How to make Jamaican Festival (Fried Dumplings)

Published on July 27th 2021 by Rachael Ottier Hart.
Last updated on April 1st 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Aerial view of Jamaican Festival (Friend Dumplings) with dip on side

If you ever enjoy eating Jamaican food, you must try their Fried Dumplings, also known as Festival. It is an excellent snack on its own but also goes great alongside any of your favorite jerked meats. The recipe uses a sweet cornmeal dough that is fried until golden brown. These delightfully sweet nuggets are the perfect snack for dipping into your favorite homemade jerk sauce or garlic sauce. Try this recipe with your next Jamaican grill-up for a lip-smacking good time. 

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Time & Serves

Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Serves
6

Ingredients

  • 275g All-purpose Flour

  • 125g Cornmeal Fine Ground

  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

  • 45g Brown Sugar

  • 50g Unsalted Butter softened

  • 250 ml Whole Milk

  • 1 teaspoon Mixed Essence

  • Frying Oil

Instructions

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar.

In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients milk and essence.

To the dry mix, incorporate the butter by mixing it with your hands until the butter has been thoroughly blended into the dry mixture.

Add the wet mixture, and again use your hands, combining all the ingredients thoroughly and forming into a large ball.

Place a damp towel over the top of the bowl and place it in a cool place to rest undisturbed for at least 15 minutes.

While the dough is resting, prepare a cooling station with either a rack or a tray with paper towels. This is where you will place the dumplings after removing them from the hot oil.

Prepare your frying oil in a heavy deep saucepan or fryer at 375 C/190 F. If the temperature is too hot, it will burn the outside, and the inside will be raw. If the temperature is too low, the dumpling will cook too slowly, absorb the oil and taste funny.

Take the ball of dough and shape it into dumplings. The shapes and sizes can be up to you as long as there is enough for six people to eat. If you like bite-sized snacks, we suggest making them into thumb-sized shapes. However, some people prefer larger sausage-sized shapes. Have fun and be creative.

Once you have shaped all your pieces, place them into the hot oil in batches according to the size of your frying pan or fryer. Allow to fry for about 5 minutes or until the outside is golden brown.

Remove from the hot oil onto the cooling station until you finish frying them all.

Serve on a tray with dipping sauces or as a side dish to your meal.

Rachael Ottier Hart
Author:

Join Rachael on a global culinary journey. With a passion for travel and diverse cuisines, she crafts recipes that weave flavors, scents, and stories into each dish, igniting your wanderlust with every bite.

More posts by Rachael Ottier Hart

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Keywords
Jamaican Festival, Jamaican Fried Dumplings, cornmeal dumplings, sweet dumplings, Doughboys, Jamaican Dumplings

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Rachael Ottier Hart
Author:

Join Rachael on a global culinary journey. With a passion for travel and diverse cuisines, she crafts recipes that weave flavors, scents, and stories into each dish, igniting your wanderlust with every bite.

More posts by Rachael Ottier Hart