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She’reya is a very old fashioned traditional dish found in Saudi and other surrounding Middle Eastern countries. Basically, this easy dish is simply boiled pasta with sugar and definitely not anything fancy or hard to make. My mother in law told me the story behind this special dish and why she continues to always make it on the days that her family fast so that they will have it to break the fast. When her grandmother was a small girl, her family was extremely poor. So poor that most days they did not have food to eat and the days they did it was usually borrowed. Maybe one day a neighbor would give them a small Arabic coffee cup with some tahini it and they (the other three kids) would add water and drink it as if it were a soup.

The mother (my mother in laws great-grandmother) would usually not eat just so the children would have food. This she’reya recipe was one that sometimes they would have and they would eat it with bread and it was such a treat. So my mother in law now always keeps the tradition alive by making she’reya. This beautiful story makes the dish so much more appealing and its found in a lot of Saudi homes during Ramadan since most were raised with it.

1/2 pack vermicelli, broken into small pieces (we use the nest)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
5 tablespoons sugar

1. In a 4-quart saucepan on high heat, add oil and vermicelli. Stir until color changes to a golden brown.

2. Add water and reduce heat to medium, add sugar. Cook until water is fully absorbed.

Yields: 4 servings



Luqaimat is a traditional Saudi dessert, pretty much like a soft doughnut hole drenched in sugar syrup. I’ve never seen anyone else use anything, but the typical sugar syrup, but sometimes I will add my own flavored syrups that I make for my coffees, such as lavender or vanilla, it’s really nice. This is a popular Ramadan recipe and always ate with Saudi qahwa.


1 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2-1/2 cups warm water
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil
3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
Oil for deep frying

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in a 1/2 cup warm water, leave for 5 minutes until foamy.

2. Infuse saffron in 1/2 cup water, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, add egg and remaining water. Mix well with a hand mixer. Add yeast mixture and saffron, mix well.

3. Add flour gradually, and knead after each addition. Cover in a warm place and allow to rise for one hour.

4. Heat oil in a large pan on medium heat. Alongside the bowl of batter, have a small bowl of oil. Take some batter (the size of a pistachio) with the tip of a small spoon. Using another oiled small spoon, carefully slip batter from spoon into hot oil. (It will puff into a larger ball).

5. Deep fry until golden brown, turning to brown evenly. Drain on paper towel and serve with sugar syrup.