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Photo credit: Tannaz Sassooni

Tannaz’s Zoulbia

A sweet Persian fritter that will tickle your taste buds. This recipe first appeared in All Kinds of Yum.
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Persian
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

Batter

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 2 Tbs yogurt optional
  • 1 package yeast

Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • dash cardamom
  • 1/4 C rosewater
  • Grapeseed or other flavorless oil to fry

Instructions
 

  • Mix together batter ingredients, eliminating any lumps of yogurt. Let sit for 1 hour.
  • Make syrup by combining first four ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and stir in rosewater.
  • Fill a large pan with a one-inch layer of oil.
  • Heat over medium-high heat until a drop of water tossed into the oil sizzles.
  • Fill squeeze bottle with batter (see notes below). Squeeze out batter into hot oil, creating spirals and free-form designs, but maintaining a generally circular shape. The end result should be lacy and not too heavy — try to squeeze out enough batter to maintain the zoulbia’s structure, but not too much to form a solid mass.
  • Fry for a few minutes, flipping or submerging to fry both sides, until deep golden brown.
  • Using tongs or two forks, carefully remove zoulbia from pan and shake off excess oil.
  • Lower gently into syrup, quickly submerge and remove.
  • Repeat with remaining batter, adding oil as necessary.
  • Cool in a single layer. Enjoy!

Notes

This is a yeast-based batter, so allow time for it to rise.
You can buy plastic squeeze bottles from restaurant supply stores, or even from stores like Target, but in a pinch, an empty mustard bottle with a narrow opening, thoroughly cleaned, works fine.
Leave out the yogurt for a non-dairy version of this dessert.
The batter is very tangy from the combination of yogurt and baking powder, the latter of which also imparts a distinct saltiness. The sweetness of the syrup balances this all out.