Rice Calas (New Orleans Rice Fritters) Recipe

Rice Calas
Photo: Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Yield: 18 fritters
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
156 Calories
9g Fat
16g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 156
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 31mg 10%
Sodium 125mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 39mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 26mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Calas, an old New Orleans tradition, is a breakfast fritter mixed with cooked rice, flour, sugar, and spices, and then deep-fried. According to "The Dictionary of American Food & Drink," the word Calas was first printed in 1880, and comes from one or more African languages, such as the Nupe word kárá, or "fried cake."

The origin is most often attributed to enslaved people from Africa's rice-growing regions, but others believe the origin is French because of the similarity to a 1653 recipe for beignets de riz.

Creole street vendors sold the fresh hot calas in the city's French Quarter, with the familiar cry, "Calas, belles, calas tout chauds!"

Bits of the rice around the surface of the fritters will crisp a bit, adding to the wonderful texture.


  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 cups cooked rice, cooled

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, or enough to make a good drop fritter batter

  • Oil, for deep-frying

  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Whisk the eggs until well beaten.

  2. Stir in the cooled rice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, vanilla, and baking powder.

  3. Add about 1 cup of flour or just enough flour to hold the batter together. It should be thick enough to drop from a spoon and stay together but not too thick.

  4. Heat oil in the deep fryer to 365 F.

  5. Drop batter by heaping teaspoonfuls or small cookie scoop into the hot oil.

  6. Fry in small batches for about 4 to 6 minutes, until golden brown and crisp, turning to brown evenly.

  7. Drain on paper towels and generously sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

  8. Serve

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