LUKAIMAT- A quintessential of Ramadan
This one is damn funny. I was looking around for Indian sweets, a month or two after my arrival in Bahrain for the first time. In those days, there wasn’t any Indian sweet shop nearby my area. Haldiram’s packed tin sweets were not available in all super markets. I was craving for sweets, and that too Indian. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an expert pair of hands in making Indian sweets during those days. So I was confined to just a few of them. Days passed by and the festivities almost started with the Ramadan and I was experiencing it for the first time. One early afternoon, I happened to visit a traditional pastry shop to buy some sweets as I had an Iftar invitation that evening. There I saw a huge pile of syrupy small Gulab-Jamun like sweet, but a little different. These weren’t immersed in the syrup, unlike regular Gulab-Jamuns. To my excitement after seeing those and assuming to be Gulab-Jamuns, I asked them to pack half a kilo of it. Once I came back home, there was no waiting at all and I immediately opened the box. In fact I was telling Biman (my husband) Bahrainis also have Gulab-Jamuns on special occasions. By its look, it wasn’t syrupy so I assumed it will be less sweet, hence less calories ha ha ha ha. I popped one into my mouth and was like surprised, said it aloud gosh! This is not at all Gulab-Jamun, something very light, fluffy and not very sweet, just the sweetness of honey and flavor of saffron. Much later I got to know this is “LUKAIMAT”, a very traditional Arabic dessert or sweet made during Ramadan. It’s one dish known by different names in different middle eastern region, like in bahrain it’s called as ‘Gaymat’.
LUKAIMAT is like, what is Roasted turkey for Thanks Giving, Gujiya for Holi, Sheer Korma for Eid ul-Fitr and Pithas for Bihu festival. Though quite easy to make, these dishes are made in every household only during festivals and I think, that’s how these simple recipes has their own sweet charm. This quintessential sweet prepared during Ramadan is made with just a handful of ingredients.
1. 1 cup all-purpose flour.
2. 1 teaspoon sugar.
3. 1 tablespoons corn starch.
4. 1 teaspoon oil.
5. 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder.
6. 3/4 cup warm water (you may need less, depends on the flour you’re using).
7. 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast.
8. Few strands of saffron.
9. Oil for frying.
1. 1 cup sugar.
2. 1 cup water.
3. A pinch of saffron.
4. A pinch of cardamom powder.
1. Mix all the ingredients by add water and combine them well. Blend well until you get a smooth batter.
2. Now, cover, and let it rest in a warm place till it is double in size May for about an hour.
3. Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Once the oil is hot reduce to medium heat.
4. To check how hot the oil is, take a teaspoon of the batter, and drop it in the oil, if it floats quickly, the oil is too hot.
5. Now dip a spoon in some oil, then take a heaped teaspoon from batter, push the batter off using your finger or with another spoon.
6. When the dumplings are light brown, remove from oil, and place them on kitchen paper.
7. Now you can either Pour your favorite syrup on top or dip your Lukaimat in syrup and take it out (I’ve used honey syrup, one can also use date syrup instead of regular ones). The syrup should be at room temperature.