Trinidadian Kurma, A Taste of Childhood Nostalgia

During Divali, everyone is busy shopping for new clothes, decorating their homes, buying fire crackers and making sweets. Kurma—what the Guyanese know as “crunchy mithai”—is eaten year-round but it’s also in high-demand whenever special events roll around. No puja, wedding or Eid and Festival of Lights celebration is complete without this quintessential Indian sweet.

Kurma is synonymous with childhood memories and primary school tuck shop days. Local vendors scattered all over Trinidad sell little bags of the sweet, fried sticks for little to nothing. The classic dessert—called kurma NOT “kumra” or “kumar”—is made with a sweet, spiced dough that’s sliced like matchsticks, fried and coated in a gingery sugar glaze named “paag”. This kurma recipe is relatively easy to make, but you might run into difficulty when making sure the syrup is the right consistency. If it’s not, the recipe will not yield the right result. Wait till the syrup drips off a spoon in long thread—only then, you’ll have the perfect dessert.

CASSAVA KURMA

AuthorChef Chelsae-Marie Lee KongCategoryDifficultyBeginner

Yields1 Serving
Cook Time30 mins

INGREDIENTS

 Nariel coconut oil, for frying
 3 cups Jinca Foods cassava flour
 1 cup all-purpose flour
 ½ teaspoon Chief ground cinnamon
 1 teaspoon Chief ginger powder
 ½ teaspoon Chief salt 
 ¼ cup shortening
 ¼ cup butter
 ½ cup water
For the glaze
 1 teaspoon ginger fresh, grated 
 ½ cup water
 1 cup sugar
 ¼ cup icing sugar, optional

DIRECTIONS

1

Fill a large pan or fryer with Nariel coconut oil and heat over medium-high temperature. Use a food thermometer to ensure the oil stays at 350°F.

2

In a large bowl, whisk together Jinca Foods cassava flour and all-purpose flour. Add Chief ground cinnamon, Chief ginger powder and Chief salt.

3

Cut in butter and shortening, or rub between fingers with flour mixture until the flour mix begins to look mealy or crumby.

4

Gradually, add water while mixing. Keep going until the dough forms into a firm ball. 

5

Cut the dough into two even balls. On a floured surface, roll out each ball until it’s ¼-inch thick. 

6

Cut into strips and place in hot oil. Continuously flip to ensure all are frying evenly. Fry until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oil, drain, and let cool on a paper-lined plate. 

7

Repeat until all dough strips are fried.

8

To make the glaze, add grated ginger, water, and sugar to a small saucepan over high heat.

9

Stir occasionally until the syrup becomes thick. You’ll know it’s ready when the syrup drips off a spoon in long threads.

10

Place the cooled kurma in a large bowl and pour the syrup over it. Stir to ensure all are coated.

11

Cool for a few more minutes. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

Ingredients

 Nariel coconut oil, for frying
 3 cups Jinca Foods cassava flour
 1 cup all-purpose flour
 ½ teaspoon Chief ground cinnamon
 1 teaspoon Chief ginger powder
 ½ teaspoon Chief salt 
 ¼ cup shortening
 ¼ cup butter
 ½ cup water
For the glaze
 1 teaspoon ginger fresh, grated 
 ½ cup water
 1 cup sugar
 ¼ cup icing sugar, optional

Directions

1

Fill a large pan or fryer with Nariel coconut oil and heat over medium-high temperature. Use a food thermometer to ensure the oil stays at 350°F.

2

In a large bowl, whisk together Jinca Foods cassava flour and all-purpose flour. Add Chief ground cinnamon, Chief ginger powder and Chief salt.

3

Cut in butter and shortening, or rub between fingers with flour mixture until the flour mix begins to look mealy or crumby.

4

Gradually, add water while mixing. Keep going until the dough forms into a firm ball. 

5

Cut the dough into two even balls. On a floured surface, roll out each ball until it’s ¼-inch thick. 

6

Cut into strips and place in hot oil. Continuously flip to ensure all are frying evenly. Fry until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oil, drain, and let cool on a paper-lined plate. 

7

Repeat until all dough strips are fried.

8

To make the glaze, add grated ginger, water, and sugar to a small saucepan over high heat.

9

Stir occasionally until the syrup becomes thick. You’ll know it’s ready when the syrup drips off a spoon in long threads.

10

Place the cooled kurma in a large bowl and pour the syrup over it. Stir to ensure all are coated.

11

Cool for a few more minutes. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

CASSAVA KURMA
Chef Chelsae-Marie Lee Kong

Chef Chelsae-Marie is a die-hard ‘foodie', so the calling to be a chef felt natural to her. She prides herself on providing a customizable catering experience with local and exotic influences. She pushes new flavors and makes each offering original and memorable.

1 Comment
  1. You do not put salt in kurma. Especially for Hindus and making for diwali and prays. No salt is every given to Hindu gods. As this would be used as “parsad”

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