Cameroonian Makalas (also known as puff puffs or beignets)
"These are extremely popular as a breakfast or snack food," Maxey said in an email. It was a childhood breakfast favorite for my children on the two days a week that there was a market in the center of our village. They are an African beignet and in the area where we lived in central Cameroon, they were called makalas."
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rapid-rise yeast
½ cup sugar
2 cups (approximately) warm water
In a large, sauce pan pour vegetable oil (or canola oil), until it is at least 3 inches deep.
Heat over medium heat until oil is 375 degrees. (A drop of water will sizzle when it is ready.)
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
Whisk in the warm water (not hot). Start with 1 ½ cups water and add more to adjust thickness of batter. The batter should be smooth, thick and spoon-able.
Cover and allow the batter to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
Cameroonian cooks would use their hands to scoop up the batter. I use a large tablespoon to scoop the batter and a second spoon or small spatula to drop it into the oil. It should drop in the shape of a small ball. Do not overcrowd the pan.
Fry for a few minutes until the bottom is golden brown.
Turn the ball over and fry for a few more minutes until the other side is golden brown.
Use a large slotted spoon or ladle to take them out of the oil. Place on cooling rack or paper towels to soak up excess oil.
Serve plain or roll in granulated sugar or cinnamon sugar.
Best served warm.