Monday, 11 November 2013

Um Ali

Um Ali is  an Egyptian dessert that is just unbelievably delicious. Um Ali translates to Ali's mother.

I moved to the Abu Dhabi this year, and it was here that I was introduced to this amazingly delicious dessert. Every buffet I went to aaaaaaaaaaalways served Um Ali,  and these were five star buffets. My first experience of Um Ali was just perfect, and I looked forward to the next time I would taste it again. But for some reason, the other Um Alis werent quite the same standard as that of my very first Um Ali experience. They just didn't seem to get it right. So I started experimenting at home, trying to make my own perfect version of it, and I finally did. This is a very very very tasty and so easy to make, 
What you needUm Ali

1 package of frozen puff pastry (about 500g) OR about 6 large croissants
1  can of sweetened condensed milk
3 cups water
nestle thick cream (usually comes in a 170g can)
3/4 cup mixed nuts finally chopped (pistachio, almonds, peanuts..etc)
1/2 - 3/4 cups coconut flakes (depending on taste)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 200 C/ Gas 6. Cook puff pastry sheets as per instructions on greased baking sheets til they are puffed and golden.  Dont turn off the oven as we will be using it again in a few minutes. If you are using ready croissants, then just slightly warm them up.

Break the puff pastry/ croissants into 2 inch pieces and place in a baking dish (9x12). I usually use a Pyrex dish as I serve directly from that. Sprinkle the mixed nuts ( you can use absolutely any type of nuts you like, I usually use flaked almonds and ground peanuts) and coconut evenly over the puff pastry.
Now, in a separate saucepan, pour in the sweetened condensed milk, the vanilla extract, and the water and cook on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. Once this is done, leave it to cool for about a minute.
Pour the sweet milk mix over puff pastry/croissants, nuts and coconut. sprinkle the thick cream (qishta/kishta) over the top and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. This is perfect served warm. 
If you want it to look pretty, sprinkle the top with some ground pistachio just before serving. Enjoy :)

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