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Manicotti or Debla ou Miel – Tunisian Fried Dessert


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Manicotti or Debla ou Miel - Tunisian Fried Dessert


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Manicotti or Debla ou Miel – Tunisian Fried Dessert

This is a very delicate dessert fried and basted in a light sugar syrup. Very decorative and absolutely delicious, these light and airy pastries will be finished before your Chanukah Party. (The dough is a basic egg noodle dough.) These debla can be made up to four days in advance. place on a cookie sheet and cover tightly with foil. The syrup can be made up to 4 weeks in advance and stored in a jar or plastic container, sealed, in a cool place, but not the refrigerator.


  • Prep Time : 30 minutes min
  • Cook Time : 1 hour
  • Ready Time : 1 hour, 30 min


20 Servings


  • 1.25-1.5 cups AP flour
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • vegetable or canola oil for deep frying
  • 2 pounds sugar
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 whole orange
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla



Juice lemon and orange. Chunk juiced orange and put in a 3 quart pot, covered by water, plus half an inch more. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, covered. When finished, add sugar and dissolve. when dissolved, add the juice of the lemon and orange. bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes with candy thermometer until soft ball stage. At that point, remove from heat and cool. Store in a sealed container in a cool place until needed.


Mix flour, salt, and sugar together. Add 2 whole eggs. Mix together and knead for 10 minutes or until dough is elastic. roll dough to less than 1/8″ thick (you may use a pasta roller to roll the dough.)

Cut the dough in strips of 2-2.5″ wide and about 12 inches long. at this point, begin heating your oil to 350 degrees.

Prepare a bowl with your lightly beaten egg white.


Lightly wrap dough strip around the width of your first three fingers (pointer, middle and ring). the finished roll should resemble a loosely formed rose. Seal end with a little of the prepared beaten egg white.

Slip fork through center of the debla to hold it. place gently into your preheated oil. place pastry horizontally, seam side down, and then use fork to turn vertically. Stir fork within the debla in very small concentric circles until dough begins to puff. Remove when barely golden. Place on cookie sheet with paper towel. Repeat with rest of dough strips.

Two hours before service:

Gently heat honey. When liquid, gently place the debla in the syrup for 15 seconds. Remove directly to serving platter. continue until all are coated in syrup.

Serve and enjoy.


Sprinkle crushed almonds or pistachios on still warm debla for additional crunch and texture.




3 Responses to Manicotti or Debla ou Miel – Tunisian Fried Dessert

  1. What does it mean to chunk the orange? I tried making this, but found the dough too bland and dense. I didn’t feel it ever really puffed. Any thoughts?

    • avatar says: Rodger

      Thanks for publishing this recipe! I made it for the first time tonight for a Purim service on Wednesday. It turned out great. It was a lot of fun really. I loved seeing the dough go poof! Took about 3 hours from start to finish. Syrup is amazing! I’m going to make a second batch of the syrup tomorrow just to make sure I have enough.

      1. Chunking the orange is just cutting it up. You’re coaxing the orange oil out of the rind when you boil it.

      2. I found the dough too dry with two eggs. 1-1/2 cups of flour and 3 eggs was perfect. I kneaded it in my kitchen aid mixer with the dough hook.

      3. I used a rolling pin. You need to let the dough relax for a few minutes if it resists your efforts. After rolling it to about 1/8″ thick, I cut it into 2″ strips and then rolled those until the dough was 1/16″. You must get the dough rolled thinly. After rolling the strips, they were wider and I just took a pizza cutter and cut those in half lengthwise. Strips are now about 1-1/2″ wide.

      4. I prefer to use strips 1-1/2 x 8. I wrapped it around my index finger, then the remainder around index and middle finger. I sealed the end with egg and stuck the fork in the middle. I then put it in the oil as instructed. However, I ended up not twirling the fork. When I moved the fork to vertical, I pushed it down to the bottom of the pan and let it cook.The dough finds it’s own happy place and the finished product looks like a rose.

      5. The pot I used for frying was about 1-1/2 qt. The setting on my electric range was 4.5 to get 350° oil.

      6. I have toasted some almonds and will chop them up to sprinkle on top.

      I will definitely make this again!

      • avatar says: Rodger

        Had a wonderful Purim celebration! I didn’t make a second recipe of the syrup and there was plenty of it let over. Thanks!

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