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Serves: 6

Zoolbia is a traditional crunchy and sweet Iranian pastry. The lacy fritters are deep fried pastry made with flour, corn starch, yogurt, saffron, rosewater, and syrup.


  • For the batter:
    250 g (about 2 cups) corn starch
    35 g (about 1/4 cup) wheat flour
    250 g (about 1 cup) plain yogurt
    2 tablespoons rosewater
    canola oil for frying
    1/5 teaspoon ground saffron
    1 tablespoon melted butter
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    For the syrup:
    400 g (about 2 cups) sugar
    1 1/3 cups water
    1/4 cup rosewater
    1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom


  • Dissolve ground saffron in 1 tablespoon of boiling water and set aside.
    To make the batter; place the yogurt and corn starch in a mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Then mix well. Add the wheat flour, 2 tablespoons rosewater, butter, baking soda and dissolved saffron. Beat with a mixer until the batter is smooth . Let it stand for 30 minutes.
    Make the syrup.
    Combine water, 1/4 cup rosewater and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue heating until sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup thickens, stirring occasionally.. Add lemon juice and ground cardamom; mix well. Remove from heat.
    Transfer the batter to a medium-size pastry bag fitted with a small tube, or a zip lock bag; with a scissors, snip off a corner to make a 1/4-inch-wide hole.
    In a deep medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Carefully squeeze out batter into hot oil. Gradually swirl the batter outward in a circular motion, make about 4 inches round. Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once.
    Carefully remove zoolbia from skillet and shake off excess oil.
    Drop gently into syrup. Let it stand in syrup for 4-5 minutes then Drain them just a single layer and transfer the zoolbia to a serving dish and cool in a single layer. Repeat with remaining batter.


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