It may not be feasible for many to visit Dubai and dine at its famed Atlantis, The Palm, but closer home, one can sample the luxury resort’s traditional Arabic cuisine at a suburban hotel. The iconic resort’s Oriental Head Chef, Ali El Bourji is in town, serving up a feast at Taj Lands End till next week.
On the menu are Arabic favourites like Hummus, Fattoush and Tabouleh as well as lesser-known desserts like Mafroukeh and Znoud El Sit. Says Bourji, “We’re keeping it as authentic as possible, using pretty much the same spices we use back in Dubai. The spread has local food from the Emirates as well as Moroccan and Lebanese style dishes.”
As part of the hotel’s Arabic-themed food festival, Bourji has even set up a one-of-its-kind Tahina fountain, which he claims is his own innovation. “You must definitely try it with the falafel skewers, haloumi cheese and lamb kebbeh,” he says, adding, “The Fish Tagine is another dish that I recommend.”
30gm butter melted n 750kg flour n 10gm salt n 30ml olive oil
3gm yeast n 650ml water
400gm spinach n 200gm onion
10gm sumac powder (chopped)
20ml olive oil
10gm salt n 10ml lemon juice
15gm pine seeds (fried)
Combine flour, water, yeast, butter, oil in food processor and process into a smooth dough, adding more water, if necessary.
Leave to rest in warm place
Saute onions in olive oil. Add the spinach and cook till wilted. Season with lemon juice and salt sumak, pine seeds. Spread mixture out on plate to cool.
Put dough on floured surface and roll into a big circle.
Cut the spread dough into small circle with a cookie cutter.
Fill with 1 tbsp of spinach mixture and seal the edges filmy
Arrange in tray and bake in a moderate oven until pink in colour. Serve hot.
500gm parsley n 50gm onion
150gm pomegranate de-seeded
100gm tomato n 20gm brown burgul (crushed wheat) n 10gm mint leaves n 5gm spring onion
50ml olive oil n 10gm salt n 75ml fresh lemon juice n 1 whole lemon
50 gm romaine lettuce
40 gm cabbage
Finely chop the parsley, wash thoroughly and drain
Chop finely onions, tomatoes, mint leaves and spring onion
Wash the burgul five times and strain
Mix all ingredients, season with salt and lemon juice
After the salad is mixed, put in a bowl and garnish with romaine lettuce or white cabbage