This traditional Yemenite fried pita goes by various names, depending on which of the 1,000 Jewish settlements in Yemen one came from. My mother called it galoub or gourse interchangeably, but others call it zalabia or dourdour. The simple fried pita is torn into bite-sized pieces, drenched with warm ghee or samna (clarified butter) and drizzled with honey. This was often given to women during the 40 days they spent in confinement after giving birth to strengthen and nourish their body to good health and lift their spirits.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 2–4 tablespoons sunflower or safflower oil, for frying
- To Serve
- 6–8 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 6–8 tablespoons honey
- 1–2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
- Sift flour into a large bowl. Then spoon the sifted flour onto a cup-size measuring cup, level the top and place in a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and blend with a whisk. Add water and mix either by hand or using a mixer with the hook attachment on low for about 10 minutes. The dough should be wet and smooth, similar to the consistency of thick pancake batter. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
- Heat a frying pan, preferably cast iron, and add 2 tablespoons oil. Wet your hands, grab a grapefruit-sized fistful of the dough with one hand, and with the other hand, squeeze the dough below between your thumb and index finger and twist to tear off the piece in your hand. Place the dough in the center of the pan and pat down to create a disk about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Cook on medium-high flame for 3 or 4 minutes per side.
- Remove to a platter and drizzle melted ghee and honey on top. Repeat with the rest of dough, adding a bit more oil in between. Remove from pan and place the breads one on top of the other. When done cooking, tear them into bite-sized pieces and put in a large bowl, drizzle with a bit more melted ghee or butter and honey and sprinkle with 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar, or to taste. Serve hot.
- Serve with plain yogurt on the side.
- After you’ve fried all the breads, add a pat of butter to the pan and melt. Then add ½ a cup of trail mix (a mix of nuts and dried fruit) until toasted and starting to turn golden. Sprinkle on top of the galoub.