All posts filed under: United Arab Emirates

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Monday Meal Review: United Arab Emirates

The batter hits the pan. Immediately, the sticky scent of dates hits the air. A few minutes later, I am alone with a stack of sweet, lacy, whole wheat muhalla. They look like crepes, but taste like sweet, yeasty bread. How on earth can I not eat them all up? Talk about a challenge. But my family is elsewhere; Ava at her little school program and my husband at work. So I eat just a corner of one. Then another. Soon an entire muhalla is gone. Then another. In the minutes that follow, I begin to wonder what the side effects of eating an entire batch of date crepes will be. Then I decide, it’s best not to think about it. A few days later, Keith makes a batch of muhalla. We’re supposed to eat together as a family, but we can’t seem to get it together. Everything’s a hurry, and we end up eating out. The batter sits in the fridge for three days, until it ferments so much, the only thing to do …

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Orange Blossom Juice

Orange juice is a hardworking breakfast drink. When everyone else in the house is still rubbing the sleep out of their eyes, orange juice is waaaay perky. It contains enough joy to put coffee out of business. But what if you had something a little more fancy to offer your family (or guests) in the morning? Orange juice with a splash of orange blossom water is a direct inspiration from the United Arab Emirates (and all over the Gulf), where hosts offer guests orange blossom water & orange juice syrups to their guests.  The orange blossom water adds a floral note – a bit of  perfume-laden romance – something which is often sorely lacking in the early morning hours. If you’d like to get extra fancy, squeeze in a few drops of lemon juice. That’ll brighten up the flavor even more. There’s really no recipe… start with a 1/4 tsp orange blossom water per cup of OJ, and add more to taste. I suggest you use the best orange juice you can find. If you …

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Emirati Date Crêpes | Muhalla

I’ve had a lot of breakfast treats over the years, but I’ve never tasted anything quite like these whole wheat date “crêpes” beloved in the United Arab Emirates. Made with whole wheat flour and a hearty helping of dates, they are a mildly sweet  and wholesome way to start the morning. I call them “crêpes” because of how they look, but, in truth, they’re called “Muhalla,” and quite different than a French crêpe. For starters, these are leavened with yeast, whose bubbles give the muhalla a more lacy texture. While you could make these with white flour, the whole wheat flour gives them a rich, nutty flavor – a nice contrast to the sweet note provided by the dates. The dates are the real star of Muhalla. In the United Arab Emirates, dates are one of the few ingredients which can grow, so they wind up in many of the local recipes such as this one. They are delicious, hot, warm or at room temperature. Be sure to serve them with some yogurt, fruit, or even a …

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Menu: United Arab Emirates

While I’m not usually much of a breakfast eater, the United Arab Emirates has me reconsidering. And the timing is perfect: I’ve been craving a good breakfast these last few days. I think it’s because preschool started for Ava and we’re all getting up earlier. I also started a workout program for the first time since … well… a while ago. Because of the workout program, I’m looking for early morning fuel, and it has to be nutritious. I found all that and more in this UAE-inspired menu. The recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Emirati Date Crêpes | Muhalla [Recipe] Whole wheat, yeast leavened crepes made with dates. Great with yogurt and honey. Add a little fresh fruit for even more healthful deliciousness. Orange Blossom Juice [Recipe] Wow your guests (and yourself) by spiking your orange juice with orange blossom water. Get ready for a romantic, beautiful drink especially worthy for breakfast in bed. How do you start your mornings? Are you a breakfast eater or not? Do you …

A view of Buhairah Corniche from a residential tower in Sharjah, UAE-by Basil D Soufi

About the food of the United Arab Emirates

I have a buddy, Brad, who traveled to the United Arab Emirates a few years ago. TheFederation is made up of seven states on the Persian Gulf, including Dubai (where he went). Brad told me about the overwhelming heat, the desert, the glittering skyscrapers, but what really stood out were the UAE islands. They actually built islands that look like enormous palm trees. So, if you bought a house on the island, your street might be on the trunk, or one of the leaves. They even built the world as an island, but as far as I know it’s not populated yet. Oh, the irony. The food of the UAE is, in many ways, typical of the Persian Gulf. There’s camel meat, stuffed grape leaves (just like the beauties we made for Qatar), plenty of kebab, hummus, and tabbouleh. There’s also a sizable amount of Indian food in the UAE, because there are many workers from India in the federation. Just about all the food is imported, since not much can grow in the UAE. In …