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Prep 20 mins
Cook 20 mins
These easy fritters are dipped in a simple syrup for sweetness. They are known by different names in various cultures: Bimuelos - Judeo-Spanish; Zalabia - Mid Eastern; Zenguola - Indian. Prep time does not include time for dough to rise (about 2 hours).
- To make the syrup, combine sugar, water and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the rose or orange blossom water. Cover and refrigerate.
- Make the dough by dissolving the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water; let stand 5 to 10 minutes until it begins frothing. Meanwhile, measure the flour into a large bowl and mix in the salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir. Stir in the remaining water gradually while stirring; beat vigorously for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour. Beat the batter once more and let it rise again.
- Make the fritters in batches. Drop dough by the teaspoon or tablespoon into 1 1/2 inches of sizzling oil and fry until puffed, crisp and golden, turning them to brown evenly. It may be easier if you dip the spoon in oil so that the batter rolls off the spoon easily. The batter is light and produces irregular, rather than perfectly round shapes. If the oil is not hot enough to begin with, the batter tends to flatten out.
- Lift the fritters out with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and dip them in the cold syrup for a few seconds (you may let them soak in the syrup a little longer).