950. Iraqi Zlabia


Eid Al-Fitr mubarak to all my fellow Muslims. May Allah bless Umma our beloved Prophet Muhammed and guide us in spreading His name and religion throughout the lands in pride and unwavering conviction.

Iraqi Zlabia (الزلابية العراقية) is a sort of fried cookie that comes off as a candied confectionery. It is the sort of recipe used to be taught to primary school girls for home economics, therefore it was not unusual that a seven year old girl makes this sweet for dessert on any given Ramadan night or other joyous event.The Iraqi zlabia is similar in concept to a certain North African and Indian dessert, sharing the squiggly circular shape, fried, and dunked in sugar syrup. This batter needs a couple of hours’ fermentation and has equal parts flour to cornflour.



For the zlabia:

2 cups flour

2 cups cornflour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 Tbsp yeast

pinch salt

2 1/2 cups warm water

For the sugar syrup:

3 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 tsp lemon salt (or 2 tsp lemon juice)

2 tsp orange blossom water

2 cups oil, for frying





Whisk all the zlabia ingredients together in a large bowl until you have a smooth batter.

Cover and set aside to prove for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup: bring to a boil the sugar, water, and lemon salt (or juice), reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes.

Stir in the orange blossom, and set aside to cool.

Rule of thumb: when dunking desserts in a sugar syrup, one needs to be hot, the other needs to be cold. It does not matter which, but they both cannot be cold, not both hot.

Once the resting time for the zlabia batter is done, stir the batter to knock out trapped air.

Heat 2 cups of oil over medium to medium-low heat.

Pour the batter in a clean squirt bottle, like a plastic ketchup bottle, and once the oil is heated, quickly squiggle a messy circular disk in the oil. Make sure to make ends meet.

There is no rhyme or reason in the squiggle design, just try to space the batter apart and make ends meet so it will contain itself.

The zlabia are not to take a golden color; they are to remain white.

Flip it once it is hard enough to allow you to, and once both sides are hardened, remove from the oil and drop into the sugar syrup. It is useful to have someone else coat it in the syrup, drain it from excess syrup, and transfer to the serving dish.

Repeat for the remaining batter.

Note that zlabia are best made and eaten on the same day as over time they will absorb humidity and lose their crisp.


صحة و عافية

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2 thoughts on “950. Iraqi Zlabia”

  1. Eid Mubarak sister, my husband just asked me a couple week ago if you had this on your blog and I said no. I said inshallah if I remember I will ask her but I forgot and now you just posted it. I am not so good at making the arabian sweets so I don’t know if I will try this.

    1. Eid mubarak ukhti. Yes it took me a while to get zlabia on the blog because I had a disastrous history with it. Now I found a perfected and tried recipe that worked beautifully and worthy of posting on the blog.

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