Warm water bollas


Both my parents are Indian, but  my mum is half Indian and half Muslim, which in my eyes is super awesome. Why you may I ask, well simple, I get to learn about two cultures that are both rich in tradition, colourful and both have recipes that are out of this world.

Since my mum become a vegetarian, I have limited the Muslim sweetmeats I make, because most of the contain eggs and I have not been brave enough just as yet to add an egg replacer instead of an egg.

When my mum’s cousin passed away during the past week, she and my aunty went to pay their respects, unfortunately I wasn’t able to go along, but following in my gran’s and mum’s tradition. I made sure that they never went empty handed.

The first day of the service I made some biscuits and badjie pie. The badjie pie was last minute and I am so ready for Masterchef I tell you. I made a double batch, the kitchen table had two of everything on …I was in robot mode.

The last day of the service, I was not sure what to make, something that was authentic to the Muslim culture, something that would make my gran proud, in order to do this, I had to dig real deep into her recipe book. To the very begging.

I decided to try warm water bollas. I have never ever made these before, my dad was out of town and my mum couldn’t taste it so I was alone… but thank goodness my Uncle came over to visit, just as I was sugaring the last bolla and he said they tasted like a bolla should, of course I drilled him, asking him was there enough sugar, enough coconut, cooked through…lol I don’t think he has ever thought so much about eating a bolla in his life.

I sampled a few as these were coming out of the oil and let me just tell you something…. I am in love with them, it evoked a memory of seeing these on my grans Eid trays and I could remember the taste, I just couldn’t picture how she made them round, I of course cheated and used an ice cream scoop to make them round.

This recipe makes roughly 36 bollas.


  • 5 x tbsp. castor sugar.
  • 2 x eggs.
  • 5 x tbsp. oil.
  • 1 x tbsp. vanilla essence.
  • 2 ¾ x cup cake flour.
  • 1 x tsp elatchi powder.
  • 3 x tsp baking powder.
  • 300ml x butter milk.
  • Desiccated coconut to roll the balls in.


  • Cream the castor and eggs till creamy and frothy.
  • Add in the vanilla essence and oil and beat till well combined.
  • Sift in the cake flour, elatchi powder. and baking powder, fold till just combined.
  • Add in the buttermilk and again fold in till just combined, there will still be a lot of lumps.
  • Cover your bowl with cling wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Using your mechanical ice cream scoop, scoop out the mixture and drop into hot oil.
  • Deep fry till lightly golden brown, remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

To make the syrup, bring 2 x cups water and 2 x cups white sugar to a boil. Allow to boil for 15 minutes.

With the syrup on a low heat but still simmering, drop the bollas in a couple at a time, quickly roll the ball in the syrup and immediately remove and roll in desiccated coconut.

Tell me what you think of this recipe