Lugaimat – Crispy Mini Donuts

1 hour 30 minutes
30 minutes
2 hours
8 people
We all know donut holes but what about Lugaimat?! These mini donuts are popular all throughout North Africa and the Middle East and they’re irresistibly delicious. There are so many different names from them but one thing we all agree on is how good they are. The dough is super easy to make and the best part is the toppings and flavors are endless!
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Lugaimat – Crispy Mini Donuts

We all know donut holes but what about Lugaimat?! These mini donuts are popular all throughout North Africa and the Middle East and they’re irresistibly delicious. There are so many different names from them but one thing we all agree on is how good they are. The dough is super easy to make and the best part is the toppings and flavors are endless!

What are Lugaimat?

I call these mini donuts lugaimat but some other countries call them Lugma, luqma al qadi, zalabiya, or even awameh. Essentially, they are Middle Eastern fried dough balls that are super crunchy on the outside while super soft on the inside. The texture in the center is not only super soft but it has an almost airy spongey texture that is addicting. Most traditionally, they are dipper in honey or a simple syrup but now you can find them with all sorts of chocolate and cookie sauces. Let’s learn how to make it at home!

Making the Dough

To get started, let’s talk dough. It’s the heart and soul of this recipe, so you want to get it just right. Now I need to put a disclaimer, this dough is very unique and unlike any other you’ve probably made before. So don’t go in expecting a typical dough you’ve made for doughnuts or pizza. It’s super wet and sticky and meant to be a poureable dough.

In a large mixing bowl, combine warm milk and instant yeast. Give it a good whisk until the yeast is fully dissolved. Then, add in a tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon of salt, and a mixture of all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Using a dough hook attachment on your mixer, blend everything together until you’ve got a wet, stretchy dough. I also like to go in with a rubber spatula to beat the dough a bit to help make it elastic. It should be so stretchy that you can pull it with a rubber spatula without it breaking – that’s when you know you’re on the right track. If need be, add an extra splash of milk and mix until you acheive that!

Once your dough is ready, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, and let it proof in a warm spot for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size. This step is crucial for getting that airy texture we all love in our lugaimat.

Frying the Donuts

Alright, let’s get to frying these delicious lugaimat! Once you’ve got your dough all prepped and ready to go, it’s time to heat up that oil and bring these little delights to life.

First things first, grab a frying pan or pot and pour in enough vegetable oil to create a depth of about 2 inches or more. You want enough oil to fully submerge the dough balls while they’re frying, but not so much that it’s overflowing from the pan.

Now, heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches a temperature of about 325°F. This is important because if the oil is too hot, the outside of the lugaimat will cook too quickly, leaving the inside doughy and undercooked. Conversely, if the oil isn’t hot enough, the dough will absorb too much oil, resulting in greasy donuts. So, keep an eye on that thermometer!

Once the oil is at the right temperature, it’s time to start frying. Carefully grab your piping bag filled with dough and, using oiled scissors, cut off small rounds of dough directly into the hot oil. Be cautious not to overcrowd the pan – you want to give each lugaima plenty of room to fry evenly.

As the dough balls fry, you’ll notice them puffing up and turning a beautiful golden brown color. Use a slotted spoon or spider strainer to gently flip them over every now and then, ensuring they cook evenly on all sides.

Depending on the size of your lugaimat and the temperature of your oil, they should take anywhere from 3 to 4 minutes to cook through. Keep a close eye on them and adjust the heat if necessary to maintain that steady frying temperature. If they’re browning too quickly, lower the heat. You can always do a test batch with just 3 or 4 donuts first.

Once they’re golden brown and crispy all over, carefully remove the lugaimat from the oil using your slotted spoon or spider strainer, and transfer them to a wire rack set over a paper towel-lined baking sheet. This will allow any excess oil to drain off while they cool. Now we can dress the mini donuts which is the funnest part in my opinion!

Variations to Try

There are so many ways to customize these donuts to your taste! My two favorite ways are with biscoff spread and pistachio sauce. I also add crushed biscoff cookies and crushed pistachios on top of each. If you want more options, here are some more that you can try!

  • Milk Chocolate Drizzle
  • White Chocolate Drizzle
  • Cheesecake Sauce with Strawberries
  • Cinnamon Sugar Churro
  • Simple Syrup infused with Orange Blossom Water
  • Honey and Crushed Nuts

With these variations and toppings, the possibilities are endless when it comes to making your own unique spin on traditional lugaimat. So go ahead, get creative, and enjoy experimenting with different flavors and textures to create your perfect bite!

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Lugaimat – Mini Crispy Donuts

We all know donut holes but what about Lugaimat?! These mini donuts are popular all throughout North Africa and the Middle East and they’re irresistibly delicious. There are so many different names from them but one thing we all agree on is how good they are. The dough is super easy to make and the best part is the toppings and flavors are endless!

We all know donut holes but what about Lugaimat?! These mini donuts are popular all throughout North Africa and the Middle East and they’re irresistibly delicious. There are so many different names from them but one thing we all agree on is how good they are. The dough is super easy to make and the best part is the toppings and flavors are endless!

1 hour 30 minutes
30 minutes
2 hours
8 people

Ingredients

THE DOUGH
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk, warm
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
OTHER
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • cookie butter spread
  • crushed cookies
  • pistachio sauce
  • chopped pistachios

Instructions

  1. To a large mixing bowl, add the warm milk and sprinkle the yeast on top. Whisk together well until fully dissolved.
  2. In the same bowl, add the sugar, salt, all purpose flour, and cornstarch. Combine together with a dough hook attachement until a very wet stretchy dough forms. Beat for another 1 to 2 minutes until super stretchy. You should be able to pull it with a rubber spatula without breaking. It might need an extra splash of milk.
  3. Cover with saran wrap and a towel and keep in a warm place to proof for an hour, or until double in size.
  4. Once proofed, add vegetable oil to a frying pan and heat to 325°F.
  5. Deflate the dough with a rubber spatula and transfer to a piping bag.
  6. Cut the tip of the bag off and using scissors dipped in oil, start to push the dough out while cutting off once you have a round ball formed. You can make them as small or as big as you like. Repeat until the pan is full, re-dipping the scissors in oil as needed. You can also use your fingers dipped in oil to pinch the dough off.
  7. Fry until golden brown and crispy and then transfer to a wire rack for any excess oil to drain.
  8. Cover in your favorite syrups or sauces to enjoy warm! I love adding pistachio sauce and cookie butter spread along with crushed pistachios and crushed biscoff cookies.
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