Jamaican Festival Recipe - A Delicious Caribbean Treat


Jamaican Festival Recipe - A Delicious Caribbean Treat
Region / culture: Jamaica | Preparation time: 45 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 8



Festival is a traditional Caribbean fried dumpling that is often enjoyed during festive occasions and celebrations. It is a popular side dish that pairs well with savory dishes such as jerk chicken or curry goat.


Festival has its roots in Jamaican cuisine and is believed to have been influenced by African cooking traditions. The name "festival" is said to have originated from the fact that this fried dumpling is often enjoyed during festivals and special occasions.


How to prepare

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and cornmeal together and combine.
  2. Add the sugar and stir.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the vanilla with water, then add the mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until a soft dough forms.
  4. Knead the dough lightly.
  5. Cover the dough and let it rest for about 0.5 an hour. Then, divide the dough into eight equal portions.
  6. Dust your hands with flour.
  7. Knead the portions lightly, then roll and pull each portion to form a length of 6 inches and a thickness of about 0.13 inches.
  8. Dip the festival in a mixture of cornmeal and flour, then deep fry it in hot oil until it turns golden brown.


  • Add grated coconut to the dough for a tropical twist.
  • Mix in some chopped scallions or herbs for added flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to knead the dough lightly to ensure a soft and fluffy texture.

- Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

- Deep fry the festival in hot oil to achieve a crispy and golden brown exterior.

Serving Suggestions

Festival is best served alongside savory dishes such as jerk chicken, curry goat, or stewed fish.

Cooking Techniques

Deep fry the festival in hot oil until golden brown.

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour for a healthier option.

- Replace the brown sugar with honey or maple syrup for a different flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the festival dough ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to fry.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the festival on a platter with a side of dipping sauce or chutney for added flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

Festival pairs well with spicy dishes such as jerk chicken or curry goat, as the sweetness of the dumpling helps balance out the heat.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover festival in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, simply pop them in the oven or toaster oven until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of festival contains approximately 150 calories.


Each serving of festival contains approximately 25 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of festival contains approximately 5 grams of fats.


Each serving of festival contains approximately 2 grams of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Festival is not a significant source of vitamins and minerals.


Festival may contain gluten and is fried in oil, so it may not be suitable for those with allergies to wheat or oil.


Festival is a delicious fried dumpling that is relatively low in calories and provides a small amount of carbohydrates and fats.


Festival is a delicious Caribbean fried dumpling that is perfect for special occasions and celebrations. With a crispy exterior and soft interior, this side dish is sure to be a hit at your next gathering.

How did I get this recipe?

I can't forget the moment I stumbled upon this recipe for Festival. It was a sunny afternoon in the bustling market of my hometown, where vendors were selling all sorts of delicious treats and ingredients. As I walked through the stalls, the aroma of spices and fried foods wafted through the air, tempting me to stop and sample everything in sight.

I wandered past the colorful displays of fruits and vegetables, the vibrant piles of spices, and the sizzling pots of curries and stews. I was in foodie heaven, soaking in the sights and sounds of the market.

And then, I saw her. An elderly woman with a weathered face and a warm smile, sitting behind a small table covered in bowls of various snacks. She beckoned me over with a twinkle in her eye, inviting me to taste her specialties.

I couldn't resist. I approached her table and she greeted me with a kind "Namaste." She introduced herself as Mrs. Patel and told me she had been selling her homemade snacks at the market for over 50 years. She had a loyal following of customers who couldn't get enough of her delicious treats.

I sampled a few of her snacks - crispy pakoras, savory samosas, and sweet jalebis - each one more delicious than the last. But it was the Festival that captured my heart. The crispy, golden fried dough coated in a sticky, sweet syrup was like nothing I had ever tasted before. It was a perfect mix of crunchy and chewy, sweet and savory.

I asked Mrs. Patel for the recipe, but she just smiled and shook her head. "It's a family secret," she said. "Passed down through generations. But I can teach you how to make it if you promise to keep it in your own family."

I eagerly agreed, and Mrs. Patel took me under her wing. She showed me how to mix the dough, shape it into small balls, and fry them until they were crispy and golden brown. Then, she taught me how to make the syrup - a blend of sugar, water, and aromatic spices that turned the fried dough into a sticky, sweet delight.

I watched and learned, taking notes and asking questions as Mrs. Patel worked her magic. She shared stories of her own grandmother teaching her the recipe when she was just a young girl, and how she had passed it down to her own children and grandchildren.

As we worked together, I felt a connection to Mrs. Patel and her family. I could see the love and tradition that went into each batch of Festival, and I knew that I wanted to carry on that legacy in my own kitchen.

After a few hours of cooking and chatting, the Festival was finally ready. Mrs. Patel sprinkled some chopped nuts and dried fruits on top, giving it a final touch of elegance. I took a bite and savored the sweet, sticky goodness. It was perfect.

I thanked Mrs. Patel for her generosity and promised to keep the recipe close to my heart. She smiled and patted my hand, wishing me luck in my culinary adventures.

And so, that is how I learned to make the recipe for Festival. It's a dish that holds a special place in my heart, connecting me to the generations of women who have come before me. I cherish the memories of that sunny afternoon in the market, learning from Mrs. Patel and carrying on a tradition that is now a part of my own family's history.


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