindu festival of lights. If I lived abroad I think this is one of the holidays that I would miss like crazy.

Divali would be incomplete without the many offerings of Indian sweets that make their appearance at this time. Kurma, a traditional, Trinidadian sweet is basically a fried dough that is coated in a sugar glaze. There are two varieties. A thin, crisp variety which is sold in shops all year round. Then there is the version pictured above which seems to be more popular around Divali. This kurma is thicker with a crunchy exterior but with a soft fluffy interior. It is made with a sweeter dough than the thin kurma.  It would be interesting to find out how this snack got its name because although it is Indian in origin the word  kurma in India refers to a creamy curry.

Most recipes for kurma yield impossibly large amounts. Too much for a single family. This is because when one makes kurma it is usually for commercial purposes or to give away to friends and neighbours at Divali time. I seriously had to scale back the recipe that I found. The original called for 5lbs of flour! Feel free to scale it back again by half if you don't plan on sharing with friends.

Yeild approx 48 Kurma


10 cups flour
2 cups butter

4 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground  elychee (cardamom)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup evaporated milk

1/2 cup condensed milk
1 1/2 cups water (+ or - as needed to for dough)

Vegetable oil for frying

For Phaag (Syrup)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar

Cut butter into small cubes and rub into flour until it looks like bread crumbs.

* You can use a pastry cutter for this or if you wish blitz it with your food processor in two batches.  Put 5 cups of flour and 1 cup butter in food processor. Give it a whir then process the second batch. This is not a pastry dough that you can mess up with over processing. No stress promise.

Mix in the grated ginger, elychee and cinnamon

Add the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and water. Combine everything to make a soft dough.

Let rest 5-10 mins

Divide dough into two balls

Heat enough oil for deep frying kurma in a pot over high heat.

Roll out dough about 1/2 " thick

Cut into strips about 1/2' wide.

Roll each strip until rounded.

Cut rounded strips into finger length or slightly shorter lengths.

Fry on low heat until golden brown.

Drain on brown or absorbent paper and place in a large bowl that can take heat.

Boil water and sugar until it forms a syrup that is just about to crystallize.

Pour all over kurma. Get someone to hold the bowl steady  so you can turn the kurma briskly  so that it does not stick. Turn kurma until the sugar crystallizes.

Cook's Tip:
The most difficult thing for me in making this was the frying. If the flame is too high the outside will cook but the insides remain as raw dough. It took a couple tries to get it going. Bring the oil up to high heat, then turn down to a low heat before putting the kurma to fry. Frying the kurma takes a bit of patience which if you know anything about me from following this blog, I do not have. I am am an impatient cook. So, in order to ensure that the kurmas cooked through, I took a bamboo skewer and poked holes in them while they were frying. Perfect results.


  1. it looks like the best sweetest and yummiest fried dough i could ever have! YUM!

  2. these sound tasty enough to merit the use of 5 pounds of flour. :)

  3. These are my kind of treats, love the spices and no yeast rising to wait for so nice and quick to make.

  4. 5 pounds of flour! That's like a whole bag. They look wonderful and glazey.

  5. Sweet, fried AND cardamom? I'm all over this, my friend!!

  6. I've never seen these before but I get the feeling that I'd love them! :)

  7. Lucen deliciosos con especias los haré muy pronto,abrazos hugs,hugs.

  8. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and saying hello!! I've just gotten some of those from my university's cafeteria YUMO!!!!
    much love
    Chari T (deep fried stilettos)xoxo

  9. I've never tasted these but I do believe they would be my best friends. Great post!

  10. How exciting to learn about a new food! These sweet treats are completely different from anything I've seen before, and they sound so tasty. I love a big recipe that's meant to be shared, too.

  11. Oh that's interesting a dough that's called Kurma. Maybe I am mixing it up with Korma. O.O
    Looks so yum. How fun that you guys celebrate Diwali there.

    Oh thx for passing by my blog. ;)

  12. Those look totally irresistible! What a divine treat.



  13. Wow - I have never heard of these, but what a great looking treat. I think a making a large batch could be very dangerous...