Jamaica has so many foods which are very popular, one of which is the Jamaican dumpling. It’s made made using flour, and you can get creative and add other ingredients to spice up your dumplings.
The traditional Jamaican dumpling can be made by either being fried or boiled. Every now and then, you will also see kids roasting dumplings on sticks around the fire to see what will happen and how they will taste, but this is not how they are cooked as a cultural point.
Fried dumplings are most often, and traditionally, called Johnny Cakes. This name is derived from the fried biscuits called journey cakes which were packed for long journeys in the slavery days. Today’s fried dumplings are normally paired with breakfast foods such as ackee and saltfish and callaloo. Others also enjoy it with tin mackrel too.
Jamaican dumplings are eaten most often at breakfast as they are a good source of energy, providing you with sustained energy throughout the day. Many Jamaicans even claim that Usain Bolt is as fast as he is due to this particular food item.
Service Size: Makes 8 dumplings
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ cup cold water
- ½ cup cooking oil
Method of Preparation
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- Mix the butter and dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly.
- Add the water, a small bit at a time, to the dry ingredients until the dough holds together. If it gets too wet, sprinkle with flour.
- Knead the dough until it is smooth, but do not over knead it. Put it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Shape the dough into 8 balls that fit in your palm.
- Pour the cooking oil into the frying pan and set the stove to a medium-high temperature.
- Place the dumplings into the pan once the oil is sizzling.
- As each side browns, keep turning the dumplings until all of the sides are brown and the dumplings are fluffy and light.
Cooking tip: To check if the dumplings are cooked inside, tap them in the pan – they will sound hollow when they are ready.
Method of Preparing Boiled Dumplins
- Combine the salt and flour in a cooking bowl. To this, add a half cup of water to the mixture and knead the mixture with your hands.
- Once the flour looks like crumbs, knead until you achieve some firmness with the dough and there is no more water.
- Should you need more water, use it carefully. Do not allow the dough to get soft and soggy.
- Pull off golf ball sized pieces of dough and put them aside to rest for 20 minutes.
- Roll the balls between your palms until they are smooth, and then flatten the dough between your palms.
- Leave a little dent in the center of the dough – this is a Jamaican tradition.
- Add the flat dough pieces to a pot of boiling water and cook for 25 minutes.
- Serve hot or cold with your choice of sides.
Video on How to Prepare Fried Dumplings
Here’s a quick video showing you the process below. You can also check out different jamaican dumpling recipes online.