Emirati Date Crêpes | Muhalla

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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.

Deira, Dubai by Poco a poco

Deira, Dubai by Poco a poco

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.

dates-muhalla

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 drizzle of honey.

Recipe adapted from Iffco

Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 ounces pitted dates
2 cups warm water
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt

Method: 

Soak the pitted dates in the warm water while gathering the other ingredients. They’ll get nice and soft, making it easy to blend them up.

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Give the blender a whir, until the dates and water make a smooth mixture. Then add in the eggs, flour, yeast, and salt.

Blend until combined, using a spatula to scrape the sides as needed.

united-arab-emirites.food.recipe.img_1159

Let rest at least an hour (or overnight in the refrigerator – just let it come back to room temperature for thirty minutes before using).

After rising on the counter for an hour, here’s what my batter looked like:united-arab-emirites.food.recipe.img_1236

Give the batter a stir, then cook the muhalla over medium heat in a greased, nonstick pan. Cook the first side until the top dries out (meaning it no longer looks shiny).

Flip and cook the other side.

The dates make the muhalla extra moist, so cooking times can be a little longer than you might expect. You can keep them warm in the oven while you cook them all, if desired.

As depicted below, one side with be smooth while the other will be lacy.

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Enjoy with honey, date syrup, plain yogurt, fruit, and a smile.

Perhaps while overlooking some mountains in the United Arab Emirates.

Oasis of Green Mubazzarah near Al Ain by Nepenthes

Oasis of Green Mubazzarah near Al Ain by Nepenthes

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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.Emirati Date Crêpes | Muhalla
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Soak the pitted dates in the warm water while gathering the other ingredients.
  2. Give the blender a whir, until the dates and water make a smooth mixture.
  3. Then add in the eggs, flour, yeast, and salt. Blend until combined.
  4. Let rest at least an hour (or overnight in the refrigerator - just let it come back to room temperature for thirty minutes before using).
  5. Give the batter a stir, then cook the muhalla over medium heat in a greased, nonstick pan.
  6. Cook the first side until the top dries out (meaning it no longer looks shiny).
  7. Flip and cook the other side.
Recipe Notes

Enjoy with honey, date syrup, plain yogurt, fruit.

Source:

Recipe Copyright Sasha Martin, Global Table Adventure. For personal or educational use only. This recipe and hundreds more from around the world may be found at www.GlobalTableAdventure.com.

9 Comments

  1. aunty eileen says

    Breakfast looks great. I am curious to know ‘history’/why in the picture above I only see men, and no women or even children, walking around the city?

  2. Yes…I noticed the same thing…Perhaps these are the guys from far away places working the menial jobs (cleaners, cooks, etc) supporting the people in the high-rises who make the REAL money

  3. aunty eileen says

    haha… I have been saying for years, I want to help update the dictionary and it will be so very much smaller :-) The word menial does define specific kind of work and… (Meriam Webster). And, I guess the ones making the real money should be ‘supporting-the-workers who are “supporting” them… but, doesn’t really seem that way at times… does it :-) The cost of living is super-high and most people aren’t able to earn super-high wages….. gn

  4. Pingback: Global Table Adventure | Menu: United Arab Emirates

  5. The piping, fixture placement, and many other things are very difficult
    to alter without a license. Figure out what you can spend on the
    entire renovation project in the kitchen. Good luck in your home projects
    and I hope your dream become a reality.

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