This dessert is called Luqmat Al Qadhi or Luqaymaat “The Judge’s Morsel” or “The Judge’s Bites” and they are popular all over the Middle East. I was told it was given this name because these sweet doughy balls are so delicious that they can sway the opinion of a judge. Whether fact or fiction, this dessert is indeed delicious. I like these to be crispy rather than soft and doughy, and this recipe is just perfect for me. I hope it works out just as well as it does for me.
You will need:
1) 1 cup of white flour
2) 2 tablespoons of corn starch
3) 1 teaspoon of yeast
4) 2 tablespoons of oil (canola, corn, vegetable)
5) 1 teaspoon of sugar
6) 1/8 tsp of salt
7) 1 cup and a 1/2 of warm water or as needed
8) Oil for frying–I used Canola
For the sugar syrup:
1) 1 cup sugar
2) 1 cup water
3) 1/2 tsp of orange blossom water
4) few drops of lemon
5) Thin slice of lemon with peel
Place all of these in a saucepan and boil under medium heat for 15-20 minutes. You want a thick syrup, a watery one will interfere with the crunchy texture of your doughy sweets.
Now to start making the Luqaymaat/bites. Mix the flour, starch and salt together . Mix the yeast and the sugar and add a 1/2 cup of water to them. Then add them to the flour, then add the oil and the rest of the water. Mix the dough well. The consistency should be thicker than a cake batter. You should actually be able to scoop it all up in your hand. Cover with a plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. When it has risen, heat the oil under medium heat. It is hot enough when you add a little batter it starts sizzling right away and rises to the surface.
Now you can spoon the batter into the oil in a number of ways. I just place a bowl of water next to me, dip my fingers and then take some dough with the tips of my fingers and drop it carefully into the oil. Then I continue rolling them in the oil until they are golden brown. Fish then out with a slotted spoon, shake out the oil and drop them into the sugar syrup. Continue the same until all the dough is gone. This recipe makes about 3 generous servings or 4 reasonable servings.
*Other suggestions for uniform sized Luqaymaat is to take a spoon and dip it in oil and then fill it with dough and slowly drop it into the oil. Continue until the rest of the dough is done.
Enjoy with sugarless tea or coffee.