Crunchy on the outside, soft and airy in the middle, luqaimat are often dipped in date syrup and served garnished with sesame seeds. An Arabic word that literally means ‘bite-sized’, it is a traditional dessert popular amongst ancient Bedouins for its ease of preparation; the luqaimat is a firm favourite at Iftar experiences during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Known as the gateway to the world of Emirati desserts, they are made of butter, milk, sugar, flour, saffron and cardamom, deep fried and then drizzled with date syrup.
Recipe (1 portion)
125 g All purpose flour
2.5 g Dry yeast
6.25 g Sugar
1.25 g Salt
12.5 g Corn flour
1.25 g Cardamom powder
0.5 g Saffron
87.5 ml Warm water
12.5 g White sesame seeds
25 ml Date syrup (or honey)
250 ml Oil for deep frying
- Add saffron and cardamom to 100 ml of warm water. Set aside.
- Sift flour with salt and set aside.
- Add sugar and yeast to 180ml of warm water and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Mix flour and corn flour, saffron and cardamom mixture and stir.
- Gradually add the yeast mixture and keep on stirring, until the batter looks like cake batter.
- Leave the batter to double in size, may take 30 to 40 minutes.
- The batter now should have bubbles, and be somewhat bouncy.
- Heat oil. Take around a teaspoon from the batter, and carefully drop it in the oil, if it floats quickly, the oil is too hot.
- Scoop the batter with your fingers (take around 1/2 tablespoon from batter), use your thumb to push the batter off your fingers and in the oil, or take 1/2 tablespoon from batter using a spoon and push the batter off it using another spoon.
- After 1 minute of frying, move the luqaimat around using a wooden spoon or spatula, this will make them cook evenly.
- When the luqaimat are light brown, remove them from oil, and place them on kitchen paper.
- Pour the date syrup and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
This recipe is courtesy of Executive Chef Aztaj Eddoukani at Anantara Eastern Mangroves.