Haman's Teeth. Photo: Michal Herbstman
Haman's Teeth. Photo: Michal Herbstman
Recipe

Haman’s Teeth – Caramelized Dough Balls

This soft dough, is deep fried and coated in sugar syrup. Served with chopped nuts and cinnamon, it's a challenge to stop eating them

“In Israel they make Haman’s ears, but we make Haman’s teeth. First I make a sugar syrup, made with a cup of water and a little bit of honey. Then I make the dough, cut it into tiny pieces, and then fry the pieces in hot oil.” So writes Esther Matsa – a Jewish woman hailing from the Greek Peloponnese – on the “Language of Home” website and it ignited our imagination, but a search on the net turned up very few mentions and even fewer recipes. In Esther’s version, a soft dough is prepared, deep fried and briefly dipped in sugar syrup. Shai, Esther’s son, testifies that when the sweet finally comes to the table, with the addition of chopped nuts and cinnamon, it is impossible to stop eating.
To Esther’s original recipe, we added a little sugar and salt to the dough and seasoned the syrup with cinnamon – but you can omit these and make the original version.

Ingredients for Haman's Teeth

For the dough:

  • 5 eggs
  • 3¼ cups (455 grams) self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar (optional)
  • a pinch Salt (optional)

For frying:

  • olive oil or any neutral flavored oil for deep frying

For the syrup:

  • 2 cups (400 grams) Sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (optional)

To serve:

  • nuts of your preference, roughly chopped
  • cinnamon

Instructions

Prepare the sugar syrup:

  • 1. Bring all the syrup ingredients to a boil in a small pot and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the syrup thickens slightly. Transfer to a large bowl and cool completely.

Prepare the dough:

  • 2. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead with your hands until the dough starts to come together. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead for about 5 minutes until you get a uniform, smooth and soft dough.

  • 3. Generously flour a work surface and pinch walnut-sized balls from the dough. Roll each ball into a long thin snake, the thickness of your pinky.

  • 4. Heat oil for deep frying in a deep pan. Put a small piece of dough in the oil - if bubbles immediately form around it, than the oil is hot enough, if not, heat the oil for another minute or two.

  • 5. As soon as the oil is hot enough, cut each snake into small pieces ¾-1¼ inch (2-3 cm) long (or the size of a large tooth). Stir a little while frying so that the pieces do not stick together and fry until golden. Fry about a quarter of the dough at a time, so that the temperature of the oil does not decrease.

  • 6. Using a slotted spoon, take the pieces of dough out of the oil into a wide sieve and let them sit for a few minutes to absorb or drain excess oil. Fry the other pieces of dough in the same way.

Coat the dough and serve:

  • 7. While they are still warm, transfer the pieces of dough to a bowl with the cooled syrup and let them sit for a minute or two.

  • 8. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pieces of dough to a shallow serving plate. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and  chopped nuts and serve immediately.

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