Luqamaat (Fried Dumplings with Date Syrup)

A recipe for Luqamaat (Fried Dumplings with Date Syrup) from the cookbook, Table Tales.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Emirati
Keyword date, dessert, dumpling, fried, luqamaat, Middle East, Middle Eastern
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 20 -24 Luqamaat


  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 tbsp plain yogurt

For serving:

  • Cooking oil for frying
  • Date syrup or honey
  • Sesame seeds


  • Combine the saffron and rose water. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in 120 millilitres (1/2 cup) of warm water and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, until it begins to froth.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, cardamom, oil, and yogurt. Add the yeast mixture and saffron/rose water.
  • Gradually pour in 120 millilitres (1/2 cup) of water and beat vigorously by hand in a circular motion for 5 minutes, until the batter is smooth and elastic with no lumps. Add more water as needed to get a thick, pancake-like batter and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour. Beat the batter once more.
  • Make the luqamaat in batches in a deep pan that provides a large surface area. Heat the oil until it sizzles when a small piece of dough is added.
  • Using an oiled teaspoon or by hand, drop in multiple 3-centimetre (1-inch) dough balls, but don’t crowd them. Reduce the heat to medium and fry the balls for 10 minutes, stirring continuously with a slotted spoon until the balls are puffed, crisp and golden. They should be slightly crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. The batter is light, so it may produce irregularly shaped balls. Remove the luqamaat to a strainer to drain for a few minutes. Raise the heat under the oil before cooking the next batch and repeat the process.
  • Gently toss the luqamaat with date syrup or honey, coating completely. Sprinkle them with sesame seeds and serve immediately.