x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Emirati chefs give Eid a local flavour with these tasty recipes

Want to create the perfect Eid brunch at home? We've made it easy for you. Four Emirati chefs share their favourite delicious recipes for Eid.

Lamb Thareed dish. Mona Al-Marzooqi/ The National
Lamb Thareed dish. Mona Al-Marzooqi/ The National
We asked four Emirati chefs to give us their favourite recipes for Eid. Put them together and you'll have a tasty (and meaningful) Emirati spread for a perfect Eid brunch.
Starter
Chef Musabbeh Al Kaabi, executive oriental chef, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Dubai
"This dish is the newest in Emirati cuisine as I created it eight months ago. Hatta roll is a fusion of the culture and traditional flavours of Eid and Emirati cuisine. This is shown through the camel products and the local spices, which give traditional Emirati taste."
Hatta roll with camel sour cream sauce
Ingredients (serves 4)
600g skinless chicken thighs
30g large lettuce leaves
3g paprika powder
4 pieces flat bread
30g white onion
60g tomatoes
30g harissa paste
4g Arabic spices
2g salt and pepper
50g camel sour cream*
Method
Flatten the chicken thighs (cover with cling film and pound with a mallet). Season with paprika, Arabic spices, salt and pepper. Grill the chicken thighs for five to seven minutes on each side until cooked. Lay out the flat bread and place a lettuce leaf on each. Spread with chicken, onion, tomato and harissa paste. Roll up with one end closed. Toast it on a panini maker. Slice diagonally and serve with the camel sour cream.
* To prepare camel sour cream:
Put the camel cream in a bowl. Put the bowl on top of ice cubes and whisk until you get the desired thickness. Then add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Use one to two teaspoons of lemon juice per 150ml of cream.
Salad
Maha Al Mazrouei, owner, Mellow Yellow Bakeshop and Cafe, Dubai
"This salad is special for me because I love the idea of preparing fresh cheese in my home. The making of chamee cheese is not very popular nowadays. In older days, when fewer types of cheese were around, there was a need to prepare it. Chamee cheese is actually the rich, creamy butter that is scooped out when heating laban. It looks and tastes very similar to cottage cheese, but a little saltier. Bedouins still prepare the cheese simply because they are used to it."
Barley, pomegranate and chamee salad
Ingredients
1 bundle mint leaves
1 bundle parsley
100g barley, boiled to well done
2 bundles roka leaves (also known as rocket or arugula)
2 whole pomegranates, peeled and cleaned
3 tbsp chopped spring onions
Chamee cheese*
Ingredients for dressing
1 tsp cumin powder
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, crushed
Method
Chop the mint leaves, parsley and roka leaves to preferred size. For the dressing, mix all ingredients and set aside.
*To prepare traditional chamee cheese:
You need a thick laban (available in all hypermarkets) and salt. Heat the laban and salt on very low heat. Do not let the mixture boil. You will see the chamee cheese starting to form. When it starts to form, scoop it out with a slotted spoon. To serve, combine salad ingredients with dressing and chamee cheese.
Main course
Ali Ebdowa, executive chef, Mezlai, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
"The period of Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr have always been one of my favourite times of the year. While I was growing up, this was the time that really brought my extended family together and my passion for food grew from the memories created over these special gatherings. The lamb thareed was one of the dishes that really defined every feast, created by my grandmother, who was the one who really inspired my culinary ambitions in the kitchen."
Lamb thareed
Ingredients (makes two large portions for four people to share)
600g lamb shoulder (two 300g shoulders)
200g red onion
100g tomato
100g yellow courgette
100g green courgette
100g carrots
200g dry lemon
100g tomato paste
30g Arabic spices
10g black pepper
10g turmeric powder
10g cinnamon powder
10g cardamom powder
4 litres water
20g salt
2 packets Emirati ragag bread
Method
Wash and strain the lamb shoulders.
Dice the red onion and tomato. Rip the ragag bread into smaller pieces. Set aside. In a large pot, place the lamb shoulders in four litres of water with diced onion, tomato, tomato paste, turmeric powder, cardamom, Arabic spices, cinnamon, dry lemon and salt. Bring to the boil and cook on low heat until the lamb is tender.
