Golden doughnuts dipped in syrup are crispy on the outside and are called Awama.  Awama are light and fluffy on the inside. The dish can be served with a sprinkle of chopped pistachios or without. This dessert is an Arab specialty, but the recipe that follows is from a family from Syria.

This recipe makes 100 doughnuts balls


  • 175 ml water
  • 400 g white sugar


  • 270 g plain flour
  • 1½ tbsp corn flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk powder
  • 7 g instant yeast
  • ⅛ tsp baking powder
  • ⅑ tsp salt
  • 355 ml lukewarm water


  • 500 ml canola oil (or vegetable oil)

To serve

  • 30 g pistachios, finely chopped (optional, you don’t have to put this on.)



  1. For the syrup, place the sugar and water in a saucepan, stir, and bring to a simmer over medium heat until the syrup thickens. This can take 15-20 minutes.


  1. For the dough, whisk together the plain flour and corn flour, milk powder, salt, baking powder, sugar, and instant yeast.


  1. Add the water and mix well until the mixture is smooth.


  1. Cover the dough with cling wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours on the kitchen bench.


  1. Deflate the dough using a spatula by folding the batter. It should reduce significantly in size. Fill the dough in a piping bag with a round tip or get a spoon ready to make dough balls. (This is what the writer’s mother did, as there were no piping bags in Syria.)


  1. Heat oil in a deep pot for frying, (or use a fryer that has a thermometer and fry at the right temperature set your high-temp alarm to 190°C and your low-temp alarm for 177°C) then pipe or spoon small dollops of dough into the oil. Put no more than 10 balls in the oil at one time to avoid the doughnut balls sticking together. Move the balls around using a ladle or spoon so that they brown evenly. Transfer them to a large, flat plate topped with paper towels to absorb excess oil.


  1. Once you’ve fried all the balls, fry them for a few more minutes until they are deep golden. Make sure to constantly move them around the pot to fry them evenly.


  1. Remove them from the oil and immediately toss them into cooled syrup for about 20 seconds before straining. The syrup must be cooled to room temperature. Do not put the doughnuts into hot syrup otherwise, they will become soggy. And, don’t let the doughnuts sit in the syrup too long or they will lose their crunch.


  1. Serve the doughnuts with chopped pistachios.



  • Double frying the balls will give you a nice crunchy texture which keeps crunchy for a while. Although it’s not necessary, it’s highly recommended, otherwise, you run the risk of them getting soggy within a few hours.
  • The dough balls are small, so don’t wait for the oil to get too hot since they will float to the top almost immediately.
  • Make sure the doughnuts get air throughout the bake to avoid the choux pastry collapsing.

This recipe is an SBS Food article By Hoda Alzubaidi