Welcome to V’s Kitchen’s UAE Chef Recipe Series.
Struggling with ideas on what to cook these days especially as we are all spending more time at home due to Covid-19? Well, over the next two months I will be sharing a selection of amazing recipes from some of the best chefs in the country to inspire you to get creative in the kitchen.
Today’s series is all about impressive iftar recipes by talented Chef Hassan Abdallah of Raffles Dubai who began working tirelessly at the age 14 towards his dream culinary career and he now has 30 years expertise and knowledge of oriental and international cuisine. His culinary career has taken him across the globe and helped influence his delectable creations.
Let’s have a quick tête-à-tête with Chef Hassan before we get started, shall we?:
~Number of kitchens worked in: 10.
~Favourite cuisine: Indian as its full of spices and flavours. However I enjoy and prefer to focus on preparing quality dishes using fresh ingredients rather than on a specific cuisine.
~Favourite dishes to make: Warak Enab (vine leaves) and chargrilled sea bass with mediterranean flavours.
~Most unusual banqueting experience: Organising a high profile event for over 5000 people.
~What do you love to do when you’re not cooking: I’m a family man and dedicate my days off to my three kids.
~Favourite ingredient to cook with: Fresh herbs such as coriander and thyme to uplift dishes.
And now to get cooking! Today’s recipes are simple but delicious and packed with flavour. Chef Hassan shares his recipes for Baba Ganoush (an eggplant-based dish), Warak Enab (vine leaves) and Mouhalabia (a Middle Eastern-style milk pudding).
- 1kg eggplant
- 1 mashed clove of garlic
- 5g salt
- 100g pomegranate seeds
- Mint leaves for garnish
- 80ml olive oil
- 70g finely chopped tomato
- 70g finely chopped parsley
- 40g chopped spring onion
- 20g finely chopped mint leaves
- 50g finely chopped green capsicum
- 10g chopped walnuts
- Grill the eggplant on charcoal or gas stove.
- Place it in a container with ice to cool it and to ensure the pulp inside remains white.
- Peel the eggplant under water.
- Leave to dry and chill for 30 minutes.
- Chop the eggplant then add the chopped tomato, parsley, mashed garlic, onion, capsicum and mint.
- Season it with lemon juice, salt and mix well.
- Serve on a plate, garnish with pomegranate seeds, walnuts and mint leaves.
- Finally, drizzle with pomegranate molasses and olive oil.
Recipe #2 – Warak Enab (Vine Leaves)
- 300g pickled vine leaves
- 120g coarsely chopped parsley
- 60g finely chopped spring onion
- 170g finely chopped tomato
- 40g finely chopped mint leaves
- 100g sliced tomato
- 100g sliced potato
- 60g Egyptian rice
- 60ml olive oil
- 50ml lemon juice
- 100g lemon wedges
- 100g chopped romaine lettuce
- 10g mint tips
- 3g cinnamon powder
- 8g salt
- Wash the vine leaves.
- Mix all the chopped vegetables together, wash the rice and add to the mixed vegetables.
- Add lemon juice, olive oil, cinnamon powder and salt. Then put in a strainer. Keep the
- sauce aside.
- Flatten the leaves and add the vegetable rice mixture in the centre and then roll it up.
- Take a small pot and add the tomato and potato slices at the bottom, arrange the vine leaves parcels on the top, add some romaine lettuce and then add a heavy lid or ceramic plate on top to keep it pressed.
- Add the remaining juice from the vegetables and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for one and a half hours. Let it cool completely.
- Take a serving plate put the chopped lettuce in the bottom and arrange the parcels on the top. Garnish it with tomato and lemon wedges and mint tips.
Recipe #3 – Mouhalabia (Middle Eastern-Style Milk Pudding)
- 200g fresh milk
- 150g fresh cream
- 20g sugar
- 30g corn flour
- 30g strawberry purée
- 10g orange blossom water
- 10g pistachios
- Put the milk, fresh cream, sugar and orange blossom water into a casserole dish.
- Cook over a low flame and add the corn flour to the milk, constantly stirring till thick.
- Put the strawberry purée in a bowl and the mouhalabia mixture on top and refrigerate till cold and set.
Images: Raffles Dubai
Raffles Salon at Raffles Dubai is offering guests the option to experience a dine-in iftar (prior booking is necessary) or enjoying iftar in the comfort of their own home. For more information, please call +971 4 324 8888 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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