The deep-fried dough twist” and “salted cake fried in sesame oil of Bonan Ethnic Group

Bao’an nationality believes in Islam, so their material and spiritual culture both has the distinct characteristics of Islamic culture.

The “deep-fried dough twist” and “salted cake fried in sesame oil” are both the traditional wheaten foods of Bao’an nationality, and people have been deeply fond of them since the ancient times.

The deep-fried dough twists are made of dough that is kneaded by flour, salt water, brown sugar, Chinese prickly ash water, egg, fragrant bean powder, vegetable oil, honey and warm water. The dough needs to be repeatedly kneaded. Then, pull it into small dough of about 100g, and cover it with wet cloth. Then roll them into round strips as thin as the chopsticks, twine them for several circles, and pull them longer in the shape of rings or make it into dough twist or other shapes, drop them into the boiled oil and fry them into the brown color, and then scoop them up and get them finished. It is in the shape of thin and even strip, crisp and with beautiful color, as a kind of delicious food to entertain guests on festivals and present to relatives and friends.

The salted cake fried in sesame oil is similar as a kind of breakfast snacks in the northern part of China—deep-fried dough cake. Its making method is: knead the dough with flour and the water containing vitriol, soda and salt, ferment it, and then add egg and vegetable soil with small quantities of peppermint leaves powder, then pull it into small dough of 70 to 80g, roll them into round cake with the diameter of around 7 to 8cm, put them into the oil cauldron to fry, when they become bun brown and bulging, they are finished and can be eaten. The color is beautiful and it tastes delicate and refreshing. But when eating it, generally people do not bite it directly, but tear it into small pieces and put them into mouth to eat.

The salted cake fried in sesame oil was originally the food to entertain guests in part of Arabian regions. According to legend, in 622, the founder of Islam, Mohammed, ate this food at the home of an old man named Ayoubu in Medina, and praised it a lot, then it became widely popular. In the Yuan Dynasty, the making method of salted cake fried in sesame oil was spread to our country, and it became one of the delicious foods of Bao’an, Hui, Dongxiang, Sala and other nationalities full of Islamic characteristics.

The salted cakes fried in sesame oil are in a great variety. According to the difference of raw materials and mixing ingredients, they can be divided into “polished glutinous rice salted cake”, “potato powder salted cake”, “sweet salted cake” and “sweet potato salted cake”, etc. According to custom, when the salted cakes are fried, generally it is up to the older and experienced women to be the chef, at the same time, other people, especially non-Muslim people are forbidden to observe it by the side. They believe that, when the salted cakes are being fried, if other people enter the kitchen, the oil will be alerted, then the fried foods will have no good color and genuine taste, and so on.