Awwameh: A Fresh Take on Donuts
A Middle Eastern twist on a deep-fried favorite
If you had a hard time reading the title, awwameh are also called loqmet el kadi or luqaimat. Not much better, huh?
Well, they may not be easy to pronounce (or spell), but they are easy to make. An awwameh is basically a yeasted dough that is fried and then sweetened with rosewater syrup. You will probably find more ways to make awwameh than there are ways to spell it — all-purpose flour, rice flour, and semolina find their way into recipes just as potatoes, soda, Sprite, and cornstarch do. All these are just different formulas and combinations in an attempt to get those perfect little balls that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. You bite into them and you get a little burst of rosewater syrup perfectly balanced by the light and fluffy cooked dough.
I am sharing two recipes for the same dessert today. One is my mum’s recipe for the crunchiest awwameh you will ever taste. It stays crunchy even after it cools down. Then there is the Semolina-Sprite Awwameh, which results in the fluffiest and lightest awwameh I have ever tried, but they are not very crunchy.
You can infuse awwameh with different flavors by adding some spices to the batter like anise or cinnamon, or you can infuse the syrup by adding some cardamom pods or cinnamon sticks to it.