Monthly Archives: July 2012

Saudi Snack Store



I always want to take so many pictures of things to show you all around Saudi but it’s really hard. People hate cameras here and you find it extremely difficult to ever take any pictures even in a small shop like this people tend to think you want to steal their idea or have pictures of them, weird I know. What is really odd is that as much as people hate cameras you always see everyone with their
phones taking pictures and making videos. It’s kind of incognito and makes everyone feel more comfortable I guess.

My husband snapped these pictures for me with his IPhone and I hate camera pictures they are so fuzzy but it’s hard to tote around the Canon especially since people would make some huge deal I am sure. I wish I could get a camera that did not look like one yet took awesome pictures. Something like the CIA uses or something lol I mean I only want to take pictures of stores and items to show you all for crying out loud what is the big deal?
So here you have it a few snaps of a snack store we have up the road from our house. This store is decorated in the traditional Saudi manner like a mud house with drapery hung around. The hand weaved circles you see hanging on the wall are what people ate on at one time and many still do. All of the patterns are common for the Najdi area. In a store like this you will find dates, cookies, tea and coffees all being old fashion Saudi products.

Shorba Dajaj

I am a soup person I would happily live on soup, salad and bread forever those are my favorites after all. This recipe is at the top of my soup list and I could go for it anytime but it especially popular throughout the month of Ramadan. Muslims usually break their fast with sometime of soup. In Saudi its Quaker soup, in Algerian shorba frik, Moroccan harira and The Emirates have shorba dajaj which is just a simple chicken noodle style of soup.

If you have fresh chicken stock on hand use 4 cups then 4 cups of water if not you can use 8 cups of water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes. Also choose your favorite pieces of the chicken or you can use mixed. I usually use chicken bread and chicken legs so my entire family is happy. Make sure to always use chicken with skin and bones, that where the taste comes from after all.
1 cup cilantro, fresh, cleaned and chopped
6 pieces of chicken (bones and skin)
1 large white onion, diced
8 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes (I use Maggi)
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups dried vermicelli
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Juice from 1 lemon
1 lemon quartered for serving
1. In a stock pot on high heat add water, chicken cubes, onion, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a full boil then reduce to low-medium, cover and allow cooking for 1 hour.
2. After the hour is up in a small skillet on medium heat add butter and vermicelli, cooking until golden. Add cardamom, mixing and allow to sauté for 5 minutes. Place mixture and lemon juice into shorba, mix and allow cooking for a remaining 30 minutes. Serve hot with lemon wedges. 
Yields: 8


Balaleet is
a popular Emirati dish but all Gulf countries have a similar version yet with
various names. The mixture of sweets accompanied by eggs may seem strange to
those who have never had it but this quite normal throughout Gulf countries and
has been popular even with early Bedouins. The taste is very nice and one that
will surely win you over.

250 grams
dried vermicelli
3-6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons
ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon
ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon
ground cinnamon
1/4 cup
orange blossom water or rose water
Pinch saffron
3 eggs,
Pistachios for

1. In a
saucepan on high heat add 1 tablespoon of butter. Add vermicelli and boil,
strain when almost cooked.
2. In another
saucepan on medium head add 2 tablespoons of butter, sugar, orange blossom or
rose water and vermicelli, mix. Add cardamom and ginger, mix well. Reduce heat
to low. Cover and steam until water is absorbed.
3. Meanwhile,
in a small skillet on medium heat add 1/2 tablespoon of butter when melted add
eggs. Cook until golden then flip and cook remaining side.
4. Place the
vermicelli mixture onto a serving platter, add sliced omelet and sprinkle with
*You can
also omit the eggs and add 1/4 cup sultanas before steaming.
Yields: 3

Al-Tazaj Iftar



Al-Tazaj is this amazing little chicken place that we have across Saudi Arabia. They have some of the best chicken that is infused with lemon and garlic. This is my son’s favorite place to eat and he always wants to go there. He went on and on about eating there this evening so that’s where we had our iftar. They offered everyone laban, dates, corn soup, samboosas and Fattoush to break their fast with and then we ordered chicken and fries. Of course you have to buy the basboosa since they have the best basboosa you will ever try, it’s so delicious.

Later on around 10pm my husband dropped us off at the mall. I love shopping during Ramadan the malls open after night prayer and stay open until 2am and they are always filled with people. I have always been a night owl anyway so it works for me since this is country that does everything lately.