This cookie from Zambia is perhaps more like a donut or a fritter. Since few people had ovens, most meals were cooked and baked over an open fire. Maize is the staple food for most people in Zambia and it is usually eaten in the form of a thick mash (nshima) with a sauce of vegetables and sometimes meat. Today, sweet potatoes are used as a substitute for nshima more and more. In the small fields where many people still grow their own vegetables diversity is important to be able to eat well all year round. Sweet potato is an easy to grow nutritious crop and can be used in many different ways.
The golabjamoun cookie was probably introduced by the Indian railway workers at the beginning of the last century. In India this little sweet ball is known as gulab jamun and is usually served in a sweet syrup. This delicious sweet potato snack is not cooked but fried quickly into a crunchy ball with a soft sweet inside. It is often eaten plain, but tastes delicious with a little dusting of icing sugar or a few drops of sweet condensed milk.
Golabjamoun koekje from Zambia
for ± 30 cookies
500 grams (16 ounces) of sweet potato (2 large ones)
125 ml (½ cup) of milk
2 cinnamon sticks
125 grams (½ cup + 2 tbs) flour
pinch of salt
75 grams (¼ cup) sugar
oil for frying
icing sugar to serve
Peel the potatoes.
Cut into small cubes and bring to the boil with the milk and 2 cinnamon sticks in a saucepan. Boil with the lid on the pan for ± 15 min. until soft and cooked.
Put in a bowl and mash finely.
Let cool slightly and mix with the flour, salt and sugar. The dough is quite sticky.
Form into a sticky dough
With wet hands form little balls of the dough. Heat the oil in a deep pan to ± 190°C / 375°C.
Fry the golabjamoun cookie balls for a few minutes until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the pan and let drain on kitchen paper. Serve warm with icing sugar.
This post is also available in: Dutch