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Awama (عوامة) is an Arabic doughnuts which is a deep-fried dough balls soaked in sugar syrup. It is made from flour, yeast, water, and cornstarch which is fried till golden brown. Often served warm, it is a popular sweet dessert in the Middle Eastern cuisines that is commonly served during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

Middle Eastern fried doughnut ball Awama / Awameh coated with syrup serve in a plate.
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During my Ramadan experience in Kuwait & Jordan, my Jordanian late mother-in-law (may she rest in peace) used to make an Arabic dessert called Awama or Awameh. These are usually served a few hours after breaking our fast or after the isha prayer. They are coated in sugar syrup and are best enjoyed with hot mint tea.

In some countries such as the Gulf Arab countries & Iraq, it has different names which they call “Luqaimat” or “Luqma”. While in Levantine countries- such as Jordan, we are familiar with the term Awama / Awameh / Awamat.

In this post, I made my version of Awama which is an easy recipe to make. Although it is traditionally served during Ramadan, you can actually make it for any occasion. If you’re a fan of doughnuts, then you’re going to love this recipe.

Recipe Ingredients

The ingredients I use to make Awama recipe is simple since it is almost the same when making a dough bread:

I. For the Doughnuts

  1. Flour: I use an all-purpose flour for my recipe.
  2. Water: When adding on the flour, this will help make my dough soft and sticky.
  3. Instant Yeast: This will help raise the dough.
  4. Salt: It will add flavor to my doughnut and balance the sweetness from the sugar syrup.
  5. Cornstarch: This will give a crispy texture of my Arabic sweet ball on the outside while at the same time maintaining softness on the inside when fried.

II. For Sugar Syrup

  1. Granulated sugar: This will give sweetness to my syrup.
  2. Water: This will serve as a liquid base by diluting the sugar.
  3. Lemon juice: The lemon balances the sweetness of the syrup.

When do you serve this doughnut recipe?

Awama / Awameh is a dessert that is served after having a heavy meal. Traditionally, we serve this during the month of Ramadan, which is usually a few hours after breaking the fast or sometime after the Isha prayer.

Furthermore, you can also make this during other days special occasions like Eid Fitr, family gatherings, or any day you like. When making these Arabic sweet balls, I highly recommend you serve them right away after soaking them in sugar syrup, since they taste good when it’s warm. I am sure you don’t want it to be soggy and cold.

Cooking Instruction

I. Making the Dough

  • Firstly, to make the dough, I mixed warm water with brown sugar and instant yeast.
  • In a separate bowl, I added all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and salt, and I then poured the water-yeast mixture.
  • I stir gently until it has a soft & sticky texture. Cover it with a thin cloth and leave it 1 hour to grow in size.

II. Frying the Doughnuts

  • Once the dough was ready, I poured vegetable oil into a cooking pot on medium heat. Wait till it starts to become hot
  • Now, this part is tricky. Scoop a teaspoon of dough into your non-dominant hand between the thumb and the index finger. Your hand must be in the shape of a fist, as shown in the picture above. Then, use the spoon or your thumb to push the dough off into the hot oil.
  • Repeat the process, and add as many round balls until it fills up the space. Fry it on both sides until it becomes golden brown.
  • Transfer into the plate and set it aside.

III. Making Sugar Syrup

  • Now this part is easy, I combine water, sugar, and lemon juice in a separate pan.
  • Let it boil or simmer in low heat until the sugar is completely diluted.
  • Lastly, I transfer the Arabic doughnuts into the syrup and make it gently.
  • Serve this delicious Middle Eastern sweet dumplings with hot tea with your loved ones. Enjoy!
Middle Eastern fried doughnut ball Awama / Awameh coated with syrup serve in a plate.Middle Eastern fried doughnut ball Awama / Awameh coated with syrup serve in a plate.

Tips and Hints

  • Serve Awama immediately the moment you soak it in sugar syrup. This dumpling is best served when it’s freshly warm to maintain its crispy texture. If you serve it late, it may become soggy and cold.
  • The leftover sugar syrup can be kept in the fridge for up to several weeks as long you store it in an air-tight container.
  • If you like your Arabic sweet balls darker brown, re-fry it till you’re satisfied with the color.
  • The batter must have a sticky consistency and not be too thick or watery.

Recipes to make before serving Awama

Here are my recommended recipes to cook for your family during Ramadan before serving Awama:

📋 Recipe Card

Awama (Arabic Sweet Balls)

Cecilie Rocaberte

Awama is a Middle Eastern doughnuts which consists of a deep-fried dough balls soaked in sugar syrup. It is traditionally served warm and enjoyed during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Course Dessert

Cuisine Middle Eastern, Arabic

Servings 5 people

Calories 535 kcal

Ingredients  

For the Doughnuts

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • ½ cup vegetable canola oil For Frying

For Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of white granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Instructions 

Making the Dough

  • Combine warm water with brown sugar and instant yeast in a large cup to prepare the dough.

  • In a separate bowl, mix all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and salt before adding the water-yeast mixture.

  • Stir gently until the dough reaches a soft and sticky texture. Cover it with a thin cloth and let it rise for one hour.

Frying the Doughnuts

  • Pour vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat.

  • Once hot, scoop teaspoon-sized portions of dough into your non-dominant hand in a fist shape between the thumb and index finger. Use a spoon or your thumb to drop the dough into the hot oil.

  • Repeat the process until the pot is filled with round dough balls, frying them until golden brown on both sides.

  • Transfer the fried dough balls to a plate.

Making the Sugar Syrup

  • Prepare a sugar syrup by simmering water, sugar, and lemon juice in a separate pan. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely.

  • Gently immerse this Arabic doughnuts into the syrup to soak in the flavors.

  • Serve these delicious Middle Eastern sweet dumplings with hot tea for a delightful treat enjoyed with loved ones.

Notes

  • Serve this Awama right away when it is warm to maintain its crispiness.
  • Store the leftover sugar syrup in an air-tight container in the fridge.  

Nutrition

Serving: 5gCalories: 535kcalCarbohydrates: 79.4gProtein: 5.9gFat: 22.5gSaturated Fat: 1.9gSodium: 911mgPotassium: 111mgFiber: 1.8gSugar: 40.6gCalcium: 13mgIron: 3mg

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