Sweet Herb Sopapillas11.08.10

Sopapillas are basically Mexican doughnuts.  Moroccans call these sfinj.  You can fry them or make them in a donut press or an 8 section sandwich wedge press.  If you deep fry them or coat the press well, because they’re still made with flour, they will count for 20 grams of carbohydrate per serving of two pieces.  Their glycemic index will be around 75, and their glycemic load 15.  However, the way I make them, they are packed with nutrition, so it’s worth the 20 grams.

These are great for Christmas or Chanukah because the stevia herb and chopped, dried cranberries or goji berries give them a festive look.  Don’t be surprised when the kids get the burst of energy and good feeling that doesn’t crash so hard because they’re getting grains the way they should be: fermented.

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon crushed or ground stevia herb, steeped in 1/2 cup of hot water, covered and allowed to cool
  • Ghee, lard, vegetable ghee (unhydrogenated palm oil), virgin coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil a centimeter or two deep in your pan, plus a tablespoon for the dough
  • 3 cups white flour or substitute 1 cup of it for whole wheat, rye, or oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (the base, not prepared) or unsweetened organic peanut butter with the full fat
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon citric acid or cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup full fat (15-23%) sour cream or a good, thick, full fat goat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped goji berries or dried cranberries, soaked in hot water and then drained  (you can use chopped raisins or dates if you like)


  1. The afternoon before you want to make your sopapillas, prepare your stevia herb “tea”.
  2. The night before, make the batter.  It needs to sit overnight in the refrigerator to ferment and allow the sweetness to fully “blossom”.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  4. Cut in the oil and tahini until it looks like a crumbly, coarse meal.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and stevia “tea” together.
  6. Then stir the sour cream in well.
  7. Combine the wet and dry ingredients by stirring them in slowly.  This will gradually take a bit of effort.
  8. If you do not yet have a thick but wet dough, add a bit more cold water until you do.  You want it droppable with a spoon, but not like pancake batter.  Do not overmix.  There should be a few small lumps here and there.
  9. Fold in the berries.
  10. Transfer the dough to a container, and cover it.  Let this set overnight in the refrigerator.
  11. The next day, take out the dough and let it come to room temperature.
  12. Heat your oil.  It should be hot but not smoking.
  13. Using a soup spoon, dip  out a heaping half tablespoon of dough at a time, and drop them gently into the oil.
  14. Fry until golden brown, and then turn over to fry the other side.
  15. As they are done, transfer them to a plate or bowl lined with a few paper towels or a lint free cloth.

Serve them warm with a dusting of cinnamon and powdered sugar, or honey or silan.

(Photos coming soon, the next time I make these, which should be later this month.)

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