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Luqaimat which is fried dough balls are stacked on a pink plate, bring drizzled by sugar syrup in a clear jug

Luqaimat (Middle Eastern Crunchy Doughnuts)

Luqaimat are dough balls deep fried and then dunked into sugar syrup. They are crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Super addictive and easy to make!
Course Dessert
Cuisine middle eastern
Diet Vegetarian
Keyword Awamat, Awameh, Luqaimat
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 45 pieces
Calories 112kcal


For the Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 lemon slices

For the Dough

  • 1 cup warm water + ¼ cup when kneading
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1.5 cup all-purpose flour spooned in to measure
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Other Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable oil approx. for frying


For the Sugar Syrup

  • In a sauce pan, add the sugar, water, squeeze of lemon juice and the lemon slicecs
  • No need to mix it - place it on the stove top on medium heat
  • Once simmering, lower the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. It will be a thick syrup!

For the Dough

  • Mix together the warm water with the instant yeast in a large bowl. The water should be tap water warm, not boiling hot. Let stand for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Combine together using a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms
  • Continue using your spoon to mix together the dough as you add a bit more water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time. As you add the water, the dough should loosen up slightly. The total water to add during kneading should be around ¼ cup.
  • Once the dough is softer and looser, use your wooden spoon to scoop up the dough and then slap it back down into the bowl. Continue doing this motion 6-7 times. This is a form of kneading and helps the dough to rise well.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a towel and set aside to rise for 1 hour
  • After an hour, using a wooden spoon, scoop up the stretchy and really soft dough into a large plastic freezer bag
  • Using your hands, squish the dough into one corner of the bag and twist the top to form a piping bag shape. This is what will be used to fry the dough Don't cut the corner of the bag until you are ready to fry.

For Frying the Luqaimat

  • Add vegetable oil to a large skillet, enough to submerge the dough balls. Allow the oil to come to temperature for a few minutes
  • Using kitchen scissors, make a small cut at the corner of the bag. Ensure it's not too big or the balls will come out really large.
  • Dip the scissors in the oil. Position your arm above the oil, and squeeze out some of the dough, then cut it off using the scissors so it falls into the oil. You need to be quick with this movement if you want a round shape (otherwise the shape will be irregular which is okay too!)
  • Use the first one to test the oil temperature. If it starts to bubble, that means the oil is ready. If not, wait a few more minutes
  • Continue to squeeze out the dough and cut until you fill the surface. Using a large spider (or skimmer), take out the luqaimat once they are a light golden brown and place into an empty bowl
  • Fry the dough in 2-3 batches as necessary, depending on the size of your frying pan. As you finish one batch, place it separate from the second batch so you can keep track of which batch is coolest
  • Once the luqaimat have cooled slightly, add them back into the hot oil for a second round of frying. Frying them twice will ensure a crispy outside. This time, fry until they turn a deep brown colour.
  • Remove and dunk them into the sugar syrup, then remove and add them to a plate. Serve immediately.



  • When measuring the flour, be sure to use a spoon and spoon it into the measuring cup. This ensures an accurate measurement (vs. dunking the cup straight into the flour bin and risking over measuring)
  • Be sure to fry the Luqaimat twice! That's the key to a really crunchy outside. You want them to also develop a deep brown colour
  • Another method of frying is using a small, oiled ice cream scoop or fruit scooper to shape the balls. It works, but I find the piping bag much easier


Serving: 1piece | Calories: 112kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 6mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg