April 2, 2007

UMM ALI!

Umm Ali, a Egyptian dish is my contribution to Meeta from "what's for lunch honey" blog's Monthly Mingle "Arabian Nights" event this month.Thanks for hosting Meeta.



My Arabian adventure:
When I starting surfing the net for a Arabian dish,I chanced upon this Egyptian dessert which seemed like a cross between Bread pudding and Baklava! Besides, the addition of all those nuts,sweetened coconut and Cinnamon made it irresistible to me.I thought Umm Ali it is and the story behind this dish also made me curious.When I took my first warm bite with a scoop of cold Vanilla Ice Cream ,YUM! My daughter said "it tastes like Heaven mommy"!!What more proof do you want, eh?:D
(Recipe from here with some of my changes)


A little story of Egyptian "Umm Ali" dessert:
"The apocryphal story of Umm 'Ali is that it was invented during the reign of the Ottoman Turks. One day while hunting in the Nile delta, the sultan developed a ravenous appetite and stopped in a small village. The peasants wished to please the sultan, so the best cook of the village, Umm 'Ali , pulled out a special pan and filled it with the only ingredients she had around: some dried wheat flakes (perhaps stale broken pieces of gullash, a phyllo-like pastry), sultanas, nuts, and coconut. She covered it with sugar and milk and put it into the village's oven. It was so good that the sultan asked for Umm 'Ali 's dessert the next time he visited. Another story is related by Charles Perry, a food writer for the Los Angeles Times: Umm 'Ali was a pudding learned from an English nurse named O'Malley!"(Story from here)

Umm Ali or "Ali's mother":

I made this dessert with half the recipe that is one sheet of Puff pastry(You can use Phyllo pastry too) and half of all the ingredients shown in the recipe below.It serves six people easily.If you want more ,you can follow the following recipe exactly.Have fun!:)


You need:



1 pack of Puff pastry(17 ounces),1 14 oz can of Fat-free sweetened condensed milk,1 cup milk,4tbsp each of pistachios chopped,walnuts chopped,almonds or any nuts or any amount you like, 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes,1 tsp Cinnamon pd and 2 tbsp of golden or dark raisins.


How to make Umm Ali:


Pre heat oven to 400F.Spread the puff pastry on a foil on a baking sheet,bake for 15 mins or until puffed.Take out and cool.Turn down the oven to 350F.Cut the Pastry into 3-4" strips,cut into squares,and then into triangles.Arrange these in a oven proof dish.




Sprinkle nuts,coconut flakes,half tsp Cinnamon pd and raisins in that order.In a bowl,mix condensed milk and milk,heat in the Microwave for a minute.Mix well and pour over the dish evenly and sprinkle the rest of the Cinnamon pd.



Put it in the 350F oven and bake it for about 30-40 mins or until it is bubbly and the pastry golden on top.Do not burn,you can cover it with the foil for the first 15mins and then remove it to prevent burning.Cool it to thicken the sauce and serve. You can warm a piece in the Microwave and serve warm with cold Vanilla Ice cream.



Here is a plate for you!




Tastes very good, Ali's mom rocks!!:D

70 comments:

Richa said...

hi asha,
had a relaxing wknd?
I've tasted this sweet and it is beyond words!! Thanks for reminding me about it. I guess the version I had tasted had some variation of the puff pastry, but was too good.
Great step by step pics.
thanks

david santos said...

Hello, Asha!
what a good work you have! thank you
have a good week

Sig said...

Beautiful dish, with another funny name..love it, enjoyed the story as well...
BTW, sorry about the Migas/Midas thing, fixed it now :)

Sharmi said...

Hi Asha, I came across this recipe while looking for desserts for MM but could not picturize in mind how it would turn out to be. but now saw it. looks great and yummy.

cheers
sharmi

Asha said...

Hi Richa,not really girl.I have a severe attack of Allergy and hard to go thru' the routine work.But I am getting allergy shot today,so will be smiling again:))
Isn't this fabulous,I made last week,it was with a day:))

Hi David,you are welcome and enjoy the recipe:))

Asha said...

Hi Sig,that's okay.Typos happen sometimes.
Isn't the story funny? She had supposed to have used the stale wheat sheets for this dish!!With puff pastry,it was heavenly:))

Hi Sharmi, can you believe how sweet recipes Arabs have?:D
It was hard to choose but I liked the poor Ali's mom's story.Glad I made this,it's really tasty.Hope you try:))

Chickoo said...

Ashakka,
Um ALi is my fav lebanese dessert. Hubby considers it too sweet, but to me it is sheer bliss, yummy!

Deepa

Meeta said...

