Qurs Al Tabi is an old Gulf crepe recipe, it’s similar to the French version, but has the distinctive flavors of the Gulf. They always contain cardamom and rose water, and sometimes I’ve even seen saffron in there too. Anytime we travel T loves ordering crepes for breakfast, it’s one of his favorites and it took me a long time to learn to make them. It’s just one of those recipes that takes practice, but after you get it, you’ve got it. I used to really destroy them when I would try to add the batter into the pan, but I once watched an Indian woman with dosa batter, and now that’s what I do with crepes and it works perfectly. All you do is take a large spoon (or ladle) and pour the batter into the middle and rub it thinly outwards with the bottom of the spoon.
For the longest time I kept telling myself that I was going to buy crepe pan, but every time I would get to the store I would talk myself out of it. I hate to buy something for one thing or that I won’t use that much. I decided to go for it since I’ve needed a flat pan several times for tortillas and other breads. The pan is pretty large, so I have a lot of room to work with and it really makes such a huge difference, so glad I finally bought one, and yes it makes all the difference in the world.
One tip that I’ve learned along the way is that once you mix your batter, allow it to sit in the fridge for at least an hour. This results in the bubbles settling down and your crepes won’t tear as easily. It just makes the batter so much easier to work with, you can also mix the batter (and cover) up the day before and use it the next day if you want it ready for an early morning with little effort. Also, make sure your pan is nice and hot. The crepes will not be easy to flip if they’re not cooked well.
Usually these crepes do have sugar in them and you can add 1 teaspoon to the batter if you like them that way, however, since I usually add sweet fillings I prefer mine not to be sweet. Here are some variations they make in the Gulf.
1. Instead of white flour use brown
2. Replace the cardamom with cinnamon
3. Mash dates into the mixture
4. Add qahsta inside (my favorite)
5. Sprinkle walnuts on top
6. Drizzle with debs (date syrup)
7. Drizzle with honey
8. Sprinkle with pistachios
1/2 cup all purpose flour
6 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 tablespoon melted butter
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon rose water
1. In a mixing bowl, add flour, egg, milk, water, melted butter, cardamom and rose water, with an electric mixer blend well. Place in the refrigerator and allow to sit for 1 hour.
2. On medium heat, add the pan and a little butter, allow to melt. Each ladle should have at least 1/4 cup of batter, spoon out and carefully form crepe. Cook for 2 minutes or until golden, then flip and cook for 20 seconds on the remaining side. While the second side cooks spoon whatever filling you would like from the inside.
3. Carefully fold twice and sit aside. Sprinkle a little cardamom on the top, then drizzle with honey.
Yields: 5 (5 inch) crepes