Get prepared for a lifetime experience in the island of Corfu!
On the 12th of December, the entire island celebrates Agios Spyridonas in the sweetest way possible. It is an important day throughout Corfu, and its roots date back to the Venetian times and passed on from one generation to the next.
Beginning on the eve of the holiday, that is on the 11th of December, every household prepared the a special version of the Greek donut treat also known as ‘loukoumades’ around other parts of Greece; but here, in Corfu, they are called tiganites t’agioú which are translated as 'the saint’s pancakes'.
Tradition has it that these treats came into existence as a way of sustaining the people of Corfu who kept vigil in reverence of Agios Spyridonas. If you have visited Greece before you may have tried the infamous loukoumades. But in Corfu they have a subtle twist to them...
The Greek version of a donut that is very simple to make yet absolutely delicious. The dough is made of water, flour and yeast left to rise overnight, then deep fried and topped with honey and cinnamon. In Corfu however, they are fancier. They are made in households but also made in stands on the street and each vendor will compete others for the best tiganites in town! The cultural centers will make and give them out for free to all who approach for ‘the good of the saint’ as they say. The fact that everyone is either making or eating this tasty treat (or most likely both), fills the kantounia, the local name for town streets, with a mouth watering smell of fresh tiganites t’agioú.
No one will overtly reveal their recipe for the tiganites t’agioú but at Mayor Hotels we have managed to find a recipe that you may perhaps want to give a try.
Recipe for Tiganites t’Agioú || Serves portions for 5 people
For the batter:
220 gr all purpose flour
310 ml lukewarm water
4 gr dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 handful of raisins (optional)
Olive oil for frying
A large bowl, a ladle, a spoon, a glass of water, a pot for deep frying.
Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, dry yeast, sugar and salt) in a large bowl. Stir until blended together well. Add the lukewarm water gradually, mixing it in after every pour. A nice, thick batter should come together. Add the raisins, if you want, and give it final mix. Cover with a kitchen cloth or towel, and leave the batter to rise in a warm place for 60 minutes at least. Add the oil to the pot and place it on the hob and wait for it to reach a high temperature. Bring the mixing bowl close to the pot and have your utensils handy.
1) Use your palm to grope a handful of the dough.
2) Squeeze, clenching your fist, until you get a lump that comes out of the front of your fist (next to your thumb).
3) Use the spoon to scoop it and place it into the oil.
4) Clean the spoon by dipping it into the glass of water before proceeding to the next handful.
Repeat steps 1 - 4 until the pot has enough dough but make sure not to overcrowd the surface.
5) Use the ladle to stir the dough so that they get a nice golden colour.
6) Strain and place on a platter that has been lined with kitchen paper to absorb any extra oil.
Repeat steps 1 - 6 until all your dough batter is finished.
For serving you can choose whichever topping you prefer: honey and cinnamon or caster sugar. Heat the honey so that it is more manageable and less sticky, drizzle on the tiganites and dust them with cinnamon. Alternatively, dust them with caster sugar if you prefer.
You are all set to dig in!