This recipe has been adapted from "The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey From Samarkand to New York" by Claudia Roden.
For the Sugar Syrup
- 5 cups sugar
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon rose or orange-blossom water
For the Batter
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package instant dry yeast
- 2 2/3 cups warm water
- Light vegetable oil, for frying, plus more for coating spoons
To make the syrup: Combine sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat, and simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Add rose or orange-blossom water, and simmer for a few seconds longer. Remove from heat, and let cool. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the batter: Whisk to combine flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Gradually stir in water, beating vigorously until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for at least 1 1/4 hours. Uncover, and beat once more. Cover, and let rise again, about 30 minutes.
Heat 2 inches of oil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 375 degrees. Dip two tablespoons in a small bowl of oil to coat. Working in batches, spoon about a tablespoon of batter into hot oil. Fry, turning occasionally, until puffed, crisp, and golden. Reduce the heat a little so that the fritters are thoroughly cooked without getting too brown. The light batter produces irregular rather than round fritters.
Using a slotted spoon, remove fritters, and transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Dip fritters in the cold syrup for a few seconds to coat and soak up some syrup. These are best served hot, but they may also be served at room temperature.