middle eastern sweets
is one of the most loved desserts in the Emirates. I love this light tasting
dessert that leaves a linger of the Gulf favorites cardamom and rose water. Light
desserts are my go to in Ramadan because a day of fasting and a nice iftar can
only make one handle so much. You could also add ground cloves or a bit of
cinnamon while cooking if you would like however this is how I personally
(I use full fat)
pistachios, for garnish
saucepan on medium heat add milk, sugar and cardamom. Mix well allowing sugar
cornstarch and whisk until well combined. Continue to whisk for about 10
minutes until the mixture thickens like glue.
heat to low and add rose water, mix well cooking for a remaining 2 minutes.
Pour into serving ramekins, cover with plastic wrap (poke a small hole in top
to prevent sweating) and allow chilling in the refrigerator overnight.
day after custard has set garnish with pistachios and serve.
In Saudi some typical ingredients for filling and covering dates would be coconut, chocolate, sesame seeds and nuts. I made this mixture with pistachios and orange blossom water. We prefer to have light desserts during Ramadan since everyone is full from iftar and not in the mood for a heavy dessert. This plumb filled date is perfect Arabic coffee or habek tea.
This simple and easy recipe is hands down one of my favorites and my Ramadan sweet go to. I use fresh sukary dates (my favorites) in this recipe. Gulf Arabs are really innovative when it comes to dates and use them quite a lot. Luckily I love dates so this is perfect for me. I whip this up before I start cooking dinner, cover it and serve it after dinner with Saudi qahwa.
*recipe updated from 8/30/08
The first time I had the pleasure of trying dondurma I was in university in Chicago. A Turkish festival was being held right across the street from my school and my friends and I went over to check it out as soon as class was over. My friend Trae who had lived in Turkey for years told me that I had to try the ice-cream because it was something different and intriguing. She was right and from that day forward dondurma has been a treat I held dear unfortunately it’s very rare to find anywhere else in the world. In Lebanon and Syria they also make this exact ice-cream although it’s called a different name.
2 mastic balls, frozen for 5 minutes
1/3 cup ground salep
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
ground cinnamon, for topping
1. With a mortar carefully grind mastic until ground, set aside.
2. In a small bowl add cream, salep and vanilla, whisk until blended and set aside.
3. In a 4-quart saucepan on low-medium heat add milk, mastic and salep mixture. Whisk until combined then add sugar, mixing well.
4. Continuing whisking the mixture so the milk does not stick to the pan but also use a ladle to scoop and pour mixture back into pan. This will stretch the mix. Continue doing these two things non-top for 25 minutes.
5. In an 8x8inch baking square baking pan line with plastic wrap, carefully pour hot mixture into pan. Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and place into freezer. Every few hours, remove mixture from freezer and stir to mix up. After you do this 3-4 times cover and allow to freezer overnight.
6. The next day remove dondurma from the freezer and slice individual servings then sprinkle with ground cinnamon, serve and place remaining dondurma back into freezer.
Yields: 8 servings