Make your own homemade loukoumades (Cypriot honey doughnut balls)
The sixth of January marks the Christian feast day of the Epiphany in Cyprus. And while the religious significance of the day celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan, alternative traditions have emerged, passed down through generations of Cypriots.
One of these traditions includes the making and eating of Loukoumades across the island. Also known as Xerotiana which literally translates to ‘hard fried’, these delicious, crispy, golden honey balls were traditionally made on the sixth of January to ward of the evil little goblin-like rascals known around the region as kallikantzaroi. Legend has it that by throwing Loukoumades onto your roof on epiphany, these mischievous spirits will be bribed into leaving you and your house alone throughout the year.
And the mouth-wateringly sweet, delectably moreish treats are so tasty that it’s easy to see why the cheeky kallikantzaroi are tempted by them.
Usually, Cypriots across the island go out in search of Loukoumades on the 6th, but this year some of you might prefer to stay home and attempt to recreate the tasty delights from the safety and comfort of your own kitchens.
So, without further ado, here is Prinos’ recipe for homemade Loukoumades:
For the Dough You will Need:
- 1kg of plain flour
- 3 tablespoons of yeast
- 1 teaspoon of salt (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon of honey (substitute with sugar if creating a vegan version of this recipe)
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
- 5 cups of warm water (add more if needed)
For the Syrup You will Need:
- 1kg of sugar
- 5 cups of hot water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3-4 cloves (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- orange blossom water (optional)
- In a large bowl, mix the flour and yeast, before adding the salt, vanilla, honey (or sugar) and water, then slowly and carefully blend the mixture together by hand until it becomes smooth and elasticated.
- Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave in a dry and warm place for around 1-2 hours, or until it has risen and has doubled in size.
- While your dough is sitting you can make the syrup. For the syrup, mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves, lemon juice and orange flower water in a pan together with the warm water. Mix the ingredients over a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, then set aside to cool.
- Once your syrup has cooled and the dough has risen, heat the oil in a large pot to fry the balls.
- Using a spoon and a large glass of water, scoop out small balls of dough, (dipping your spoon back into the water in between each scoop to make sure the dough does not stick to the spoon).
- Drop a few scoops of the dough into the hot oil at a time, cooking and flipping in batches, until the balls are evenly golden brown and crispy on each side.
- Remove each batch from the oil and set aside to drain on paper towels to remove any excess oil, before drizzling them with the syrup and sprinkling them with the crushed biscuits, cinnamon or chopped walnuts.
- Enjoy – Kali Orexi!
Don’t forget that you can always put your order online at shop.prinos.eu.