4 cups plain flour
3 1/3 cups plain flour and
2/3 cup wholemeal flour
3/4 tsp yeast dissolved in 1 cup warm water
1 tsp black onion seed or sesame seeds
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups white sugar
1 cup tap water
1 tsp citric acid
1 tsp rose water (or enough to eliminate any citric acid taste) or orange blossom water
Note: this dough is sticky-ish. this dough has a yoghurt-like consistency. this dough is incredibly yummy when cooked.
Sift the plain flour into a large aluminium pot or cooking bowl.
Add the wholemeal flour, sugar, salt, and black onion seed.
Make sure all the dry ingredients are well combined.
Make a well in the middle and add the 1 tsp yeast dissolved in 1 cup water.
Begin to mix through. Add the extra cups of water gradually. This is when the dough becomes really sticky, but fret not.
After the ingredients are well combined, “hold” the dough in your hand and “bang it” against the sides of the bowl/pot. It’d sound almost as though you’re popping a balloon.
Repeat this process for a few more minutes. Mixing, pounding. Mixing, pounding.
As you do this, if you see any clumps of flour try to squeeze them apart.
Cover the pot with a lid and tea towel and place in a sunny spot for no less than 1 hour.
In the meantime, make the rosewater syrup. Method below.
Uncover and take a look. If your dough has 100s of bubbles, then you’re done, otherwise, leave it for another hour to “bubble”.
If after a few hours your dough doesn’t look like the one pictured, then you haven’t put enough yeast. Just dissolve 1 tsp yeast in 1/2 cup water and add, then leave to rise. The good thing about this dough is that you can leave it for days on end in the fridge after it rises, so no need to be concerned.
Heat up the deep fryer. Drop in a little piece of flat bread. When it turns into a golden brown colour, the oil is ready for your awaamah!
Using a spoon or your hand, “punch down” the dough to get rid of the air bubbles.
—-Link to video of this method in the footer—-
With one hand, hold what you can of the dough.
Squeeze it gently so a teaspoon-sized amount comes out between your thumb and index finger.
Use the other hand to quickly spoon it off your hand and drop it into the oil.
Keep your hand and spoon well coated in cool oil so the dough doesn’t stick to them.
Repeat this until your deep fryer is almost full. Make sure you drop them in where they won’t stick to ones already in the pot.
TAKE TWO: oil the inside of a piping bag, use a round, large opening to squeeze out some dough into the deep fryer. Use a spoon, spatula or finger to push it off the opening. Note that I have never tried this method, so I’m not sure if it works. Give it a shot if you’re a super-chef and let me know how it went :D
When you drop the awaamah into the oil, it should puff instantaneously and rise to the top.
Do not completely fill your deep fryer with awaamah puffs. You’ll be adding more later.
Fry the awaamah until a very faint golden colour appears. Remove from the deep fryer and leave aside.
Note: while they are frying, keep tossing them with a frying colander (you might need to ask someone for help with this).
Repeat this for another batch. This time, add the first batch into the deep fryer again, so they can finish cooking.
This double-frying process allows the awaamah puffs to cook completely (the uncooked part turns face down into the oil – it’s amazing).
As they cook, remember to keep tossing them.
When a golden brown colour is reached, immediately remove from the deep fryer and soak with a paper towel.
Place in the rosewater syrup (while the puffs are still hot) for a few minutes to absorb.
Remove and dish up.
If you see that the rosewater syrup is not enough, you can skip the paper towel and straight away coat these puffs in a dried thyme mixture (I buy this mixture from Indian and Mediterranean stores. It has dried, crushed thyme and sesame seeds in it).
You’ll find yourself coming back for more and more … and more..
To make the rosewater syrup, combine the sugar and water in a non-stick tefal pot over medium heat.
When the sugar melts and the mixture boils, turn the heat down completely, and stir slowly for another 3 minutes.
Add the citric acid, continually stirring.
Add the rosewater. Stir for another 2 minutes.
Taste a bit of syrup (be sure not to burn yourself). If it tastes citric-y then add some more sugar, about a table spoon, no more.
Stir for a few more minutes, then pour into a medium-large bowl.
Leave aside to cool completely. When the awaamah is ready to be coated, you can pop them straight into the bowl and toss.
Eat the awaamah puffs while they’re warm and fresh with ice cream (rosewater ones), or a hot cup of tea (thyme ones). Either way…
For added assurance, watch from minute 3 to minute 4 of this video to see how awaamah puffs cook.. :D