Qatar | Sahlab, Om Ali, Mahalabiya

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18103328581_067c607b3a_cWhat to do when its 115F outside and the sun is shining? Stay inside, surrounded by endless pots of tea and plenty of sweets. I wish I could spend more time here (we’ll have to figure out how to get more of the Middle East in my life), because there is much to learn and devour when it comes to desserts. All these flavors! And textures! So intense, so wonderful.

We’ll start with Sahlab (سحلب), a hot creamy milk-based drink. Sahlab is the name of the drink, and also the name of the flour that makes this drink so rich and velvety. At Four Seasons Doha they mix and top it with sesame seeds, coconut, raisins, and nuts. And just enough sugar for a touch of sweetness. They also make ice cream and puddings with sahlab…on the to-do list.

17914533870_09eb28d91b_cYou know about my longstanding affair with avocado shakes. And here they blend it with milk (can also use soy milk…or ice cream!), honey, and a mix of fresh and dried dates. Love getting little bites of sweets dates in each sip.

18075744116_92226194dc_cThis is Mahalabiya (مهلبية), a custard with Egyptian origins. It’s served cold, delicate and fragrant with rosewater. Also involved: pistachio and almonds, dates and apricots.

18102274535_37d105535a_cAnd don’t forget about the ghorayebah and baklava mentioned in our last post.

18098810232_0f7f7b4d86_cAt last…Om Ali (ام على)! It’s like a combo of bread pudding and baklava, crazy good. Served hot with a little cup of steamed milk on the side. Mixed in is raisins and almonds. A bit of cinnamon and toasted pine nuts. Coconut and rosewater! It’s baked till the top forms this sort of golden, crisp layer. Dive in, let the steam out, devour! I love this dessert…

17484650903_06f336a1a2_c…so much that I had it again (for breakfast) on another occasion ^-^


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