Sawsan Abu Farha
Here’s a Middle Eastern twist on an American favorite: donuts. They’re called awwameh, and this is my mum’s recipe for the crunchiest awwameh you will ever taste. It stays crunchy even after it cools down.
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In a pot, combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice and cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil and all of the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2-5 more minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool, then stir in the rosewater. Set aside.
Proof the yeast by mixing it with the water and sugar in a bowl and waiting for it to foam and bubble (if it doesn’t, then the yeast has gone bad; use another packet). In another bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, and salt, then add the yeast mixture and stir with a spoon.
The batter should be like the cake batter, so it may be necessary to add more water or flour, but do it 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir the batter for 2-4 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. (If using baking powder instead of yeast, just mix all of the ingredients together until the mix is homogenous.)
Fill part of the batter in a small plastic bag and tie it off. Cut off one of the corners (the size of the opening depends on the desired size of the awwameh). In a wide pot or deep sauté pan, heat 1-inch vegetable oil over medium heat until a small piece of dough fizzes immediately when dropped into the oil.
Prepare a small cup filled with oil and a teaspoon. Hold the bag in your hand and squeeze a little of the batter onto the wet teaspoon. Drop the dough in the hot oil and repeat. (You will need to wet the spoon in the oil after every few times because the batter will stick to it.) Stir the dough balls in the oil to ensure they get golden on all sides. Repeat until all of the batter is used up.
Remove the awwameh from the oil with a slotted spoon and place into the syrup (the syrup should be room temperature). Stir the awwameh in the syrup until uniformly coated and then plate.