Bamya is the Azerbaijani (and also Turkish, Arabic and Persian) name for okra or lady’s finger. These doughnuts got their name from their long, ridged shape, similar to okra seed pods.
Preparation time: 40 min
Cooking time: 20 min
- For the dough
- 500 g/1 lb 4 oz plain flour
- 2 glasses of boiling water
- pinch/1/2 teaspoon soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- For frying
- 125 g/5 oz vegetable oil
- For the syrup
- 200 g/8 oz granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons of honey (optional)
- pinch of ginger (optional)
- Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Add the boiling water and soda and mix well together.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then add the egg.
- Beat in the egg to make a firm dough.
- The distinctive bamiya shape is created by putting the dough through a mincer on the sausage setting with a serrated blade. Cut the dough sausage into pieces 10 cm/4″ long.
- If you don’t have a mincer, roll the dough into long sausages and cut into pieces 10 cm/4″ long. Create ridges the length of each dough finger by using a pair of kitchen scissors, opened slightly, and drawing them down the bamiya. Alternatively, create the ridges by pinching the dough with your fingers. The ridges are not just for appearance’s sake – they help to hold in the syrup.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer or saucepan to 180 degrees Celsius/350F/Gas 4. If you don’t have a thermometer, test to see if the oil is ready by dropping a small cube of bread into a pan. If it sizzles straightaway and turns golden in about a minute, the oil is hot enough.
- Place a few dough fingers at a time into the hot oil and cook for 2-4 minutes until golden brown all over.
- Remove the dough fingers from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to soak up the excess oil.
- Put the sugar and an equal quantity of water into a pan and put on a low heat, stirring frequently, until all the sugar dissolves. Add two teaspoons of honey and a pinch of powdered ginger to the syrup, if using, and mix in well.
- Place the fingers in the sugar syrup and leave for up to 2 hours to allow them to absorb as much syrup as possible.
- Remove the bamiya from the syrup with a slotted spoon. When cool, sprinkle with granulated sugar and serve with tea.