Introduction: New Orleans Rice Calas/ Beginets- Dessert Treats Anytime
Beignets are not the only tasty Creole sweet treat from New Orleans.
Calas (pronounced Ka-la) are deep fried yeast risen rice cakes that are served with powdered sugar or syrup.
Breakfast, lunch,dinner, or just as a snack with coffee, these are a unique way to enjoy the Creole flavor of New Orleans cuisine.
This is from an old 1880's recipe adjusted for modern methods.
Makes approximately 20 Calas- enough for the whole family.
Leftover rice will never be a problem again.
Step 1: Ingredients and Amounts Needed:
1 1/2 cups of cooked, mashed lukewarm rice
One packet of yeast
1/2 cup of warm water
Three eggs at room tempture, beaten
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (+1 tablespoon) white sugar
1 1/4 cups of flour
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
oil for frying
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Steens Cane Syrup(optional)
Step 2: Getting Started
Add one packet of yeast to 1/2 cup of lukewarm warm water mixed with 1 teaspoon of white sugar. Set aside for five minutes to activate the yeast.
Add 1 1/2 cups of cooked lukewarm (if rice is cold, warm gently in microwave) mashed rice to a medium sized bowl, mix in the yeast/water mixture and mix well.
Cover and let rise for a few hours or overnight.
Step 3: After the Mix Has Risen:
Beat the eggs, sugar, salt, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg together until well mixed. Add this to the rice/yeast mixture, beat until smooth.
Let stand and rise again in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
Step 4: Fry Them Up
Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a deep pot to between 340-360 F. Use a candy or deep fryer thermometer to check the temperature.
Stir the rice/flour mix until well mixed.
Carefully drop a heaping tablespoon( or 2 oz. ladle) if the stirred mix into the hot oil.
Cook about 2-3 minutes turning to evenly brown- using a slotted spoon.
Do not crowd the calas, cook in batches to avoid lowering oil temperature.
Step 5: Drain Calas
Remove and drain on paper towels then sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle warm syrup (Steen's Cane Syrup is a favorite.)
Step 6: Enjoy
"Calas, bels calas tout chauds!" -Creole French
"Calas, beautiful calas, still hot!" -English
Whatever language you use- these are a delicious treat every time they are served.
Step 7: Finally
Go back to step one, and start again!