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24
Nov

sharjah-making khameer 2 copy

It has been an exceptionally busy month: my residency at Leighton House, the offal and baby goat dinner, a huge dinner for thirty Italian art collectors and cookery demonstrations at the Sharjah International Book Fair. Busy but fun, especially my spectacular breakfast with the lovely ladies at the craft centre in Sharjah. A lavish spread made up of various dishes the ladies had prepared at home except for Moza, the lady in pink, who baked khameer (a saffron-flavoured brioche-like flat bread) in front of us in an ingenious electric portable oven that doubles up as a hot plate. She first placed the flattened disks of dough on the hot top, brushed them with beaten eggs then after a couple of minutes, she lifted them off, opened the hot top to slide the breads inside the ‘oven’ where they puffed up and browned. Then another lady spread the breads with butter before giving them to us to eat with freshly made cheese (shami), date syrup or honey. Totally fabulous. Here are a few pictures to make you jealous!

sharjah-spreading butter on khameer copy

The beginning of our breakfast with a large platter of fruit which is a must, lgeimat (saffron-flavoured fritters drizzled with date syrup) and shami (freshly made cheese).

sharjah-breakfast feast  copy

Then the table filled to also include boiled chickpeas, balaleet (one of my favourites, sweet-savoury vermicelli flavoured with saffron and cardamom and served with a thin omelette on top, bathith (a mix of toasted flour and dates), Omani halva and m’halla (thin pancakes).

sharjah-checking on the khameer copy

Moza checking on the khameer.

sharjah-enjoying the breakfast 2 copy

Some of the lovely ladies enjoying the breakfast.

sharjah-serving balaleet copy

One of the ladies serving me a huge plate of balaleet. Supreme hospitality and generosity are both a mark of Emirati life. Everyone is so kind and welcoming, it makes me want to move there! Would make a huge change from London, not to mention the gorgeous weather at least at this time of the year.

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My plate of balaleet. I wanted to eat it all but I resisted. The kilos are piling on!!


There is 18 comments on this post


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Your pictures are always soo captivating. I would so love to be there too!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    hi, remember me i was there in the book fair with my friends we miss u alot so i messeged u thnx for the recipes!!!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    hey pinky, of course i remember you and i remember your friends. you were all so sweet. i missed you at the other demos. let me know if you cook any of the recipes 🙂 xx


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    My jaw dropped when I saw that breakfast spread! That’s absolutely fabulous – after living most of my life here in Dubai, I’m still hoping to do a traditional Emirati breakfast someday.

    Sad that I couldn’t make your sessions at the Shj book fair, a fellow blogger had thrown the offer out to all of us but I was traveling in India at the time 🙁 Hope there’ll be another opportunity to see you and your culinary magic in this city!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    that’s too bad but i am sure there will be another opportunity. and next time, i will try your fatayer place although they look like they are syrian and not lebanese. anyhow, they look really good 🙂


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Thanks for checking out my blog Anissa, very flattered! 🙂 You may well be right about the fatayers being from Syria…the guys at Danat said Lebanon, but I’d have no way of verifying. I need a good article on the origins and variety of fatayer…actually, that would probably be a book in itself!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    you’re welcome arva. you can get my book on mediterranean savoury baking. there isn’t really a history of fatayer but there is a good recipe for the syrian one that looks like a boat like the ones in your pics and the dough is slightly sweet. love them 🙂


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    It was a pleasure meeting you at Arwa’s home Anissa. Truly sorry to have missed your demo at Sharjah Book Fair so hoping there will be another. And it looks like you were well looked after in Dubai with such a sumptuous spread 🙂


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    What a wonderful spread. So sad I couldn’t make it to Sharjah – a real pleasure to meet you and share a fabulous cooking and eating experience.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Now that is a POWER breakfast! I am drooling with envy…I’ve been craving for lgeimat for the past weeks! I need to troop over to Global Village to get me some freshly prepared ones 🙂


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    What an impressive spread! I remember while living in Qatar friends of my parents would invite us to such lavish spreads and each time I was simply amazed. What always impressed me the most was how the ladies cooking made it look so easy and effortless. Thanks for this post Anissa!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I have been reading alot about Emirati food lately and this breakfast spread has just tripled my curiosity about it.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    it was my pleasure too sally, and not to worry about not having been able to make the demo. next time inchallah 🙂


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    i love lgeimat. must get round to making my own although am not sure if i can get date syrup in london. must check 🙂


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    you are welcome meeta. it was a fab spread 🙂 and wonderful ladies!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    it’s a delicious cuisine. not particularly slimming but totally yummy. definitely worth exploring. i like ur pics btw 🙂


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Wow, fantastic! Gotta love a big breakfast spread. I found your post because a friend of mine told me about balaleet and I had to google it…

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