Ramadan Dessert Recipe: Awama Dough Balls With Wild Fennel Kaymak Cream

Awama fried dough balls are usually sweet, and eaten with a thick coating of sugar syrup

 Rotem Maimon
Rotem Maimon
Awama with wild fennel kaymak cream.
Awama with wild fennel kaymak cream.Credit: Moti Milrod
 Rotem Maimon
Rotem Maimon
User rating:
4 Stars

Refraining from food and drink during the course of the day during Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims throughout the world, serves as a reminder of the poverty and need in the world.

>>> More Ramadan desserts: Sabriyah Abu Beri’s hilbe (fenugreek) pastry

Yet Ramadan is also associated, surprisingly, with weight gain, due to the large meals eaten at the end of each day of fasting, which usually include an abundance of traditional sweets.

Nashat Abbas of Sahara Palace restaurant is a prominent figure in the conceptual revolution surrounding Arab cuisine in Israel. Awama (fried dough balls) is usually sweet, and is eaten with a thick coating of sugar syrup. Since Ramadan falls this year precisely in the spring, Abbas chose to combine it with kaymak cream from Kfar Tavor, seasoned with wild fennel, currently in peak season.


300 g flour (2 cups + 2 tsps)

150 ml water (2/3 cup)

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cornstarch

15 gm (1 heaping tbsp) dry yeast

Oil for frying

Ground pistachios

1 kg sugar

½ liter water (2 cups + 2 tbsps)

1 tsp lemon

4 tbsps kaymak or mascarpone cheese

6 wild fennel stalks – if unavailable, you can use stalks from a head of ordinary fennel

4 tbsps sweet cream

2 tbsps finely ground sugar


Preparing the syrup:

In a small pot, heat the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Allow the water to boil for about 3 more minutes, add the lemon and lower the flame. Simmer for a total of about 3 minutes. Remove from the flame and set aside

Awama with wild fennel kaymak cream.Credit: Moti Milrod

Preparing the cream:

Grind the fennel stalks in a food processor with the sweet cream and powdered sugar. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer to drain the liquids.

In a mixer bowl, beat the kamyak or mascarpone and add the fennel until they come together in a creamy texture. Taste and sweeten as necessary

Nishat Abbas at Sahara Palace.Credit: Moti Milrod

Preparing the awama:

In a mixer with a kneading hook mix the yeast and the water. Once the yeast bubbles, add the rest of the ingredients and knead at low speed until a uniform dough comes together (about 7 minutes).

Cover the bowl with the dough in cling wrap and leave at room temperature for an hour or until it doubles in volume.

After the dough has risen, press down on it with your palm to remove the air and allow to rise again, until it doubles in volume.

Heat a pot or a deep skillet with oil for deep frying.

After the dough rises, press down on it with your palm again. Form ping-pong sized balls, and set aside.

When the oil is hot, fry the dough balls until they are golden. Fry in small batches, in order to avoid cooling the oil. The awama will float when ready. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer directly into the syrup. Allow the awama to soak up the syrup for a minute, making sure that they are fully covered. Remove and place on a serving plate.

Garnish with ground pistachios, and serve alongside the kaymak and wild fennel cream.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:


Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu