Traditional Guyanese Soft Mithai
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A sweet treat made by frying spiced dough then coating with a sugar syrup
Recipe type: Sweet/Dessert
Cuisine: Caribbean
Serves: 8
For the dough
  • 3 cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of grated coconut
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of custard powder (optional)
  • 4 cups of oil suitable for frying
For the sugar syrup
  • 1½ cups of sugar
  • 1½ cups of water
  • 2-3 cardamom pods (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Make the dough
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the all purpose flour baking powder, salt, sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and ground nutmeg and mix together
  2. Then rub the butter into the dry ingredient to form a crumbly texture
  3. Next add the grated coconut and mix into the dry ingredients, then set aside
  4. Combine the milk. I used cold coconut milk and water
  5. Then add the milk to the other ingredients and mix together to form a soft dough. Then knead into a smooth dough ball
  6. Cover the dough with a damp paper towel and let it rest for 30 minutes
Shaping and Frying
  1. After the dough has rested divide the dough into half
  2. Then on a floured surface roll each piece of dough out until it is about ½ inch thick
  3. Then cut the dough into triangles. Alternatively you may cut the dough into 3 inch by 2 inch strips and then roll them into thick logs
  4. Next, to fry the dough, add 4 cups of oil to a large pot on medium-high heat and bring up to temperature
  5. When the oil is hot add a batch of cut out or rolled out mithais to the oil and fry until mithais are golden brown, stir as often as needed to ensure even frying
  6. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil
  7. Repeat until all of the mithais have been fried
Making the syrup
  1. Combine the sugar, water and cardamom in a small saucepan then mix together until the sugar dissolves
  2. Then place saucepan on medium heat and bring to a boil
  3. Boil uncovered for 5 minutes then remove the cardamom pods
  4. Continue to boil until the syrup reduces and is at the soft ball stage or 235 °F (see notes for testing soft ball)
Coating the mithai
  1. When the syrup reaches the soft ball stage, pour the syrup over the fried mithai and toss until the sugar crystalizes. I do this in small batches to ensure that all of the mithai are evenly coated with sugar. Additionally these mithais are tender so be gentle when tossing around
Recipe by Metemgee at