Hey Asha!How did you know that this was my all time fave Arabic dessert? When I was in the Middle East I had the privilege of having my dad work for a large hotel corporation and we got to eat there whenever we wanted - this was always my way to end my meal. Thank you for entering it to the MM.

Asha said...

Hi Deepa, it's true there are many variations of the same dish in each Arab countries!:)
Restaurants always make it sweet but you can cut the sugar if you make it at home.I just used half a can of condensed milk for half of this recipe and no sugar at all.It was so good,I can't tell you!:D
Make some at home,it takes hardly 40mins to make it.

Asha said...

You are welcome Meeta! Great to hear that it's your fav! Now it's our's too!:))
It almost tastes like Baklava.Every Christmas,some med rep. gives us a huge Baklava package.We find ot so very sweet.This is was perfect,we can control how sweet we want and cut down.
Thank you for making me surf for Arab dishes!I would never have chosen to make his otherwise and missed out on a delicious dessert!:))

Sia's corner said...

hey ashakka,
hope u had good, relaxing weekend:)
been busy with last min prep for tom. feels like first day in new class;) pressing cloths, checking for all documents etc...
by the way ur chutney looks gr8. donno how i missed that post though.
umm ali? he he he... cool name. never tasted this. dont think i want to try this at home:) will look out for this at mid-easten sweet shop.

Mishmash ! said...

When i first read the title , thought its a funny name as it sounded like 'umma' (kiss) to me and then i read the story..then the recipe...oh..i wanted to give u a hug, dear...i had some puff pastry shells in freezer (which i bought thinking its pastry sheets and was wondering what to make with it ) and now here you come up with a recipe where I can actually use that shells..thanks dear...thanks a lot .Will try this for easter and let you know for sure :)

Hugs
Shn

Asha said...

Hi Sia,you are staring again! That must be busy after all that moping at home for 3 -4 weeks:))Enjoy the new work and status.Don't get too busy.
One you get in the bakeries are too sweet but inconvenient for you though .Enjoy it and khara chutney too.You won't get that in stores!;D

Hi shn,you are welcome and hugging you back!:))
Just crumble the shells or even fill them up with the filling and bake.That would be wonderful too:))
Enjoy the Easter.

Linda said...

Looks delicious Asha, and I really like your pretty plate -- looks very springy! :)

Jeena said...

Hi Asha what a lovley recipe umm ali is! Sounds and looks delicous, yes it is very similar to bread and butter pudding but with the nuts I bet it would be even better :)

USHA said...

Hi Ashaji,

Umm Ali looks really very tempting...

Its so easy also right?

So it was certified by Trisha,then whatelse we need....:))

Sushma said...

wow an interesting recipe Asha...liked your statement Ali's mom rocks :-)

The Umm ALi with a dollop of ice cream looks so delicious...

-Hugs
Sushma

roopa said...

Hi Asha

Thats a very interesting dessert,
haven't heard of it nor have tried much of any Arabian food.

name sakath funny agide.
Thanks for the recipe!

Gattina said...

oh just like bread pudding, in a more decadent way! Bravo!

Asha said...

Hi Roopa,yes all names sounds funny in Arabic.Umm andre "mother" anta,naavu amma anteevalla hage:))
Do try this dessert.It's so delicious.

Hi Gattina,Thanks.It's a cross betn bread pudding and Baklava.I have never tasted more delicious dessert than this,honestly.Hope you try.I bet your's looks lot better than mine:)

Sia's corner said...

check ur mail box ashakka. i have mailed u some link for ur ghost comments. i will go through it in detail n let u know if i get find some solution.

Nee said...

Umm Ali?
Umm, umm Ashamma!
Looks yummy!

Nee

sunita's world said...

Hi Asha, the dessert looks so yummy...and the plate at the end, just waiting to be lapped up....btw I've fixed up the error on my post regarding comments...

Asha said...

Okey dokey sis!:))I will check it but little later in the day.Got to feed the kid at home and the other one gets free lunch at the hospital!:)) Thank you Sia.

Hiyaaa Nee!! You are at Aroma!!That's the first comment here!:D
How are you doing? Haven't seen your post in a long time.
Umm Ali is very yum yum!!Hope you try.Don't forget the Tomato Bhaat at FH too,it's goood!:))

trupti said...

Ashaji...

wow, what a lovely dessert entry! Never had this one before...I hope your allergies are staying away now!

Hugs,
trupti

Protegeoflife said...

wow lvely recipe never tasted arabic delite will have to catch up with ur recipie thanxxxxxxxx

Asha said...

Hi Sunita,great!:)) What happened there?! Sometimes I accidentally choose 'do not allow comment' and don't realize it until somebody tells me!;P I will try again.
Warm Umm Ali with cold Ice Cream,can't beat that!:)

Hi T! You will LOVE this yummy.I know you keep some puff pastry on hand,hope you try.Can't describe the taste in words!:)
I am on Zyrtec everyday controlling the swelling and the sneezing but one of these days,got to get a Medrol shot as it happens every year.Until mid June ,I have no choice but to cope with it!:)Thanks for asking T,I appreciate it.

