From tomorrow onwards for the next four days, InShaAllah, we will be off from work. Schools and government institutions are already off from today, as they get the Martyr’s Day holiday today, while the private sector gets their holiday shifted to Thursday, thus giving us a relief of a long weekend. A long weekend basically for me means trying new dishes and clicking the maximum I can in the sunlight! 😀 Since the days are shorter now and the sunlight is not as brighter as it is during the summers, it is more of a challenge. Even though I have a lot in my drafts, it has been sometime since I have tried new food, so I am hoping to do some good recipes over this long weekend. We have no outing plans and I actually didn’t want any, as I wanted to just lazy around after having a hectic and haphazard November month. 🙂 That is the fun part – HD’s cousins wanted a trip to Salalah but Azza’s documents are all up for renewal, and when we were thinking of a within-the-Emirates trip, HD has been strictly advised by the doctor against going out, thanks to his chest congestions – so there you go, it is like “sone pe suhaaga”. The kids have been told – we are not going anywhere, so they are keeping their expectation low as well. I am thinking of giving the blog a little breather too, but the itchy character I am, I may just hop in and blog, who knows? 😉
Off to the final recipe of three-Emirati-recipe-series… Lqeimat – they are also called as Luqeimat or just Qeemat – are the most popular and most-sought Emirati dish, I have to say. Any event we go, if there is a stand that sells these dumplings, there will a long queue of people who have already paid up and are waiting for their share, while the lady patiently sits and fries up a big batch in a huge pot of oil. I had posted a picture on Instagram long ago. These dumplings are especially served for Iftar during Ramadan and distributed to a lot of people at that time.
We always get prepackaged dumpling mixes, which I have never wanted to try. When umma was around, she would always say that we would try making these beauties at home. I had a couple of recipes in my cut outs and I had told her that we could make them, alas I never tried them when she was around. After having the Faloodah and Patees recipe, I was wondering what to cook for this three-recipe series, and that is when Lqeimat came into my mind. Many had asked me if I had a recipe, specifically I remember Anusha and Meena.
This recipe was given to me by my cousin’s wife. Their nikaah was in June this year and InShaAllah, this month they are having their reception. May Allah bless their union… Aameen… She is a half local, so you can understand how excited I am to have her around. Hehe… She has promised to share with me some local recipes after checking with her relatives but I decided to give her time. After all, just like me, she is working and she is trying to settle into a new life, so I have to give her some space. 🙂 This recipe is from her aunt and they turned out pretty well. Please don’t mind the shape, since getting the shape right requires a lot of practice, it seems. But after having seen some lqeimats sold in outlets around, I feel mine is better shaped! 😉 These dumplings are not unique to UAE, in fact other GCC and Arab countries have their varied version of it. The main difference is that here, it is served with a generous drizzle of dates syrup and sometimes, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, while other countries tend to serve it with sugar syrup. The date syrup is far healthier, isn’t it? 🙂
A bit of caution though… Please be very careful with the amount of warm water being added to the batter. The batter must be thick. You need to pour just enough water to ensure that the dry ingredients are moist, that’s it. Otherwise, you would get a gloppy dough. Mine was slightly runny, but Alhamdulillah, once it rose, it held shape while frying… Off to the recipe…
Here is another crispy luqeimat version as well…
Lqeimat ~ Emirati Yeasted Dumplings
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup milk powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- A fat pinch saffron strands
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup warm water
- Oil for deep frying
- Date syrup for topping
- Sesame seeds for topping optional
- Combine all the ingredients except water in a bowl and mix well.
- Add water little by little and mix by hands till you have a very thick, sticky batter. It should be literally like a dough.
- Set aside covered for a couple of hours till the mixture is doubled.
- Heat oil for deep frying. To check whether the oil is ready, drop a pinch of the batter. It will sizzle up.
- Dip a teaspoon in water and scoop out some batter. Drop into the oil. Drop in some more spoonfuls into the oil, by dipping the spoon into water after every two to three scoops, to avoid the batter from sticking to the spoon.
- Keep stirring them till the batter is golden brown.
- Drain out onto kitchen towels.
- While warm, top with date syrup and sprinkle with sesame seeds.