Elephant Ears – delicious fried dough dusted with cardamom powdered sugar. And, sharing my adventures at Baan Chang Elephant Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
This post is deeply personal and painful for me to write because Joan had planned a trip to Southeast Asia to spend the weeks after Christmas with Becky and me. She’d already bought the plane tickets and we were working out the details when she passed.
Since Becky and I have been visiting Southeast Asia every year for the past 5 years, Joan went through our photos and made a list of things she wanted to experience with her son, CJ. She called it “the trip of a life time.” She always thought big like that.
Joan told me straight up that she didn’t want to spend too much time in “boring temples” (even if Angkor Wat is the 7th wonder of the world). She was really just stopping in Cambodia to humor me and to have clothes and shoes made.
The things at the top of her list were mostly in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She wanted to pet the tigers, ride elephants, trek in the mountains, float a river in a bamboo raft, and so much more.
I’m sharing Becky’s and my experiences at Baan Chang Elephant Park along with a slightly modified version of Joan’s Elephant Ears.
Joan had worked out the basic recipe for fried dough but it was pretty plain and Thais like their food spicy. So I added some cardamom which is popular in Thailand. I can only get whole cardamom here so I grind it fresh which makes it a little more potent than store-bought ground cardamom. You may want to add more to your elephant ears.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, cold (can substitute cold, unsalted butter)
- ¾ cup warm water
Cardamom Powdered sugar
- ½ cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry blender or 2 knives. Add water and stir until combined to make a soft (sticky) dough. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Pull pieces from the dough, about 2 inches (4-5 cm) in diameter and with floured hands stretch dough to about ¼ inch (.33 cm) thick and about 3-4 inches (7.5-9 cm) oblong (like an elephant's ear).
- Preheat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan to about 350°F on medium heat. to test if oil is ready, drop a small piece of dough in oil, if bubbles immediately appear, oil is ready.
- Place 2-3 pieces of flattened dough in hot oil. fry on each side for about 60 seconds, to just a light golden color. Remove from oil to drain on paper towels.
- Dust with cardamom powdered sugar before serving. Serve warm.
Cardamom powdered sugar
- Mix powdered sugar and cardamom together in a small bowl. I put mine through a wire sieve to dust the elephant ears.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 205mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 3g
Nutrition information is provided as a guide only. Please consult a dietician if you have specific dietary needs.