My first true encounter with ‘good’ Jamaican festivals was breakfast at our friend Dino’s home in Portmore Jamaica several years ago. Imagine waking up to a full spread of festivals, ackee and saltfish, boiled green bananas and to top it all off, a piping hot cup of rich and creamy Milo! Moms (Dino’s mom) had us set for the day! When the day came for us to continue our trek through Jamaica (Ocho Rios > Montego Bay then Negril) it was painful to know that we won’t be waking up to such a wonderful home-cooked breakfast anymore.
My inquisitive self had to investigate this wonderful Jamaican Festivals recipe in more detail, so with some arm-twisting I got mom to leave me with some hints. Here we go…
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
* About 3 cups of veg oil for frying.
In a large bowl sift in the flour and baking powder, then add the cornmeal, sugar and salt. Give that a quick whisk to mix the ingredients, before we start adding water.
It’s now time to start adding the liquids, so pour in the vanilla and start adding the water a little at a time as you whisk everything around. As it stars to take the shape of dough, you will need to get your hands in there and start kneading. If you find that the 1/2 cup of water was not enough, do drizzle in some more. The idea is to work it for 5-7 minutes, until you have a well formed dough ball that’s firm dough and slightly sticky. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow the dough to rest for about 1/2 hr.
After it’s rested, dust your work surface with four and divide the dough ball into 8 equal (as best you can) parts. Then using your hands form each piece into a cigar shape. Try to make them about 6-8 inches long and not overly thick. They will increase in size as they fry.
It’s now time to fry these until they are golden brown and get ready to enjoy some of the best fried dumplings you’ve ever had. Heat the vegetable oil on med, then gently add the shaped festivals dough into the pan. Allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes before you flip them over. In total you’ll probably need between 5-6 minutes for each to be fully cooked and take on that lovely golden color we’re looking for. Have paper towels ready to drain off the excess oil after they’re cooked.
These Jamaican festivals are just amazing and you’ll love the crunchy exterior and the fluffy interior will have a lovely texture followed by the flavored sweetness of the vanilla and sugar.
Do try to serve warm and if you want to get a bit creative you can certainly dust them with some icing sugar if you want to make them more like a snack for the kids.
Via: Caribbean Pot