Fat Kurma

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

Kurma is an incredibly popular Indo-Trinidadian sweet snack that is sold at roadside stands. However, the version that is publicly sold is hard and crunchy, widely different from the Muslim kurma that is more like a tiny donut with a crusty outside and soft center, which is the recipe I give here. This recipe is courtesy of the Trinidadian food blogger Safiyah Ali who originally wrote about it on her site Lifespan of a Chennette.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (or as desired)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 6 tablespoons condensed milk
  • 4 cups of oil for frying
  • cups granulated sugar


  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and half of the ginger together. Add the butter and using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Mix the evaporated milk and 6 tablespoons water together. Add to the flour mixture along with half of the condensed milk and knead the dough until it is smooth, about 5 minutes, adding extra flour as needed to prevent the dough from being sticky. Separate the dough into 4 balls and knead each again for 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Roll out one of the dough balls into a rope about ½-inch thick and about 12 to 14 inches long. Cut the rope on a diagonal into 1½-inch pieces. Repeat for each ball.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes—test the temperature by dropping a pinch of flour into the oil, if it sizzles immediately the oil is ready.
  5. Fry the pieces of dough in batches until golden brown and place on a wire rack or paper-towel-lined tray to drain while cooking the remaining pieces.
  6. Make the sugar syrup: Put sugar and ½ cup of water in a large pot along with the remaining teaspoons ginger and boil until the sugar mixture spins a thread when dropping from a spoon. At this stage add the remaining 3 tablespoons condensed milk and boil again until the mixture spins a thread.
  7. Place this sugar syrup in a large wide bowl and add the kurma. Stir continuously until they are evenly coated. Transfer to a tray to spread out a bit so that the kurma doesn’t clump together.