Qotaab (Fried Almond-Filled Pastries)
- 0.75 cup 0.75 cup 0.75 cup Tapioca Starch
- 3 Tbsp 3 Tbsp 3 Tbsp Coconut Flour
- 0.5 tsp 0.5 tsp 0.5 tsp Baking Powder
- 0.5 cup 0.5 cup 0.5 cup Organic Coconut Oil, or animal fat of choice for frying, enough to go an inch up the side of your skillet/pan
- 1 whole 1 whole 1 whole Egg, large
- 0.25 cup 0.25 cup 0.25 cup Coconut Cream, (separated from can of full fat milk), or plain coconut milk yogurt
- 0.25 cup 0.25 cup 0.25 cup Almonds, chopped
- 2 Tbsp 2 Tbsp 2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar, or maple sugar
- 0.5 tsp 0.5 tsp 0.5 tsp Cardamom Seed, ground, or ground cinnamon
- Whisk coconut milk, egg and oil/butter in a mixing bowl.
- Whisk flours and baking powder in another mixing bowl and then slowly stir in wet ingredients until well combined.
- Cover and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes. Making it ahead of time and leaving it in the fridge longer is fine, you will just likely have to let it sit a room temp a bit before working with it.
- Combine almonds and sugar in a small bowl.
- Form dough into six circles of equal size (about the size of a golf ball). If it's too cold to work with, let it sit at room temperature until it's pliable. On a 6-inch x 6-inch square of parchment or wax paper, press each ball into a circle 4-inches across. Don't make them any larger than 4 inches, and if you run into a ball that's smaller than the rest, don't go the full 4 inches - this was the perfect thickness for allowing the pastries to cook through but keeping holes from forming during the forming/pressing-together process.
- Place 1 tablespoon of almond mixture in the center of each circle of dough.
- Carefully lift two parallel sides of the parchment/wax paper up until they are about an inch away from one another; your dough circle should be in the shape of a hard taco shell at this point (your finished pastry will be a half-circle shape). With your hands on either side of the paper, press together the edges of the dough at the ends of the pastry first so the filling doesn't come out. Pinch together the remaining edges of the dough. Carefully peel the paper from one side of the pastry and trim up the edges with a knife, if necessary.
- Heat frying oil over medium high heat and fry one to two at a time, depending on how much room is in your skillet or pot. Frying too many at once will cause the temperature of your oil to plummet, and you'll end up with soggy treats. Fry 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown, and place on towel or cooling rack. If your pastries start to brown too quickly, turn heat down as necessary.
- If desired, sprinkle pastries with additional cardamom or cinnamon.
If you are wondering if these pastries might turn out well baked instead of deep fried, I can tell you they absolutely won't (I had to throw away an entire batch I attempted to bake). The deep frying is essential to a super flaky crust and is well worth the bit of extra work. I (clearly) ran out of daylight when attempting to photograph this recipe. I plan to make it again far earlier in the day, not only so my camera can actually focus, but so I can photograph the process of shaping/pressing the pastries. It's really quite easy, but if you have any questions about my description of the process, I am absolutely happy to answer them!