As the title indicates, I am not sure if there is a real name for these cuties. We always called them “cirikta”. But some call a similar recipe “cilikta”. Some call it “pisi” but I’m pretty sure it’s not pisi because pisi is rather yeasted dough. I just like calling them cute little monsters because of the shape of fried dough!
I’ve known these cuties my whole life. 5 o’clock tea time has always been very important in our home. And we always wanted to have something to eat to go with the tea. One of the easiest things that my mother could prepare in the blink of an eye was this recipe.
The thing is, the ingredients are very easy to find, we always had them at home. We are a family of yogurt eaters so yes, that was something that you could always find our fridge as well. When I was a kid I hated eating eggs but well, I was an oddity so eggs were important at our home too.
I had to work on this recipe a few times because as any other recipe from mom, there are no specific measurements written, it’s all “eye measurement”! However, I think I finally got at least the overall picture right!
Enjoy these dough pieces plain, with some cheese to go to salty side, or spread some powdered sugar on top to go to the sweeter side. And as always, enjoy with tea (or ok, with coffee, if you prefer that…).
(makes about 13-15 pieces)
2.5 dl (or 1 cup + 2 tsp) plain Turkish or Greek yogurt, right out of the fridge
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
5 dl (or 2 cups + 4 tsp) flour (or less, or a little more, see step 3)
2 lt. vegetable oil to fry
1. In a mixing bowl, put eggs and yogurt and whisk well.
2. Add salt and baking soda and continue whisking.
3. Add flour little by little, around 1 dl or 1/2 cup at a time and whisk. For me, 2 cups of flour was just right, but depending on your flour, you might need a little less or a little more flour than that. The final consistency should be a little thicker than pancake batter. You should be able to scoop a spoonful of dough into the oil.
4. In a large pan suitable for frying, put 2 lt. oil and let it get very hot. The amount of oil may sound much more than needed but the thing is, the oil must be too much to properly fry the dough. Otherwise the batter will just absorb all the oil and will be too greasy. When the oil is hot, put spoonfuls of dough in the pan and fry. Using a spatula or a similar tool, stir the frying dough pieces often so that they are covered with oil.
5. When they are fried enough, nicely browned but not too browned or burned, take them out of the oil using a slotted spoon and put on a service plate with a paper towel on. The paper towel will absorb the excess oil. Repeat the frying until all the batter is used. You can eat these mini monsters plain, accompanied by cheese, or sweet with powdered sugar spread on top. Enjoy with fresh tea or coffee!