Fanatic deserts, tall skyscrapers, the work culture and awesome architecture of Dubai, we’ve all seen that!
Amidst this, fancy chaat arrangements, exotic pizza toppings sided with colourful cocktails and mock-tails and sugar-coated tooth of Dubai is what we need to see.
While everyone’s busy taking Polaroid clad snaps of spiciest and traditional places, what’s been missing is the traditional UAE sweets which will make you drool!
Too much sweet sure killed the world and spread diabetes but hey, there ain’t no fun without some guilty indulgence once in a while. And when you do, you need to try some of UAE’s traditional delicacies having you with saliva sprouting in the tongue but a sophisticated selfie smile capturing every dish that has you in complete awe. We recommend Abu Dhabi to explore and try out some of the delicacies, there are many outlets here.
Here are 9 traditional sweets that you must try and have your own experience of Sugar, Gold and of course the perfect skyline cold.
Luqaimat is delicious dumplings which are a breeze to prepare, yet tastes so divine. Made of flour, sugar, starch, cardamom powder and dry yeast, rolled in date syrup and sprinkled with date molasses; Luqaimat is one of the must-have traditional Arabic sweets. Luqaimat which can be translated as ‘bite-size’ in Arabic, is a sweet which comes from Qatar and is traditionally eaten in UAE.
Assidat al-Boubar, one of the traditional sweets from Dubai, is served widely during Ramadan and Eid. This luscious pumpkin porridge is a traditional Emirati dessert that is mildly sweet. It is cooked with milk, sugar, almond flour, butter, rose water, ground cardamom, almonds, raisins, and clarified butter, making it one of the best Emirati sweets. This Emirati Halvah straddles the line between sweet and savoury.
Qatayef, qataf (listen: in Arabic), is an Arab dessert commonly served in the month of Ramadan. Qatayef is a delicious, fragrant and beautiful Arabian pancake stuffed with sweet cheese filling and ground pistachios. It is a pancake-like dough that can be filled with walnuts and sugar mixture. Many Muslims also use Ashta (cream with rose water) or even Akkawi (sweetened cheese) as fillings. Before serving, the preparation is dipped in sugar syrup to ponder the sweet taste buds of the tongue.
Chebab is a traditional Emirati sweet, which is very similar to pancakes. It’s served for breakfasts or dinner with cheese and honey in a bowl mix with dry ingredients with little warm milk or water. The pancake combines the traditional flavours of cardamom, saffron and dates, and is fried in a pan till it attains a reddish-brown colour and texture. Chebab is thin, crispy and wholesomely delicious.
The United Arab Emirates sit at the crossroads of the Middle East and Western Asia, and its cuisine reflects this blend of cultures. Balaleet is a sweet and savoury dish which is the traditional breakfast in the United Arab Emirates. A popular breakfast choice, it traditionally consists of vermicelli sweetened with sugar, cardamom, rose water and saffron, and served with an overlying egg omelette, tempting enough?
Honey baklava is love for sweet-toothed people. Imagine the strands of honey melting in your mouth, mouthwatering right? Baklava is flaky, crisp and tender and it isn’t overly sweet. It’s basically a party in your mouth. It is highly popular Turkish sweets, dessert widely consumed in UAE. This wonderful dessert is cooked to perfection with thin layers of Filo dough and is served with chopped nuts, raisin, and cashew, bound together with honey or syrup.
The Arabic dessert Kunafa (Knafeh) is the royal and most celebrated dessert in the Middle East. The buttery pastry of Kunafa is traditionally prepared and eaten during Ramadan! This traditional vermicelli cheese pastry is made of butter, water, lemon juice, rose water, vanilla essence, almonds, pistachios, cheese, raisins, cinnamon, and sugar, baked to a golden hue for about 30 to 45 minutes.
Umm Ali is a delicious traditional Egyptian dessert equivalent to North America’s bread pudding. You can serve it warm with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream. Umm Ali meaning, Ali’s mother is a sweet dessert of UAE and is must taste while in Dubai. This gastronomical dessert originated from the core of Arabia. The array of ingredients that you can use to prepare these decadent delights gives you plenty of room for innovation and variety with a preparation time of just 16-20 minutes.
Maamoul is buttery date filled Middle Eastern cookies that will melt in your mouth and are utterly scrumptious. Maamoul cookies are the famous Middle Eastern shortbread pastries filled with dates or nuts. These shortbread pastries are made of dates, pistachios, walnuts, almonds, figs and other dry fruits. It is popular in the UAE but is also widely used in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine.
Thus, get ready to tickle your sweet taste buds and don’t miss on these traditional Emirati sweets when in the United Arab Emirates!
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