A Taste of Emirati Tradition: Homemade Luqaimat

This sweet and addictive Emirati treat is a cross between dumplings and doughnuts.

Dubai has built a formidable reputation for its international restaurants – it’s possible to experience almost any style of world cuisine from this delicious, food-forward city. However, the Emirates more than hold their own when it comes to delicious, traditional dishes. From the succulent aromas of roasted lamb khuzi to juicy, fresh-off-the-grill shawarma served on pillowy flatbreads, there are plenty of authentic flavours to tuck into.


If you prefer your traditional treats sweet, Luqaimat is a sure-fire way to satisfy sugar cravings. Luqaimat translates roughly to ‘little bites’. These spherical dumplings have a very similar texture to doughnuts, and are usually sweetened with honey, sticky date sauce or sugar. The perfect specimen is a pleasing golden brown on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, with plenty of crunch when you bite into it. The best part? You can make it today with a few store-cupboard staples.


This simple Luqaimat recipe is very easy to follow, with a quick, no-knead dough that’s mixed and left to rest for an hour, then deep-fried for crispness. Just be warned: these small but mighty morsels are so addictive we can’t promise you’ll be able to stop at just one!

Ingredients for the Luqaimat

  • Two cups of plain flour
  • One pack instant yeast
  • Tbsp sugar
  • Tbsp cornflour
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Ingredients for the syrup

  • A cup of caster sugar
  • A cup of water
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)

To make the syrup

1. Let’s start by making a simple syrup. Using a medium-sized pan, mix equal quantities of water and caster sugar. Allow the liquid to come to the boil without stirring, then remove from the heat.

2. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and/or a splash rosewater for flavour. Then, pop the cooled syrup mixture into the fridge to chill until you need it.

To make your Luqaimat

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Separately, combine the yeast with some warm water and leave it for a few minutes to activate (you’ll see it start to bubble and fizz when it does).

2. Add your active yeast to the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly into a loose dough. Then, cover with a cloth and leave your dough to rest in a warm, dark spot for about an hour.

3. Time to get frying! Heat up some oil in a deep fryer or pan and mix your batter one more time before frying. Use an icing or food bag to pipe out balls of batter into the oil, cutting cleanly with scissors as you go. Try not to overcrowd the pan!

4. Your Luqaimat will turn a deep golden brown and float to the top of the oil when they’re ready.

5. Drain them and pat lightly with some kitchen roll to remove any excess oil.

6. Roll them in your syrup to coat, serve while still hot and enjoy!

(*) Average meal price calculated on the basis of starter and main course or main course and dessert, excluding drinks, menu and promotional offers. The average price is an estimate only, calculated according to the prices provided by the restaurant. Depending on the country, the average price may or may not include all taxes.