“Calas”

Breakfast Rice Fritters

These delicious breakfast fritters or cakes were sold, like the Pralines, by the old Creole negro women, and their familiar and harmonious street cry of “Bel calas, bel calas, tout chauds!” was heard in all the streets of the French quarter at breakfast time. They went their daily round carrying on their heads a covered wooden bowl containing the hot Calas—picturesque figures they must have been, with their brightly coloured bandana tignons or headdress, their blue check dresses and their spotless white aprons. The negro cooks would dash out to secure the freshly made hot Calas, which were eaten with the morning cup of coffee. The following is the traditional recipe for Calas:

Ingredients

  • ½ a cup of rice
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • ½ a cup of sugar, about 1 oz, or a little under, of yeast, lard or oil.

Method

Put the water in a saucepan, bring to the boil and add the rice. Boil till the rice is very soft and “mushy.” Remove from the saucepan and, when quite cold, mix with the yeast, dissolved in warm water. Set the rice to rise overnight In the morning, beat the eggs thoroughly, add them to the rice, with the sugar and flour. Beat all well and make into a thick batter. Set aside to rise for another 15 minutes. Have ready a deep frying pan with hot oil or lard, drop into it 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time, and cook till a light golden colour. When done, remove them from the fat, drain well by placing them on a sieve or in a colander, sprinkle with sugar and serve very hot.

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