Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Food Obsession: Ramadan's the perfect time to try luqaimat

While they closely resemble doughnut holes, luqaimat batter is distinct in that it replaces the butter or shortening with yogurt.

The best luqaimat I have had was gifted to me by an Emirati friend. Her grandmother had fried enough balls of glistening, sweet dough for 50 people, and I was the sole gluttonous recipient of the generous gesture. I knew the wise strategy would be to take two and flee from the box. Ten minutes later, the strategy had miserably failed.

Luqaimat is an Emirati dessert, one that mirrors the loqoumades that were presented as "honey tokens" to winners of the Olympics in Ancient Greece. In Arabic, the word misleadingly refers to small bites. Misleading, because the ping-pong-sized dough balls can be so addictive that they eventually snowball into a colossal dessert binge. While they closely resemble doughnut holes, luqaimat batter is distinct in that it replaces the butter or shortening with yogurt. This gives the fritters a faint sour taste, with insides that are less fluffy than doughnuts, but more squidgy and ideal for sponging up the saffron and cardamom sugar syrup they are typically doused in.

I have enjoyed versions of luqaimat garnished with sesame seeds, and in less disciplined moments, I've been known to go completely overboard and drizzle them with thick date syrup (dibs) and fresh cream. Someone once hinted to me about a cheese version, one that I live in fear of because cheese-filled luqaimat would wipe out any last vestige of self-restraint that I could hope to display at the sight of these fried temptations.

If you've never tried luqaimat, Ramadan is the perfect time to put an end to the frittered ignorance. The dessert makes its way on to many a traditional iftar table - and you feel less guilty indulging when you're upholding a local culinary tradition.

Try them at Al Fanar Restaurant 04 232 9966; Sheikh Mohammad Centre of Cultural Understanding 04 353 6666; Heritage Village.

Arva Ahmed blogs about hidden food gems in Old Dubai at www.ILiveinaFryingPan.com

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 This four-bedroom villa covers 4,790 square feet and is part of a new compound in Umm Suqeim.

In photos: Beachside villa in Umm Suqeim, Dubai for Dh800,000

Taking a closer look at a four-bedroom villa in Umm Seqeim, Dubai.

 Suresh Raina is part of the the IPL's Chennai Super Kings team, which take on Kings XI Punjab on April 18 in Abu Dhabi. Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images / Getty Images

Chennai Super Kings cricketer Suresh Raina spotted at Ferrari World

One of the top batsmen and bowlers of the Indian Premier League’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Raina spent a day at Ferrari World with some of his team mates, and seemed to particularly enjoy the world’s fastest roller-coaster.

 Shah Rukh Khan plays a shot during a friendly match between the members of the support and administrative staff of Royal Challengers Bangalore and his Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team. Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

When the worlds of Bollywood and cricket collide

With the first game of the Indian Premier League beginning today in the UAE, we explore the league’s Bollywood connections, which are as glitzy as they are controversial.

 A rendering of People Abu Dhabi by Crystal. Courtesy People Abu Dhabi by Crystal

People Abu Dhabi by Crystal to open on Saadiyat Island

Abu Dhabi’s nightlife scene just gets better and better. After venues such as O1NE Yas Island and Iris in Yas Marina opening last year, it’s Saadiyat’s turn with the launch of the glamorous People Abu Dhabi by Crystal.

 Dumyé Dolls’s fashionable rag dolls. Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane / The National

Top takeaways from Fashion Forward and where to find them

The ideas and designs that caught our attention and where you can learn more


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National