The easiest way to describe festival is simply as a Jamaican fried dough. The recipe itself is simple but its simplicity makes it the perfect pair for numerous dishes. Festivals can be eaten with ackee & saltfish, escovitch fish, jerk chicken, and even for breakfast with scrambled eggs and bacon. They're even good enough to eat on their own. Feel free to use your imagination when deciding what to pair these with. So let's get into the recipe.
Have fun and enjoy!
Servings: 8-12 festivals
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
½ cup Cornmeal
3tbsp Granulated Sugar
1tbsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Salt
½ cup Cold Water
2tbsp Milk (I used almond milk)
1 cup Cooking Oil
In a medium-sized bowl combine dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt).
2. Stir in milk and fold the flour mixture with a spoon until everything has blended.
3. Slowly pour in the water mixing until a soft dough begins to form.
NOTE: Don’t pour all of the water in at once, start off with a small amount, mix and add more until the dough has formed. It’s better to start off with less water and need more than end up with a soggy dough.
4. After the dough is combined, we knead! HEADS UP: The dough might be sticky so lightly flour your hands to make it easier.
5. If your bowl is big enough you can knead the dough in the bowl, if not transfer the dough to a clean lightly floured surface (cutting board or countertop). Then begin to gently fold the dough onto itself until most of the lumps are gone and it forms a medium-sized ball. Re-flour your hands or work surface as needed. Est. Time: 5mins.
6. Optional Step: After kneading, cover the dough and place it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. This just makes it easier to handle in the next steps but is optional.
7. Heat the cooking oil in a shallow frying pan. While the oil heats up, take the dough, pull a small piece off, and roll it between your hands until it forms a thin cylindrical shape. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
8. Once the oil is hot, add the shaped dough one at a time being careful not to overcrowd the pan (this depends on the size of your pan). Cook for 3-5 minutes until golden brown, then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
9. After the dough is cooked and golden brown, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve hot.
TIP: Keep a close eye on the festivals as they tend to cook pretty quickly. If you notice they are browning too fast (aka burning) turn the heat down. Also, allow the oil to heat up again between batches.