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Cypriot Xerotigana my way (fried yeasted dough)

Cypriot Xerotigana my way (fried yeasted dough)

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Xerotigana (pr. Ksae-roh-TEEgha-nah), is a simple Cypriot recipe, made in two ways:  one with flour, baking powder, salt and water to make a thick batter or using yeast.  

They are then fried and served with sugar, honey or other syrups, such as leftover syrups from fruit presereves (glyka tou koutaliou) but can also be served with petimezi or haroupomelo.

I made my tweak on this traditional recipe by adding grated fresh ginger and couverture chocolate which I cut into small cubes, which I covered with the batter and fried.

On top I drizzled lots of delicious Greek thyme honey.

They must not be confused with Cretan “xerotigana”, which are totally different.  Cypriot xerotigana are similar to Greek loukoumades but easier to make.

I used fresh yeast to make the batter but you can also use dried instant yeast  (8 – 9 grams instant yeast to 500 grams flour).  

Actually yesterday when I was preparing a yeasted dough to prepare something for dinner, my son said that he would love some loukoumades, but I had so many other things to do that I did not have the time, so he compromised for these xerotigana, which were equally delicious.

Coincidentally, xerotigana are made on the Eve of Epiphany day, to feed “Kalikantzari” who, according to our folklore traditions, are like goblins who live deep down in the earth and cut down the trunk of the tree which holds the earth. 

They come up on earth during the 12 days of the Christmas period and make all sorts of tricks to the people.  You  you can read more about Epiphany and Kalikantzari in a previous post of mine.

I can’t tell you the exact recipe as I made the first part by using 35 grams of fresh yeast, a tablespoon brown sugar, about half cup all-purpose flour and a cup of tepid water,  which I mixed to dissolve the yeast and then left it to bubble. 

I then separated this mixture and used 2/3 of the mixture to make the dough, by adding more flour, olive oil, salt and water.  

I did the same for xerotigana by adding more flour but without using olive oil.  The mixture was left to the consistency of thick batter.

To fry them, it is better to use either a light flavoured olive oil or any other vegetable oil which has a high smoke point. 

A tablespoon of batter will make xerotigana about 5  – 6 cm wide.  If you want them smaller, add a teaspoon batter.

collage-2-loukoumades-with-chocolate-image

Update 14 January 2011

Today I was making dough for pizza and since I did not have anything for dessert I remembered xerotigana. 

This time my experiment was with apple slices, orange, zest, cinnamon and honey.

Collage Apple xerotigana fritters image

(It was very cold, today so, in order to help the batter rise, I put the bowl over a pot with hot water and I covered the pot with a napkin).

From the above recipe, the three ingredients in red should be substituted with  more orange zest (1 – 2 tbsp),  less ginger (1/2 tsp), no chocolate,  1/4 tsp cinnamon and 2 apples, peeled and cored, cut into 1 cm slices.

When fried drizzle lots of honey and cinnamon on top.

Apple Xerotigana Fritters image

Update 6th January 2012

This year in the batter I added bananas sliced into 1/2 cm slices.   I used a teaspoon as a measurement, in which I took a slice of banana with the batter and I fried them in olive oil.

Banana batter image

I served them the classic way with honey and more cinnamon on top, although drizzling some chocolate ganache on top, passed my mind  while frying them. 

However, unfortunately I did not have the ingredients at the time of making them.  The slice of banana was not visible inside when fried as it melted but all the taste was there.

Banana xerotigana image

From the previous recipe I reserved 1 cup of batter in which I crumbled some feta and mixed some paprika.  

The batter can make fritters but I preferred to bake them in the oven.  It makes a wonderful “mezedaki” or appetizer.

Collage savoury xerotigana image

Savoury Feta and Smoked Paprika Xerotigana

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup leftover loukoumades (xerotigana) batter
  • 100 grams feta
  • 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Sifted flour about half cup

 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180o C / 350oF.
  2. Crumble feta and mix all the ingredients together to make a thicker batter.
  3. Line a baking tin with parchment paper and add a heaped tablespoon of batter, spaced apart.
  4. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until golden on top.
Feta and smoked paprika xerotigana image
Cypriot Xerotigana image

Cypriot Xerotigana my way (fried yeasted batter)

Yield: 30
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Xerotigana (pr. Ksae -roh -TEE - gha  - na), is a simple recipe, made with flour, baking powder, salt and water to make a thick batter and then fried.  They are served with sugar, honey or other syrups, such as leftover syrups from fruit presereves (glyka tou koutaliou) but can also be served with petimezi or haroupomelo.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cube fresh yeast (17 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (any kind)
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • All purpose flour (about 2 - 3 cups)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp orange or lemon zest
  • 1 couverture chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • Olive oil or vegetable oil for frying
  • Greek thyme honey
  • Extra oil to dip the spoon in

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the yeast with 1/2 cup lukewarm water, sugar and a couple tablespoons flour. Cover and set aside until it bubbles.
  2. Add all the ingredients (except chocolate and ginger) in a bowl and add the water gradually until you have a thick batter. Cover and set aside until it doubles in volume.
  3. Mix in the chocolate and ginger.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan or pot so that it is about 3 - 4 cm high.
  5. Take a tablespoon batter with one piece of chocolate in it and pour it in the oil. After several additions, dip your spoon in the extra oil so that the batter slips easily away.
  6. Fry until golden on both sides.
  7. Remove to a platter and add lots of honey on top as well as any leftover chocolate shavings/pieces.
Nutrition Information
Yield 30 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 35Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 1mgSodium 32mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 1g

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collage xerotigana with chocolate picture

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Tamika Kent

Wednesday 14th of December 2011

Interesting… We’ve been calling it that for so long b/c that’s what yiayia called it. Oh I love them.

tasteofbeirut

Saturday 8th of January 2011

I had been feeling guilty as I completely forgot this tradition of making fritters for Epiphany! Oh well, it will be a few days late, as it is every year. My grandmother made the best fritters, tiny as marbles, perfectly shaped and shiny with syrup. I cant make them as nice as hers; love your idea to add some flavoring to yours, chocolate and ginger is a great combo. My recent post Apple muffins with apple cider molasses

Maria

Saturday 8th of January 2011

What a great take on xerotigana! Now I want to make these or loukoumades tomorrow, only that will go against my whole eating healthier goal!

briarrose

Friday 7th of January 2011

Oh these look sinfully good. Fried dough drizzled with honey....lovely.

Peter G

Friday 7th of January 2011

Oh wow! I love the combination here of chocolate and ginger! Nice twist...keep them coming! My recent post Soutzoukakia

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