Zvingoi (Honey Puffs)

This is one of the most traditional street food delicacies in Greece; originally found on the streets of Constantinople, now Istanbul, as far back as the Byzantine era. I have added my own personal kick to the recipe, which is Mastic, from the island of Chios.


For the puffs

640g plain flour

A pinch of salt

½ teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon dry yeast

1 teaspoon of ground mastic

500ml lukewarm water

2 eggs

Flavourless (Vegetable) oil for deep frying

To finish

1 cup honey

A handful of walnuts, roughly ground

Ground cinnamon

Serves 6


1. First mix the yeast with half of the water and the sugar and set aside for around 15 minutes until the surface is frothy. Add in the eggs, whisking to form a smooth mixture then add all of the dry ingredients and the remaining water. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rest in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

2. When the dough is risen, heat 10cm of oil in a deep (at least 15cm), wide and heavy based pan. The oil is ready when a little of the dough dropped in bubbles and floats quickly to the top. Put the mixture into a piping bag and cut a 2½ - 3cm hole in the tip. Carefully squeeze little bulbs of the mixture into the oil, using a knife to break off each puff as it comes out.

3. As the puffs rise to the surface of the oil, turn them gently with a slotted spoon and cook to an appetising golden brown. Lift out onto kitchen paper, then onto your serving plate.

4. While still hot, drizzle over the honey and sprinkle with walnuts and cinnamon. Serve hot and straight away!

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