Symi is a small island of the Dodekanese to the north of Rhodes. Akoumia are not widely known by even Greeks because they are Symi’s local traditional doughnut recipe and are made only on the island of Symi. These doughnuts are unique because apart from the usual doughnut ingredients, flour, yeast, sugar, salt and water, they have boiled rice in them (the taste of which is not noticeable) and are flavoured with orange and ouzo.
Doughnuts are considered to be the “Sweet of joy”, as they call it in Symi. Whenever a happy occasion occurs on this remote island, whether it is an engagement, a wedding, the birth of a child, the christening of a child, the first tooth of the child, a birthday or a name day, they make these wonderful doughnuts out of the simple ingredients everyone have at home.
During the New Year’s Eve they put a coin in one of them and whoever finds the coin is considered to be the luckiest for the whole year.
I shall give you both the original recipe as well as my twist of it. The original recipe I saw on Anna Drouza’s T.V. show last year when she was still at the National Channel E.T.2 presented by a Symian woman.
I can still remember the reactions of the audience who tried them. Their reactions and comments were enough to convince me that I should try them and the first time I made them was shortly after the TV show.
However this recipe is for mass production. It will make about 100 doughnuts.
Amoumia Symiaka (original recipe)
- 1 kilo all purpose flour
- 250 grams of short grained rice (boiled)
- 1 cup of ouzo
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 40 grams of fresh yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ litre of lukewarm water
- 2 litres of vegetable oil
For sprinkling on top
- 250 grams of sugar
- 250 grams of frosting sugar
- 2- 3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- Dissolve the fresh yeast with lukewarm water.
- Add flour and make a batter which is still soft and watery.
Leave it to rise.
- Add remaining ingredients (except oil) and leave them again to rise and they are ready to be fried.
This is my twist to the recipe:
- 500 grams self rising flour
- 1 tablespoon of dry yeast or 1 sachet (8 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 cup of rice (before boiling)
- The rind and juice of one orange
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of orange liqueur
- 1 cup of lukewarm water, taken from the boiled rice
For sprinkling on top
- Icing sugar (about 2 tablespoons)
- Ground cinnamon (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- Thyme honey
- Corn oil for frying (about 2 cups)
- Boil rice for about 30 minutes and keep one glass of water before draining the rest. Place flour, dry yeast, orange rind, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix them. Add the lukewarm rice water and mix to make a batter. Add the rice, oil, orange juice and orange liqueur and mix well. Cover with a clean napkin and leave about an hour to rise.
- In a skillet heat the oil. Place the dough in the frying pan by using a spoon which occasionally dip into a glass of water, so that the dough may easily slide into the skillet. Fry on both sides and remove on kitchen paper to drain excess oil.
- Serve by sprinkling some icing sugar mixed with cinnamon on top or serve them for breakfast with some Greek thyme honey, as I did.
You will love them!!
Other relevant recipes:
Loukoumades Kypriakoi (Cypriot Potato Doughnuts)