Friday, February 15, 2013

A Taste of Egypt: Om Ali

Om Ali is a favorite desert of Egyptians and ex-pats alike. The lightly toasted top and the creamy textures combine to make a desert that puts rice pudding to shame. Make sure you're wearing your fat pants before you try and polish off a bowl of this Egyptian Desert! 


  • 5 cups milk – la-ban
  • 2 tbsp butter – zeb-da
  • Sugar, according to taste – su-kar
  • 1/4 cup almonds – loz
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut – bon-do
  • 1/2 cup raisins – zi-beeb
  • 5 sheets filo pastry – goo-lesh
  • 3 tbsp double cream – doo-ble kreem



  • Heat the oven on medium high, 175C. Place the filo pastry on a baking sheet and bake until golden and crispy.
  • Place the hazelnuts and almonds on a small baking sheet and grill in the oven for four minutes. Let the nuts cool off, peel or blanch them and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a non-stick, deep pan heat the milk and sugar until it boils and the sugar is dissolved. Use enough sugar so the milk tastes a little sweeter than what you like.
  • Break the filo pastry with your hands into medium size pieces and put in a large casserole. Add the hazelnuts, almonds and raisins and cover with the milk to fill 2/3 of the casserole.
  • Heat the oven to medium-high heat, 200C. Place the casserole in the oven for 15 minutes until the filo pastry starts to absorb the milk and its volume increases.
  • Remove from the oven and spread the butter and cream on the top. Place the casserole back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes more. If top has not turned golden brown yet, grill for two minutes. 
(You can also use mille feuille pastry or special pastry for Om Ali from any bakery instead of using filo pastry.)

Serve hot! Bil Hana Wa Shiva! 

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