If you’re interested in learning more about Middle Eastern foods, there are several decadent Arabic desserts you can prepare to enhance your cooking skills and impress your friends and family. The coffee culture is very common among the Arabs. If you like coffee you should try these هاريو products. Desserts are also consumed heavily in the Middle East during Ramadan, a month that is considered holy and involves giving and spiritual awareness. While many of the dishes from the Middle East are known for their savory flavors, these sweet treats are just as delicious and add the perfect finishing touch to your Arab dinner. Here are some desserts you can try tonight.
Umm Ali is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that is also very popular in Egypt. The dessert is affordable and easy to prepare, and dates back as far as the Ayybid dynasty. The dish is said to have been created when Egyptian ruler Ezz El-In Aybek’s wife Shagaret El Dorr ordered for her enemy Umm Ali to be put to death after her husband was filled. After Umm Ali’s death, Shagaret El Dorr ordered her chefs to create a delicious dessert in celebration and give the treats to the people of Egypt.
Umm Ali is made from phyllo pastry, double cream, milk, nuts and is often topped with powdered sugar, raisins and shredded coconut. Pine nuts and almonds are often added to the dish as well.
To make Umm Ali, you’ll need:
1 pack phyllo pastry dough
5 cups of milk
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of silvered almonds
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1/4 cup of chopped pistachios
1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Unroll the phyllo and place it on a flat baking sheet. Bake the dough for about 15 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden brown and puffy.
Break the phyllo into pieces and place it in a large bowl. Add the almonds, pine nuts, raisins, pistachios and coconut and toss the ingredients to make sure they are evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into a 9x 13 glass baking dish and spread the ingredients evenly.
Pour milk into a saucepan and stir in the vanilla and sugar. Heat the mixture until it’s hot but not boiling. Pour the milk mixture over the phyllo, fruit and nuts.
Bake the Umm Ali for about 15 minutes. Then turn the oven to the broil setting for two minutes to brown the top. Let the dessert stand for about 5 minutes and serve warm.
Basbousa is a wheat cake that is sweetened with rose water or coconut syrup. The flour that is used to make the cake is the same flour that is often used to make pasta. The dessert is also called Namoura in Syria or Revani in Turkey. To make babousa, you’ll need:
2 cups of semolina flour
1/3 of teaspoon baking powder
1 cup of sugar (an additional cup will be needed for the syrup topping)
1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup of melted butter
1 cup of plain yogurt
1/4 cup of milk (or as needed)
1/4 cup of whole almonds
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, butter and coconut. Add the milk and yogurt and mix until the batter is moist but not runny. If the batter is too dry, add a little more milk. Spread the batter into the baking dish and smooth over the top with a spatula. Decorate the top of the cake with almonds.
Bake the cake for about 40 minutes, or until the dessert is golden brown. While the babousa is baking mix water, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for about five minutes.
Once you take the cake out of the oven, pour the syrup over it. Put it back in the oven for a few minutes, until the syrup is dissolved. Let the babousa sit for about 20 minutes once you remove it from the oven before cutting and serving.
Roz bel Laban (Rice Pudding)
This tasty easy dish is great for a weekday dessert when you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, but don’t want anything too decadent. The dessert is also good for digestion, and is said to have been featured in Middle Eastern medical texts before it made its way to cookbooks. To make roz bel laban, you’ll need:
1 cup of white rice
2 cups of water
3 cups of milk
1 cup of sugar (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 cup of raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon of rose water or orange blossom water (optional)
Rinse the rice and place it in a saucepan with water. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until rice is fully cooked and fluffy. Add milk to the rice and stir constantly. When the mixture starts to thicken, add the sugar and orange blossom or rose water. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Continue to stir the mixture until the rice gets softer. Remove the pudding from the heat and serve in individual bowls or in a large platter. Add a little more cinnamon for garnish.
These are just some of the decadent desserts you can try to become more acquainted with Middle Eastern food. Once you get the hang of these recipes, you’ll likely be excited to try more.