Um Ali

September 13, 2008

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Um Ali is a traditional Arabic dessert dish and is very very rich made almost on every special occasion. Its basically a sort of bread pudding and is one of my all time favourite desserts (and being such a huge food lover categorizing something as my favourite is a big deal!!).

Um Ali translates to Ali’s mother (which Ali – that’s yet to be discovered..). Despite this dish being extremely..extremely.. unbelievably delicious and easy to make, restaurants over here rarely get it right – something always seems to be off, only at times have I tasted one that was just perfect!

So finely I decided how unclever of me .. here I am baking all sorts of fancy stuff and the one thing that I absolutely am in love with I have NEVER made or even considered making!

For the recipe I went to the one person that can totally kick Martha Stewart a$$ (comment not meant to be mean spirited) – My aunt! I got the recipe made some amendments and voila – Um Ali as it should be! 😀

Um Ali

  • Ingredients:

1) 250g Puff Pastry

2) 1/2 cup raisins and dates (chopped and seeded)

3) 1/2 cup coarsely chopped of your favorite nuts (I used pistachios and almonds)

4) ½ cup sugar

5) 1 Tablespoon rose water

6) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

7) 3  cups whole milk

8) 1/2 cup heavy cream

§ Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter a 1-qt (2L) baking dish.

2) place the puff pastry sheets in the oven for around 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool so you can handle them with your hands. Break the puff pastry into small squares and arrange half the pastry in the buttered baking dish sprinkle with chopped dates and raisons and nuts. Do the same for the remaining half and set aside.

3) Bring the milk and sugar to a boil, whisking occasionally. Whisk in the rose water and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture over the puff pastry. making sure everything is covered.

4) Top with heavy cream and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the top is golden brown.

5) Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes,garnish with chopped nuts. Serve warm.

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I scream .. you scream .. we all..

August 5, 2008

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..scream for DATE ICE CREAM!!

Sometime ago I mentioned that I had made the most insanely delicious date ice cream .. well today you get to meet the recipe.

Where I live (Bahrain) you rarely find any cheap fancy fruit like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and rhubarb. So I have been so envious of all the food blogger’s who somehow have unlimited supply to all these berries and have been posting delicious dessert after another consisting of these "fancy fruit" (as I choose to call them).

So now the only fruit that probably grows in Bahrain’s painfully hot climate that can destroy the above fancy fruit and every other fruit in a  food competition is – dates.

Period. No argument. Cuz then we will have SERIOUS issues!

Dates are wonderful dried, but fresh dates with cold milk or buttermilk – its what I call heaven.

Not only are they so low in calories but they are extremely .. extremely nutritious.

Here are Some interesting facts about dates:

Dates Nutrition Information.

A 100 gram portion of fresh dates is a premium source of vitamin C and supplies 230 kcal (960 kJ) of energy. They are fat free, cholesterol free, and are a good source of fiber Every 100 gram portion includes Vitamin A — 5 mcg beta-carotene and 75 mcg lutein + zeaxanthin and Vitamin B-complex total folate – 13 mcg. A single date contains Vitamin B6 — 0.192 mg. Dates also contain Vitamin A1, B1, B2, B3, B5, C and more than 20 different amino acids, helping us digest and assimilate carbohydrates easier and control blood sugar levels and fatty acids content in our bodies. The selenium lowers the risk of cancer and heart diseases, as well as helps us keep our immune systems healthy. As a single date contains around 23 calories, this very low calorie count and the huge amount of healthy substances in dates make them one of the best nutrition sources for a diet plan menu.

A 100 gram portion of fresh dates is a premium source of vitamin C and supplies 230 kcal (960 kJ) of energy. They are fat free, cholesterol free, and are a good source of fiber Every 100 gram portion includes Vitamin A — 5 mcg beta-carotene and 75 mcg lutein + zeaxanthin and Vitamin B-complex total folate – 13 mcg. A single date contains Vitamin B6 — 0.192 mg. Dates also contain Vitamin A1, B1, B2, B3, B5, C and more than 20 different amino acids, helping us digest and assimilate carbohydrates easier and control blood sugar levels and fatty acids content in our bodies. The selenium lowers the risk of cancer and heart diseases, as well as helps us keep our immune systems healthy. As a single date contains around 23 calories, this very low calorie count and the huge amount of healthy substances in dates make them one of the best nutrition sources for a diet plan menu.

Traditional Medicinal Uses.

Dates have a high tannin content and are used medicinally as a detersive (having cleansing power) and astringent in intestinal troubles. As an infusion, decoction, syrup, or paste, dates may be administered for sore throat, colds, bronchial catarrh, and taken to relieve fever and number of other complaints. One traditional belief is that it can counteract alcohol intoxication. The seed powder is also used in some traditional medicines. The roots are used against toothache.

From www.organicfood.com.au

anyway the recipe:

Note: Since dates are very sweet, there is no sugar whatsoever in this recipe! 😀

Date Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1) 1 cup dates, seeded and roughly chopped

2) 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin

3) 1 ½ cups evaporated milk, whipped

4) ½ teaspoon cardamom powder

5) 3 tablespoon hot water

Directions:

1) Place dates in a bowl with cardamom powder and mash to incorporate.

2) Put 3 tablespoon hot water in a small heatproof bowl and sprinkle over the gelatin. Place over a pan of gently simmering water and stir until dissolved. Pour on to the dates and mix well.

3) Add the whipped evaporated milk and fold to incorporate. Pour the mixture into a plastic freezer container and freeze until half frozen.

4) Place in a food processor until smooth. Spoon back into container and refreeze. Stir after two hours or so.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer 10 minutes before serving and place in the fridge. Garnish with fresh dates if desired.

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