This is my aunt Ashwaq’s recipe. Love it! Note that this is not what is called “Zalabiyyah” which has eggs in the mix. These are traditional Khameers made in Aden particularly. In Sana’a “Zalabiyyah” is often called “Khameer” and vice versa, but those of us who grew up on these and have stuck to tradition in our cooking know the difference. So, don’t argue with me over this. Some have tried and even tried to tell me that Khameer and Zalabiyyah taste the same–they don’t! Try it for yourselves and let me know if they do. Once I have a good recipe for Zalabiyyah will post insha Allah.
These are typically eaten for breakfast with Adeni red/black tea also made with cardamon and cloves. The combination is delightful. You can also have these for Iftar in Ramadan, or during tea time late afternoon. They freeze well, so you can make double the amount, divide into plastic bags and freeze.
You will need:
1) 2 and 1/2 cups of white flour
2) 3/4 of sugar
3) 1 tbslp of yeast
4) 1/8 of a tsp [or 3 pinches] of baking powder [do not use too much or else the Khameer’s will come out cake-y rather than hollow on the inside]
5) 6 cardamon and 6 cloves freshly ground
6) 1 tblsp of black seed
7) 1/8 of a cup of vegetable/corn/or canola oil
8) 1/4 cup of warm water more of less. Add water gradually to make dough. It should just be enough for the dough to come together –and should neither be sticky or soft.
9) Oil for deep frying [I used Canola]
Mix all the dry ingredients–flour, sugar, ground cardamon and cloves, yeast , baking powder and black seed. Then add the oil and rub it in well. Then the warm water [tap water works to make the dough. Remember to pour the water gradually, than pour it all at once. Pour and knead, until the dough comes together. You won’t be needing much water. Then place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise. Place in a warm spot–I put mine mine out on my balcony since it’s Summer here. You can also place overnight in your kitchen. The dough will double in size. If you want to go ahead and make them, make into small balls [the size that of when you bring forefinger and thumb together] or you can divide into larger balls and then cut them out with a pizza cutter/knife/or cookie cutter.
These are deep fried. So, in a deep frying pan, heat the oil. It should be hot enough that when you place these in they should immediately come to the surface, rise, and brown. If they do that but burn [darken in color] then the oil’s too hot so lower the temperature. Insha Allah I will be getting a thermometer so I can measure the temps for you.
When the oil is ready , roll out the dough with a rolling pin. It should neither be too thin or too thick. Here’s a pic of the dough rolled out and cut with a pizza cutter:
You can fry them as is, or I like to either halve or quarter them and then fry them. Once you put them in the oil, they should immediately rise to the surface and start puffing up. Turn it , and let the other side brown. Take out, and let oil drain and then serve hot or warm.