When you’re organising a party there’s nothing easier than having different food options that do not require hours in the kitchen or a chef degree. And these Venezuelan Party Fritters with Polenta and Fennel Seeds are the perfect finger party food when you’re short of time and can’t face hours in the kitchen.
Sweet, aniseed and soft, these party fritters are quite unique to say the least, and although you might think fennel seeds are too strong and overpowering, for some bizarre reason they work incredibly well in this recipe.
When it comes to party food ideas I think these fritters whether you make them sweet or savoury should be at the top of the list because how easy they are to make and how versatile they are. Plus they are gluten free and vegan!! so no extra cooking to cater for your vegan and gluten free friends.
So let me tell you a fun fact about these fritters. I grew up calling them “rosquitas dulces” which means something like “little sweet fritters” and all of us, my cousins and brothers call them like this. A few months ago talking to a friend from Venezuela we discovered that in fact these fritters are called “Mandocas” and come from the region of Zulia, in the North West of Venezuela.
Probably this might not mean anything to you, but now I understand why nobody at school never new what I was talking about when I mentioned “rosquitas dulces”. But I guess this is what happens when you land in another country and try hard to learn the foods from that country, in this case when my grandparents moved to Venezuela from Italy. I always knew my house was a bit weird in comparison to the other households in Venezuela, we were a mix of different cultures.
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Sweet, aniseed and soft, these party fritters are quite unique to say the least, and although you might think fennel seeds are too strong and overpowering in this recipe they work incredibly. Make these fritters sweet or savoury they are a fantastic universal party food options suitable for gluten free and vegans.
- 2 cups Harina Pan (Venezuelan White Corn Flour)
- 2 cups water
- 10 tbsp sugar (minimum)
- 3 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- vegetable oil for frying
In a bowl mix all the ingredients until you get a soft but and firm dough
In a pot warm up the oil at medium temperature or use a deep fat fryer
Start to make the fritters. Take some dough and roll it in a bowl of the size of half of a golf ball
Then roll it out between your hands to form a sausage shape (see video)
Take both ends of the sausage and press them together to form a "tear" shape with a whole in the middle (see video)
Fry each fritter at medium temperature until they turn golden brown, approx 8 to 10 minutes.
Once golden brown remove from the oil and place them over kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
- These fritters will be soft when you take them out of the oil, let them cool down for a minute or two so they become a bit crispy
- Because of the sugar the fritters are not super crispy
- These are best when served immediately when they have cooled down for a couple of minutes. Because they are made with polenta, they will become slightly chewy after a few hours.
- For a sweeter version add more sugar. For extra extra tbsp of sugar add 1.2 tsp of fennel seeds
- For a savoury version swap the sugar and fennel seeds for your savoury options. At the end of the post I'm adding some of my friend's favourite savoury combinations.
VENEZUELAN PARTY FRITTERS WITH POLENTA AND FENNEL SEEDS VIDEO RECIPE
There have been parties where I really didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen cooking, and so been known for making these fritters in a several savoury options which my friends have named them as follows:
The Spanish Fritter
This fritter comes with Spanish chorizo, Manchego cheese, a touch of smoked paprika, a touch of Cayene pepper, fresh chopped parsley, salt and black pepper
The Italian Fritter
Chopped black olives, chopped capers, a touch of chopped fresh rosemary or basil, sun dried tomatoes, salt and black pepper. For a non vegan option you can add some spicy cured meats and some slightly strong Italian cheese like a Pecorino Romano or Aged Pecorino.
The Turkish Fritter
Sriracha sauce, fresh parsley, salt and a few drops of liquid smoke.
I hope you enjoy cooking this recipe, and if you do, please rate it below and leave your comments.
See you next week with another yummy recipe
HAPPY COOKING 🙂