When the lamb meat easily comes off the bone, remove the lamb. Then mix in the ragag bread until it absorbs the stock.
Place the ragag bread mixture into a mould in the centre of your plate, place the lamb shoulder on top and garnish with diced yellow courgette, green courgette and carrot as desired.
Prawns Irseyah (Chef Ali Ebdowa)
"I personally love the Prawn Irseyah for special occasions, especially Eid. It's something different from your typical Eid dishes, from the ingredients to the preparation and presentation, but is always popular with guests. Like the Lamb Thareed, this was one of my grandmother's recipes, so it has remained on my Eid Al Fitr menu for many years."
Ingredients (serves 2 portions)
300g prawns
200g rice
20g cardamom powder
20g salt
50g ghee
200g fresh cream
100g Parmesan cheese
0.10g saffron
600ml water
Method
Soak the rice for one hour in the water.
Boil the rice with prawns until the rice is cooked (after cooking, set two prawns aside for garnish).
Add the cardamom, salt, ghee, fresh cream, Parmesan cheese and saffron to the rice and prawns. Keep it on the heat
until the mixture becomes thick.
Next, blend the mixture with a hand blender.
Spoon the mixture onto a plate. Garnish with the prawns you set aside.
Dessert
Shaikha Al Ali, founder, www.whenshaikhacooks.com
"I love these ghuraiba biscuits because they resemble a part of my family that shines every Eid. These biscuits are very famous at my grandmother's house. Whenever someone tries them, they just seem to ask for more. They are light and flavoured with cardamom and almonds, and they are baked to perfection. They are delicious with Arabic coffee."
Ghuraiba biscuits
Ingredients (makes two big trays)
5 cups wholewheat flour
1 cup icing sugar
A little less than 2 cups of ghee
2 tsp cardamom
1½ tsp baking powder
Halved almonds for garnish
Method
Mix all the dry ingredients together, then begin spooning in the ghee.
Start mixing with your hands until you achieve a dough that can be shaped in a sphere shape.
Begin forming the balls and placing them on a baking tray (no need for parchment paper).
When you have used all the dough, lightly press half an almond on to each one.
Bake at 150°C until they are slightly golden from the bottom.
Can be kept for up to a week in an airtight container.
Halwat Al Tamur Bil Rutab (Shaikha Al Ali)
Emirati Chef Shaikha Al Ali, founder, www.whenshaikhacooks.com
"We usually make this with pitted khalas dates, but rutab dates are in season now so it's perfect to use those instead. I love this dessert because it's very simple and reminds me of the cooking methods used in the past. Simply browning the flour with some ghee, blending it with some delicious dates and serving it with yogurt is pure bliss."
Ingredients
1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 big spoons of ghee
1 kilo of pitted fresh rutab dates*
1 Tbsp of ground fennel
1 Tbsp of cardamom powder
*Use any kind of dates you like (except khunaizi). It's best to use the sukkari types of dates that contain a lot of sugar.
Method
In a hot pan, melt the ghee slightly and then add the flour. Keep stirring until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes (don't over brown or it will burn). Then add the pitted dates. Remove the pan from the heat and stir well. Add the fennel and cardamom and stir until everything is combined. The dates should blend into the flour mixture well. Pour into a bowl and serve.
This can be kept for a couple of days. Simply reheat in the microwave and serve. This dessert is delicious served with yogurt.
Aseeda Bobar
Emirati Chef Musabbeh Al Kaabi, Executive Oriental Chef, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Dubai
"Aseeda is a very old dessert dish we have in Emirati Cuisine. I still remember when I was 12-years-old, my big sister used to prepare this type of dessert and that's why this dish is with me everywhere I go. I really love this dessert as it reminds me of my childhood. It's also one of our most famous sweet dishes."
Ingredients
300g flour
600g pumpkin
20g rose water
3g saffron
250g sugar
30g ghee
5g cardamom
Currants for garnish
Method
Roast the flour in the oven until it turns golden.
At the same time, peel the pumpkin and boil it until it's soft. Then strain the pumpkin.
Put the boiled pumpkin in a hot pot. Add the roasted flour, rose water, saffron, sugar, ghee and cardamom.
Mix all the ingredients together slowly in the pot and cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
Serve in small serving bowls and garnish with currants.
sjohnson@thenational.ae