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Hands holding a green plate full of loukoumades fritters decorated with crushed pistachios.
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Loukoumades ( Lokma or Zalabya)

Loukoumades is the most famous Mediterranean dessert especially during holidays. Everyone's favorite sweet fritters, one round ball that is, usually, dunked in simple syrup. Crunchy on the outside, soft and fluffy inside. A wildly popular golden nuggets street dessert.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Rising time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Egyptian, Greek, Mediterranean, Middle East, Turkish
Servings: 5
Calories: 169.1kcal
Author: Amira


  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour.
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sugar.
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dry yeast.
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch.
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup plain full fat yogurt.

For the syrup:

  • 2 cups sugar.
  • 1 1/4 cup water.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.
  • 1/4 cup honey.

Flavors for the syrup: Use any of the following

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Or cinnamon stick, 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water or rose water.

For the chocolate syrup

  • 4 oz semi sweet chocolate.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon corn syrup.
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar.
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream.

Cinnamon sugar

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar.
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
  • Nuts for garnishing:
  • Roughly chopped pistachios or hazelnuts.
  • Oil for frying.


Start the dough:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add flour, sugar, yeast and mix for 30 seconds to combine.
  • Add water until a hard dough forms, if you find it too hard and does not come together add another tablespoon of water and mix.
  • Cover and let it set for 30 minutes.

Make the syrup:

  • Combine syrup ingredients with the flavor of your choice in a medium sauce pan, stir to combine ingredients well.
  • Bring to a boil on medium-high heat then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool down completely.

Make the chocolate syrup:

  • In a medium bowl or measuring cup add chocolate and corn syrup.
  • In a small sauce pan , stir together sugar and heavy cream until sugar dissolve, heat until just about bubbling at the edges,
  • Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and corn syrup and mix with a spatula until well combined.
  • Set aside

Finish the dough:

  • After the 30 minutes, add yogurt to the mixture and knead with the flat beater for almost 5 minutes or until dough comes together.
  • Cover and let it rise for 1 hour at least or place in your fridge for up to 24 hours.

Fry dough balls

  • Heat oil for frying on medium-high heat.
  • When oil is hot, reduce heat to medium and start frying the dough.
  • Using a small ice cream scoop, dipped in oil form small balls and drop into the oil to fry.*
  • Oil the ice cream scoop every now and then to ensure that the dough will glide easily from the scoop.
  • After the pan is full with dough balls, raise the heat up again to medium-hight.
  • Fry the balls until they are golden brown.**
  • Immediately take the dumplings out and dunk them in the simple syrup, stir to coat.
  • Get the dumplings out of the syrup after 5 minutes and place in a colander to drip excess syrup.
  • You can roll the balls in cinnamon sugar or make the chocolate syrup and pour it over. You can also dust the dumplings with powdered sugar.
  • Serve immediately as it is better when fresh.


* If you do not have an ice cream scoop, you can use 1/2 Tablespoons measuring spoon.
** The more you fry your dumplings, the crispier it gets. So try for the first couple of balls until you find the color that satisfies you.
Make ahead tip: You can actually make the batter ahead and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to fry, take the bowl out and let it come to room temperature. This might take from 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can also make the sugar syrup ahead of time, let it cool down as it needs to be room temperature as well.
Nutrition facts are calculated for the dough only without the topping.
Please check the nutrition disclaimer policy.
Vitamins are in percentage value. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Adapted from Chef Manal's recipe.


Calories: 169.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 6.3g | Sodium: 9.9mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 2.2g | Calcium: 2.7mg | Iron: 8.4mg