Asha said...

Hello P.Hope you try this dessert,you will thank me more after that.It's a knee buckling experience!;D

Kribha said...

Hi Asha,
UMM ALI!!! sounds funny but the picture is beyond words. Never heard or tasted it before. The story was good and informative. Here goes another dish in my "to do" list.You know what? I opened a seperate folder for your recipes. It is like a long list. Thanks for blogging all the recipes with good pictures.

Suma Gandlur said...

Asha,
That is heavenly.
Do you think we need cookbooks when we have your blog?

usha said...

The Umm Ali looks very delicious. Can't wait to make, sometime soon though, i feel i am already sugar high, so goto wait for a couple of more weeks before i try. Sounds very very easy, goto train my husband, who is learning to make desserts(only desserts). He makes another arabic/middle-eastern dessert almost every month called Knafeh, which is very easy and yummy one too. We are just sucker of desserts & esp arabic desserts.
One day i will post it in my blog, which has taken a back seat with other things happening.

Cheers,
Usha

Asha said...

You are welcome Kribha:)Try easy ones first and then go for complicated ones.That way you won't get disappointed.Try this. It's easy.Good luck:)

Haha!! Suma,I have plenty of cookbook,which I am trying some of recipes in them.So I don't think you need to buy anymore!:D

Hi Usha,I never tried to taste any Arabic you know.I always think of store bought Baklava and it's so sticky and too sweet.But this dessert is heavenly and lot less sugar.You can choose to use less.
The dessert you tried sounds interesting.Can't wait to see in your blog:)

maheswari said...

Asha...Ali's mom ..:D sound delicious and looks delicious.I somehow felt little weird writing the above sentence..:D.That's different name and loved the write up.

KitchenFairy said...

I never tasted that..Thanks for sharing??Hope that I can aslo post one for this event,Today I am going to make one simple salad.

Kajal said...

Hi Asha,
Great step by step pictures and I really like your plate.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers!!!!!!!!!!!

Jyothsna said...

Everyone's making Arabic food!! We simply go to our favourite restaurant and dig in!! :) I fianlly made falafel, hummus and fattoush at home yesterday, turned out well but I think I'm lazy to make Arabic food at home!! And very unfair to the lovely restaurants here ;)

Coffee said...

Read about youe allergy..... I hope its better now. Take care dear. :)

I am a bit off blogging and commenting these days :( Miss it a lot!!!!! Just surrounded by too many things and they just can't seem to end :(

This dessert is just something that I want to indulge into right now!!!! Jus feel like having all the sinful things and being pappered!!!!! :) I can't wait totry this out soon!! :)

Asha said...

HAHA!! Mahesh,you are very sensitive!:)) Ali's mom was a great cook,hope you try this.

Hi KF! Lot of ppl cooking Arabi now!:)) There are lot simple Arab recipes as well,ope you do.

You are welcome Kajal.Hope you try:))

Asha said...

J!! It's easy for you because you are in the middle East!!
We don't get that authentic Arabi dishes here,but Americanized ones just like they do Tex-Mex!:D
Why don't you post those Arab dishes you made.I am getting interesting in those!Guess what's in FH today?;D

Hi Coffee,I am okay,on medication right now,just hope I don't have to get a Allergy shot;VERY painful!Yikes!
That's okay,take your time.I don't do blog roll on weekend either.Gives me some time to do other things and relax.
Give this dessert a try,it's easy:))

Aruna said...

Oh Asha!!! what a lovely dish!! reading it felt like almost eating it!!! Its gonna be prepared this weekend, cant resist... :-)

sra said...

Too bad for me I don't get phyllo pastry here, looks delicious!

Asha said...

Oh goodie Aruna!:) I am sure you will love it too.Enjoy.

Hi sra,these are made with Puff pastry,the one south Indians make curry puffs with. You don't get that as well? you might get in the bakeries if you ask around.Hope ypu do,it is delicious:))

Manasi said...

Hmmm... looks like u had a R-e-l-a- x-e-d weekend!!and u turned up witha gr8 sweet! Funny name :D.. must try... but I will probably use coconut a bit sparingly, my hubby has a 'psychlogical allergy' to coconut!

Asha said...

HAHAHA!! Some hubbies don't like Eggplants and your's doesn't like coconuts!! You can skip it if he hates it,still tastes great though.Hope you try Manasi.

Sonia said...

Asha,

Don't know about Ali's mom but you certainly rock with so many innovative recipes!! :)

Cheers,
Sonia

Asha said...

