In a large bowl sift the flour and baking powder, then add the cornmeal, sugar and salt. Whisk to mix the ingredients together.
Pour in the vanilla and start adding the water a little at a time as you whisk. As it starts to take the shape of dough, you will need to start kneading. If you find that the 1/2 cup of water was not enough, do drizzle in some more. The idea is to work it for 5-7 minutes, until you have a well formed dough ball that’s firm dough and slightly sticky. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow the dough to rest for about 1/2 hr.
After it’s rested, dust your work surface with four and divide the dough ball into 8 equal parts. Form each piece into a cigar shape. Try to make them about 6-8 inches long and not overly thick. Heat the vegetable oil on med, then gently add the shaped festivals dough into the pan. Allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes before you flip them over. In total you’ll probably need between 5-6 minutes for each to be fully cooked . Have paper towels ready to drain off the excess oil after they’re cooked.