Portuguese Sweets, Veganised traditional Portuguese dishes

Pumpkin fluffy treats (filhoses)

‘Filhoses’ are THE Christmas sweet treat for me. It is very popular all over Portugal, with different variations: some make it with carrots and pumpkin, others without pumpkin or with only pumpkin, well… they’re all lovely. The ones I always had since I remember myself as a person are the pumpkin ones. The traditional recipe has egg in it but after making my vegan ‘filhoses’ a few times, really, in all honesty, why are the eggs necessary??

Time: 3 to 4 h

Type: sweets

Difficulty: 2 pans

Makes: 15 to 20 individual ‘filhoses’

What you need:

300g cooked pumpkin (or butternut squash)

1 orange, juiced

white flour (about 200g)

dry yeast (5g)

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

Oil to fry

Granulated sugar and ground cinnamon


1 pan


1 big bowl, 1 small bowl


frying pan

kitchen paper towels

fabric towel


Cut pumpkin in small chunks and boil over low heat until soft (about 20 to 30 minutes);

Drain water with a sieve (let it sit there for 10 to 15 minutes so all the water is removed);

Place pumpkin in a bowl, along with yeast, flaxseed and orange juice- mash all together with one hand;

Use the other hand to add flour slowly while continuously mixing, until you get a creamy mixture, soft but consistent;

Note: Is difficult to tell exactly how much flour is needed, but usually about 200g (you might need slightly more or less here, so keep an open mind!)

Lay a fabric towel over the bowl and take it to a dark, warm place, protected from wind (the oven is a good option- switched off!);

Let the batter sit for at least 2 hours- it will be ready when you see little bubbles of air forming in the surface;

Once batter is ready, heat a good amount of oil in a frying pan;

When the oil is very hot, fry the batter by taking 1 tablespoon of it each time and place it in the oil- make sure the individual portions are not mixing in the frying pan; fry for a couple of minutes each side;

Once golden, remove them from the frying pan and place on kitchen towels to remove excess oil;

In a small bowl, mix granulated sugar and ground cinnamon in whatever proportion you like (I personally like to add A LOT of cinnamon);

While still hot, dip the fluffy bites into the sugar and cinnamon mix, so all sides are covered;

These are delicious still hot, but they can keep for a few days in a closed container, and are just as yummy.


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