Every restaurant I visited in Dubai included hummus (chickpea paste), baba ghanoush (a Middle Eastern puree of eggplant), tzatziki (Greek dip of cucumber and yoghurt), tabbouleh (Lebanese salad of bulgur wheat and vegetables) and fattoush (Levantine salad with toasted pita bread) on the menu. All were served with pita bread and accompanied main courses of chicken, lamb and or fish. Dried limes and spices were the norm as were goat’s cheese, eggs, olives, honey, fruit, almonds and dates. A favourite of mine, the most popular dessert in the UAE, was UmAli which means “queen of puddings”. Scrumptious!
Yields : one tray enough for four
400g ready-made Puff Pastry
½ cup Raisins
½ cup roughly chopped Pistachio Nuts
100g roughly chopped Pecan Nuts
4 cups Milk
½ cup Cream
1 cup White Sugar
2 t Vanilla essence
20 ml Cinnamon Powder
1) Unroll, the puff pastry and cut this into six pieces. Spray n cook a tray and bake in a hot oven, 200˚C - 220˚C, until cooked
2) Butter an ovenproof dish. Divide each puff piece in half lenghways to form two layers. Place a layer of puff into this dish, braking pieces of puff to fit the base of the dish. Top the puff with some raisins and nuts and continue until the dish is fill. Ensure even distribution of nuts and raisins between the puff layers.
3) Bring the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon to the boil.
4) Pour over the Puff pastry and bake at 180˚C until browned on the top for about 30 minutes
5) Serve hot with whipped cream. Very similar to a bread and butter pudding. Leftover croissants from breakfast can be substituted for the puff pastry amount. Delicious!
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I look forward to hearing from you.