Persian: ماه رمضان
The Muslim Holy Month begins. Every laic knows it is about fasting. Of course fasting is only one of the exterior manifestations and Ramadan means much more than fasting only. And, fasting doesn't mean abnegation of all delicacies, quite to the contrary, after the sunset, delicious sweets are, well, maybe not obligatory but more than welcome. One of them is called dates from Siria, balah el Sham, Egyptian sweet fried cakes.
1/2 cup oil (you can give less!)
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup flour*
vanilla sugar (1 pack)
a pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
172 cup water
lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon or to taste)
+ coconut flakes (1/2 - 1 cup)
1. Pour oil and water in a saucepan, add salt and bring to boil. Sift flour and stir until you obtain a plain dough which doesn't stick to the pan. Set aside to cool a bit.
2. Prepare syrup by cooking the ingredients (sugar, water and lemon juice) together. When thick, set aside to cool.
3. Whisk eggs with vanilla sugar. When oil dough is template, you can start adding egg mass little by litte while stirring constantly. Check the consistency; the dough has to be quite thick. If needed, *add some more flour.
4. Place the dough into a pastry bag with a star shape tip. Press the dough into frying oil and fry until golden brown but on a low heat. Otherwise your dates will be crispy outside and raw inside! When ready, put them on a paper kitchen towel to avoid excessive oil contain. When still warm, deep them into the syrup for some minutes. You can deep warm dates in cold sirup or cold dates in warm sirup. Then roll in coconut flakes.
My balah el sham are a bit long, almost like Spanish churros. They are traditionally about 3 cm long.
Pictures will be available very soon. I just have to find them on my pendrive :)
Edit: I have the pics now. The quality is not the best but the pics are just to give you the idea about this dish :)