Oh thank you Sonia.You are so sweet.Well...but but I only reproduced what Ali's mom did many years ago!;D
Enjoy and hope you make it.

krystyna said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing.
I love dessert ( I try to be rational). But it looks soo yummy.

Lera said...

Hmmmm,I'm bowled over by this Arabian dessert..UMM ALi,what a Name for thisAwesome dish.

Asha said...

Hi Krystyna.HeHe!! Sometimes it's okay not be rational and go crazy!!;D
Hope you try this.It's delicious.

Hi Lera,I know we don't look around much for Arabian dishes but we should.There are so many great dishes they cook!Give this a try,you will love it:)

Monisha said...

I wonder what UMM Monisha would think about this absolutely rich and amazing recipe :)! Its looks delicious Asha!

Asha said...

HAHAHA!!Monisha,it's 8am and I just saw your comment,made me break into a huge smile!Thanks girl:)
Umm Monisha and Umm Asha both would love this dessert,I am sure!;D
Umm Trisha definitely loved it!Hope you try.

Nandita said...

Love this one as well as its background story...can i do this with the readymade khari biscuit, since puff pastry isnt available here/

Asha said...

Hi Nandita.I think any fluffy and light biscuits will do.What we call Butter (Benne)biscuits in B'lore would be perfect too.It may not be as flaky as Puff pastry of course.Do give it a try.
Biscuits have lot less calories than Puff pastry,one more advantage:))
Enjoy sweet Easter.

Prema Sundar said...

Thanks for a lovely recipe Asha. Haven't heard of this dish but Iam sure anything with condensed milk and pastry puffs would taste real yum. I have all the ing except sweet coconut. can we use grated fresh coconut instead?

Asha said...

Hi Prema,it sounds great and taste great too!:))
Yes,you can use fresh grated coconut.I had sweetened at hand,so I used it.Enjoy!:))

Mishmash ! said...

A BEAR HUGGGG :) U know why, I tried the dessert y'day as I didnt make it on easter coz we were too full; after tasting the first spoon, my husband said, "hmm..we should make this next time when we have guests " I was quite thrilled and happy as we both dont have a sweet tooth but loved this one...the only thing is, we couldnt eat too much as its too rich and nutty . I got some more leftovers and am just waiting to finish my lucnh to have my hand on that ;)I loved it without ice cream.

Thanks a ton:) Definitely a keeper !

Shn

Ayesha Seerin said...

Ummmmmm .... Emm Ali looks too good. I am not a fan of sweets , but this looks like a must try

Asha said...

Hi shn,g;ad you loved it!See, I told ya,you should trust me!;D
You are right ,you can't eat much bcos it's so rich just like Baklava.That's why I made with one sheet of puff pastry.You can freeze it too you know.Some weekend when you are out of dessert,pull it out ,thaw and warm.Viola!!:)

Hi Ayesha,you should try and make at least a small amount and try it.Trust me ,you will love it!:)

VINI said...

From the time I've laid eyes on this dish, I've been wanting to try it out! This week is special for my son, so planning on surprising him with this "yummylicious" dessert :). THANKS for the recipe.

Asha said...

You are very welcome Vini and make sure you use Puff pastry , not Phyllo sheets.Have a fun celebration with your son:))

Viji said...

Hhhhmmmmmmmmm........mouth watering dish and pictures tells me to grab some and eat rt now:-) I will try this for sure.Bookmarked already:-)

Asha said...

Viji,this is an excellent tasting dessert,I love it too.It is fatty a little with all Puff and condensed milk and what not, but once a while,it doesn't hurt to enjoy:)) Try maadi.

roopa said...

Hi asha, very unique dish and name , i like your blog

Asha said...

Thanks Roopa,hope you try.It's really delicious!:)

suma said...

Hi Asha

Thanks to you for introducing me to this awesome pudding.... I made it today mornign and I cant get enough of it... I didnt read the recipe properly so I made it with 2 sheets and so the milk/condensed milk became a little less.... but Wow what can I say... like trisha said I was really in heaven when I tasted the first bite which was still warm....

Awesome recipe and thanks to you....

Suma

Asha said...

You are welcome Suma. We LOVED it too. More puff pastry doesn't hurt either! Enjoy. It's really delicious, glad I found the recipe too!:))

vasu said...

Hi Asha,
Thanks for the wonderful recipe, I made the dish the moment I saw the pictures and I had all the ingredients ready... Came out so delicious...

Asha said...

You are welcome vasu, glad you tried it. We love it too, very tasty. Enjoy!:))

Anonymous said...

gud

Asha said...

Thank you Anon. This is my version of Umm Ali, may not be very authentic as they do there, but very very tasty!:))