Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Trinidadian Kurma (Sweet delicacy)

All three of us here in our family do not have much of a sweet tooth. The only time we ever crave anything sweet is when it has been a really long time since we visited our home town. Once we have exhausted our craving for all the savories that our native places have to offer we turn our attention to sweet delicacies. On one such day, last week, Naz asked me to make some Trinidadian kurma. Trinidadian kurma is deep fried dough covered in sugar and not to be confused with the mildly-spicy Indian curry or the second avatar of Lord Vishnu. The only thing they all have in common is the name "kurma". There are at least 3 kinds of sweet made of deep fried dough covered in sugar attributed to Trinidadian cuisine: thin kurma, soft kurma and gulab jamoon. All three are made from fried dough and covered in sugar syrup except they vary in the ratios of flour, butter & milk and also in their shaping. During the time I spent in Trinidad, with my in-laws, I have learnt that soft kurmas are served during weddings, the thin kurmas are more or less made for everyday snacking and gulab jamoons (not the Indian syrupy kind) are made for special occasions. If this is wrong please feel free to correct me!

Generally, Trinidad-Indian food is quite similar to some of the Indian food from back home and I could easily place what recipe it is based on. But kurma is one of the few food items that I cannot exactly pin point to any particular Indian food that I am familiar with. The reason is that it is similar to two of the sweets from India, but, then again not! One of the sweets it usually brings to my mind is the South-Indian sweet sev (not the kheer/pudding version of North India). But, these sweet sevs are made from Besan/chickpeas flour and not plain flour like kurma. The other sweet that comes to my mind is badushah. The soft kurma is just like badushah except it is not as flaky and layered in texture as badusha. While I am quite happy to call the soft kurma as a variation of badushah I am unable to place the thin kurma. So, as far as I am concerned, the thin kurmas are totally from Trinidad and hence new to me. The recipe I am about to share here is how they make thin kurma in my in-laws' house except for one small change that I have added: the rose water. Rose water is usually used to flavor badushah and I just cannot resist the temptation of adding such a delicate and subtle flavor to the sugar syrup that coats the kurma. There are many variations to the kurma from household to household and some may use cinnamon or ginger to flavor their kurmas. So it is entirely up to you if you want to play around with it as well.

I did not mean to have such a long narrative, so, without rambling on any further here is the recipe...Like I mentioned earlier we are not big on sweets. So I just made a small batch you can double or triple the amount as much as you like.

You will need:

8 oz/30 grams of plain/all purpose flour
1/4 cup/55 grams butter
water to knead flour + 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp rose water (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, add flour and baking powder and mix well. Add butter (cut into few pieces).

Using a pastry cutter/fork mix flour and butter

until the flour looks crumbly

Using a little water at a time knead the flour into smooth, tight dough. Rest the dough covered with damp cloth for 10 mins.

On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough

and roll into a circle of 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. You can get the children to help mix and roll out the dough. But now it is time for the adults to take over...

Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the rolled circle into even pieces approximately 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Make sure that the pieces are even so they take the same time to cook.

Lightly roll the pieces on the flour and dust off excess flour.

Separate them into batches ready for deep frying.

Heat oil to medium (350 degrees Fahrenheit/ 176 degrees Celsius) and fry the pieces until cooked well (2-3 mins). Increase the heat to 375  degrees Fahrenheit/ 190 degrees Celsius and fry the pieces until golden brown.

Take the pieces out and drain the excess oil on a kitchen paper towel. Repeat with all the pieces. When I fried the first batch they started to puff up. So I pricked the rest of the dough randomly with a fork to avoid this. But it did not matter since they all tasted great.

Mix sugar and water in a sauce pan and bring them to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer until you reach string consistency...

that is when you drop a single drop of the sugar syrup into a bowl with cold water it should form a string and not dissolve. You may have to click on the picture (left) to see it clearly. If you have a candy thermometer you are looking for 240 degrees Fahrenheit/ 115 degree Celsius. Turn off the stove and add 1 tsp of rose water to the syrup and mix well.

Turn the syrup over on the fried dough 

and mix well.

Let it cool well.

store in a air tight container.
When I asked for the verdict on the kurma, I got "It is very good, but, not as good as it would have been had I made it! ;)" from the hubby. I do not know about your household here this indeed is highest praise! Anjalie had 3 pieces and really liked them and kept asking for more. We told her that this is not particularly healthy snack so she can have 2-3 pieces every now and again in moderation. Of course, this will be well loved by children since it is sugar coated. While, moderation is the key, these little indulgences are indeed sweetest moments of life (pun intended!). Hope you enjoy yours soon :)

Sending this to  Nivedhanams Kid's delight event hosted by Sowmya and Valli



  1. Your style in cooking is so easy and quick to understand. The method or process are discuss properly in order to make us interested. Thank you for sharing this. Lots of love!

  2. wow I am so drooling here... this one is new to me... looks irresistible.. Thanks for linking it to my event!! Looking for more yummy recipes!!
    Event - Authentic Indian Sweets w giveaway
    Event - Kid's delight - Sweet Treats


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