I read somewhere today morning, “Food has no religion”. It is one of the truest facts globally. We Indians, eat Italian, Mexican, Chinese and other cuisines most of the time…Similarly, Indian curry is consumed widely in England.
Back home for example, I am a Gujarati but I enjoy Maharashtrian, Punjabi, Rajasthani, South-Indian and various other cuisines – locally as well as globally. I know scores of other people who enjoy food just as me and don’t really bother about the cultural origins o the cuisine.
Isn’t it always like that? Food should all be about “Based on taste, based on vegetarianism or non-vegetarianism – depending on your beliefs, based on maybe even sustainable sourcing of the ingredients or the preparation of the dish but never on if its from a particular cultural or religious origin”.
Try and think of it. Have you ever refused the piece of cake saying its American or a British creation, or that cup of Masala chai saying its Indian and I don’t drink Indian stuff? Maybe it could be you don’t like it but you never refuse it saying its because of its regional origins. Food is culture on a plate. It should be explored.
It was Eid a couple of days back. I usually celebrate most of the festivals at home but by cooking up food traditionally made on the festival. Gudi-Padva would see PuranPoli (Sweetened Lentil stuffed wheat flour pancakes) being made or Christmas would see the Christmas Pudding, Ganesh festival would see the traditional Rice flour modaks and similar. For me, its about celebrating the food route.
I had never celebrated Eid earlier, primarily because most of the traditional foods were non-vegetarian. Of course, they do look delish when other people make it …Like the Haleem or the Chicken tikkas and more. And there are the traditional desserts like the Sevaiyyan but I prefer going out of the box sometimes.
This time round, I did a bit of research. I found this recipe online of a Middle Eastern dessert called Luqaimat.
While traditionally, luqaimat is served with a date syrup, I tried a bit of my own tweaking and came up with a few ideas.
Here’s how my Luqaimat panned out. Luqaimat in simpler words can be described as Bread batter deep fried and sweetened.
Plain flour – 1 cup
Castor Sugar – 2 tablespoons
Fresh Yeast – 2 teaspoons
Water – about ½ to ¾ cups [depending on the consistency required]
Corn-starch – 1 tablesoon
Oil for deep-frying
Water – 1 cup [approx 200ml]
Sugar – about 3-4 tablespoons
- Mix the flour, sugar, corn-starch.
- Dissolve the yeast in 2 tablespoons of warm water.
- Add this to the dry ingredient mix above.
- Add about ½ cup of water to the mix and whisk well till a smooth batter – a little thicker than a pancake is made. If needed, add a little more water.
- Leave covered in a warm area to ferment for about an hour.
- Once proven, the mix will look like fermented bread dough – but will be a little bit more loose.
- Heat oil in a pan for deep-frying. Don’t get it to smoking hot point.
- Oil the spoons. Using one spoon, spoon a little blob from the mix. Using the 2nd spoon, scrap it from the first spoon directly into the oil. A small ball shaped should be formed.
- Fry for about a minute till the ball is browned.
- Take out and drain on absorbent paper.
For the syrup:
- Heat the water in a pan and add the sugar.
- Heat till the sugar dissolves and slightly thick syrup is formed.
- Toss the warm dough balls in the sugar syrup.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on the sugar tossed balls. Serve warm.
OPTION 2: This is my absolute favourite.
- Make a mixture of 2 tablespoons icing sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon powder.
- Sift this mixture over the warm dough balls coated with honey.
- Toss well and serve warm.
Serving accompaniments –
- Berry sauce
- Custard Cream
- Cream cheese frosting
- Add a pinch of saffron to the sugar syrup before tossing the balls.
- Toss the dough balls in this syrup and sprinkle a bit of crushed cardamom on it.
- Mix well and serve warm. Sprinkle sesame seeds too if you like.