Liberian Cala with Spicy Curry Sauce

Calas are a special comfort food in Liberia. They are soft and deliciously crusty on top and soft and chewy on the inside.

Cala are made almost similar to raised doughnuts except that Calas are not rolled. Cala are fried by dropping small amount of dough by hand or spoonful into hot oil. Cala is very popular in Liberia.

We have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just snacking.

A favorite way to enjoy this Liberian delectable is to eat with hot sauce. The combination of Calas and hot sauce or pepper gravy is known as Pepper Cala of Mommy Put the Pepper.

In this recipe I substituted the hot sauce with my Spicy Curry Sauce.

Cala Recipe       

Prep Time: 10 Rise Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 30 Minutes


4 cups all-purpose flour

2 packets Instant active yeast

2 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cups vegetable oil

Oil for deep frying


  1. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Set aside.
  2. Heat milk to about 120 degrees F to 130 degrees F. Add 3/4 cup oil. Add milk and oil mixture to flour mixture. Beat with wooden spatula or hand until blended about 5 minutes. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let sit in warm dry place until double in size abut 1 hour. 
  3. Prepare frying assembly : water in bowl to wet hand or dip scoop, tray lined with paper towel to soak up excess oil with Cala is removed from oil, large bowl to transfer Cala from tray.
  4. Add enough oil to medium/large pot. Oil should be at least half way to top to allow for deep frying. Oil should be hot enough, at least 200 degrees F to 225 degrees F. Test oil by dropping a bit of dough. If the dough rises to top the oil is ready to fry.
  5. If using hand scooping method, wet hand in bowl of water, scoop up enough dough in palm, drop dough into oil by squeezing downward at least 5 drops depending on size of pot. Do not overcrowd pot. Turn Cala multiple times to allow for smooth browning. When Cala are golden brown, remove from oil onto paper towel lined tray.
  6. Repeat process until dough is done.
  7. Serve hot with Spicy Curry Sauce. Heat leftovers in toaster oven.

Spicy Curry Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 10 Cook Time: 20 Minutes


2 pieces whole fish filet, cut up into small pieces (I used whiting filet in this recipe)

10-12 pieces fresh peeled shrimp, cut into 2 pieces each

1 cup chopped onions

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 large fresh tomato or two small tomatoes, cut into pieces

1 habanero (hot pepper)

1/2 cup sweet bell peppers

2 tablespoons curry powder

Salt to taste (use your discretion)

Black pepper (use your discretion)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 cup cooking oil


  1. Add fish, peppers, onions, tomato, garlic to food processor. Blend on medium speed to almost puree.  Transfer to medium bowl, add shrimp, curry powder, tomato paste, soy sauce, salt and black pepper, stir and set aside.
  2. Heat cooking oil in medium saucepan at least 2 minutes on medium heat. Add fish and vegetable mixture to hot oil. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Add other seasonings to taste as desired.
    1. Remove from heat and serve with Cala.

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