Fried dumpling are a staple Jamaican side. They are basically a flaky chewy starch to accompany a main dish such as ackee and saltfish. They are easy to make though I have never been able to get them as perfect at home as ones I have had in Jamaica. When I have had them in hotels in Jamaica the fried dumplings seem fluffier and a rounder shape than when made at home (at least in my home) where we make them a bit flatter.
So I figured I would try one detail I had never tried before. To chill the dough before frying. I did a bit of youtube research and saw that some people tried this and noted that it was the key to a fluffy dumpling. I thought even it was not fluffier it would perhaps help me get that rounded shape.
Start with getting all of your ingredients together. I let the butter get to room temperature so it would be easy to mix in with the other ingredients.
Put your dry ingredients in a bowl along with the butter and combine.
Then slowly add the milk to the mixture a little at a time until everything is completely mixed into a dough. If it is too wet add a bit of flour. If it is too dry add a bit more milk. This is optional but you can cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for a few hours or even overnight. If you don’t have the time the dumpling should turn out nicely either way it is just an extra step that may make your dumplings even fluffier.
Take part of the dough, enough to fill the palm of your hand, and shape it into a ball. Then take the ball, cover it with your palm, and roll it around on a clean counter to make a rounded shape.
Heat about an inch of oil in a drying pan over medium heat. When the pan is heated place the dumplings slowly into the pan and cover.This will help the inside of the dumpling cook through. (You can test with a little piece of dough to see if it sizzles when placed in the oil.)
- 3 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp of baking powder
- 4 tbsp of butter
- 3/4 cup of cold milk
- vegetable oil for frying
- Combine all the dry ingredients and room temperature butter.
- Slowly add the cold milk to the mixture to form a large dough ball.
- You can cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. (This is optional)
- Take a palm sized amount from the dough ball and roll into a small ball.
- Heat up frying pan to medium heat with about an inch of vegetable oil in the pan.
- Slowly add the dumplings into the pan and cover
- Rotate the balls until all side are golden brown then remove them from the pan and place on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
Photography by Tiffanie Graham