Here we call them doughnuts, or donuts for short. But there are as many words for deep-fried dough treats as there are lands where they are enjoyed.
Italian doughnuts are called zeppole, or bombolini for the filled variety. Spain brought its churros to Mexico. A similar pastry, known in Turkish as tulumba, can be found around the Middle East. Dutch oliebollen and Greek loukoumades are more like fritters.
Street vendors in the Middle East and South Asia sell jalebi; Indian gulab jamun are made with dairy solids instead of grain flour. Farther north in Pakistan and Nepal, you will find balushahi cooked in clarified butter. The Chinese also deep-fry doughs: One breakfast treat, called youtiao, resembles a cruller and is used for dunking.
When Ronit was growing up, her mother used to make sfeni, Moroccan doughnuts served with mint tea. And in our own home we make the Israeli doughnuts called sufganiyot.
Round and puffy sufganiyot are as pretty as they are delicious when made with Ronits recipe: The vanilla bean seeds decorate every bite and the dough is fragrant with vanilla and orange zest.
Israeli Donuts (Sufganiyot)-Click on Recipe