This month MENA Cooking Club visits the United Arab Emirates, which is hosted by Tamar. Thanks Tamar for the great recipes! I actually just got back less than two weeks ago myself. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the country several times and it’s become one of my favorite destinations, it’s the perfect blend of east meets west. The Emirati culture and food is very similar (yet very different) to Saudi, as well as the other Gulf countries. A lot of recipes from the Middle East are pretty much the same, but have different names which I’m sure you’ve caught on to by now.
Khanfarosh is the most popular traditional Emirati dessert so I was happy to finally make it, it’s been on my to do list for sometime now. It’s a lot like Saudi lugaimat, but a little larger with a different shape and not as sweet. I actually really liked this recipe because it wasn’t too sweet and that hint of rosewater was delicious. T kept eating them while I was trying to get the picture, I was afraid I wasn’t going to have anything left to photograph. He said their kid approved, so you have that too.
I’ve seen several recipes for this dessert. Some use rice flour, some wheat or all-purpose and others a mixture. I decided just to use all-purpose since it’s what I had on hand, after last months dish where I went out of my way to get something that I didn’t have on hand and it was a flop I thought this was for the best. One thing I’ve learnt about using rice flour though, is that it does produce a much lighter product, which can be nice. For this recipe I just made a small batch, which was more than enough for my small family without having to overdo it on sweets.
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar (plus 1 teaspoon for yeast)
2/3 cup warm water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon rose water
Sunflower oil, for frying.
1. In a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon sugar, yeast and 2 tablespoons of the water, allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes, until frothy.
2. In a mixing bowl, add flour, cardamom and salt, mix. Add yeast mixture, eggs, rose water and water, mix (mine was lumpy so I used a hand mixer). Cover with a kitchen towel, place in a warm place and allow to sit for at least an hour, until doubled in size.
3. In a frying pan on medium heat, add oil (about a 1/2 inch) and allow to get to 325F. Take a teaspoon of dough with an oiled spoon to form a disc. Fry for a few minutes, until golden on each side.
4. Place on a paper towel, then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Yields: 1 dozen