A good old fashioned Indian Donut recipe • food • Two Row Times
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A good old fashioned Indian Donut recipe

‘Nu-Yah’ is fast approaching and is synonymous with Indian Donuts here on Six. This is one I am settled on although I have been known to add raisins much...

‘Nu-Yah’ is fast approaching and is synonymous with Indian Donuts here on Six. This is one I am settled on although I have been known to add raisins much to my family’s dismay. This is the most basic recipe I’ve found. Give it a try!

First, in a large bowl mix together

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

½ cup melted butter

Next, in a smaller bowl mix together:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Now add the dry sugar mixture to the wet egg mixture in the large bowl. Mix it all together nice and good.

Slowly mix in 4 cups of flour, ½ cup at a time. (Give or take ½ cup depending on how sticky the dough comes out.) The dough will come together similar to scone dough. It should be tough enough to roll out but still soft.

Stick the dough in the fridge for an hour. This lets all the flavours become ace.

Heat about 2 inches of grapeseed oil, sunflower oil or lard in a deep stainless steel frying pan or skillet on medium to medium high. Some people use canola oil, but I think it stinks. Regardless, make sure you are using a higher heat oil to fry in. If you like to use thermometers, that is about 360F.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/2” thick. Then cut up that dough into whatever shape you want. Some people like rectangle donuts, some like circles with the holes in the middle, the old folks even used to make donut dolls.

Carefully slide donuts into the oil, cooking them in small batches of about 3 or 4 at a time. When they get nice and puffy and brown on one side (which takes about a minute or two), flip them over. Make sure you are only using metal or wooden utensils. Don’t use plastic. It will melt and ruin everything. Everybody makes that mistake once I think!

After both sides are done, remove from the oil and set those babies on some brown paper bags or paper towels to drain of the excess oil. Let them cool for a bit, get yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy! Nu-Yah! Nu-Yah!

Healthy Roots Alternative: Maple Sugar-coated Walnuts

Committing to a healthy diet doesn’t have to mean missing out on your favourite holidays and traditions. Nu Yah is coming in just a couple days, and while those following the Healthy Roots program may not want to dig into the donuts and cookies, you can mix it up with some maple sugar coated walnuts. After cooking, you can cool these walnuts completely and serve them to those who come to your door in small paper treat bags. Be sure to ask if your guests have nut allergies before sharing – for those who do, you could offer apples, plums or pears as a sweet alternative.


  • 4 cups raw walnut halves
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup maple sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread walnuts on large baking sheet. Toast for 4 minutes, stirring halfway.
  3. Remove walnuts from oven, place in a large bowl. Add the sunflower oil and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly coated. Add the maple syrup and stir until thoroughly coated. Add the maple sugar, stirring until thoroughly coated.
  4. Heat a large cast iron skillet to medium-high. Add the walnuts, scraping all of the mixture from the bowl. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 ½ to 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer walnuts to a platter or a parchment-lined baking sheet. Quickly spread out, separating them with a fork. Set aside to cool.
  6. Serve cooled in small paper treat bags, or eat them warm if you prefer.


Nahnda Garlow, Onondaga under the wing of the Beaver Clan of Six Nations, is Outreach Editor for the Two Row Times. Her popular column, Scone Dogs and Seed Beads brings weekly thoughts on current day indigenous identity. Nahnda has been a journalist with the Two Row Times since it's founding in 2013. She studied Journalism, Human Rights and Indigenous Studies at Laurier University. She is a self-proclaimed "rez girl" who also brings to the Two Row Times years of experience as a Haudenosaunee cultural interpreter, traditional dancer and beadwork aficionado. Nahnda is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.
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