Desserts are one of my simplest indulgences in life, and those from the Middle East are some of my favorites. One such dessert is Luqaimat.

For me, Luqaimat is like the Arab version of donut balls. Literally translated as “bite size” in Arabic, Luqaimat is a popular treat in local homes across the Gulf region. The Arabs are well-known for their hospitality, and Luqaimat is often served to welcome guests. The dessert is also prepared during the holy month of Ramadan, and is commonly used to break “saum” (fast) and to start Iftar (evening meal after breaking the fast).

Luqaimat is prepared by first creating a smooth batter made of flour, yeast, cardamom and saffron. The batter is used to make pastry balls that are deep-fried until they are a nice golden color. The balls are then dipped into date syrup or honey. There is no sugar used in the preparation of Luqaimat, so the honey and date syrup are the only sweetening agents. Some people also prefer sprinkling different kinds of seeds over the pastry balls. This makes Luqaimat crunchy on the outside while soft and fluffy on the inside.

Luqaimat is usually served with “khava” or Arabic coffee. While this is the traditional way, many modern cafes and restaurants in the Gulf region also serve Luqaimat with a variety of dips.

Note: The pictures and video were taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.