Emirati recipe: I want Karak and Chabab

Join us on July 5th while exploring the unique coffee traditions of the UAE in our program, Coffee Break: Community, Preservation, and Culture. If you like tea, fine – we’ve got you covered! Try the recipe below to taste another important drink of the UAE, like Karak.

With the discovery of oil in the 1960s, a wave of Indian immigration brought workers and their favorite spiced milk tea to the UAE. Ubiquitous Tea spice Her new home in the UAE has undergone some changes in the Indian subcontinent and culture chai karak, Which means “strong” or “strong” in Hindi.

Want Karak, or simply, Karak, Has become a favorite staple of the Gulf (Arabian Peninsula), can be eaten at any time of the day. You can find it everywhere from specialty cafes to roadside stalls where drivers simply roll up, hook up and a server rushes in with a piping hot cup. Serve sizes range from small pick-me-ups to full mugs.

There are no specific recipes because vendors have developed and strictly defended their own recipes, but at least cardamom is a star, if not The The star spice, the basis of a strong black tea, ends with a creaminess that can come from steamed or condensed milk. Other spices that can be found in secret recipes include ginger, cinnamon, cloves, or, in one case, biscuit cookie powder.

The drink symbolizes the global cuisine and culture that make up the UAE. The rapid growth of the young nation attracted people from all over the world, who brought with them their traditions and culture and created new roots. This recipe comes from Hanan Saeed Wareles Table Story: Abu Dhabi’s Global Nomadic Food, Which collects recipes from various residents of the capital city.

Ahmed Al Bawardi, who contributed to the recipe Table story, Suggest eating karak with freshly made breakfast chbaab, Cooked in fermented emirate pancakes About, A versatile metal disc is perfect for open fire cooking.

Tea brewed with red woven mugs, bright red saffron thread floating on top

Recipe: Chai Karak (Cardamom Milk Tea)

By Ahmed Al Bawardi and Hanan Saad Warrell


3 cups (700 ml) hot water
6 cardamom pods, crushed
3-4 teaspoons loose leaf black tea
3/4 cup (180 ml) of evaporated milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar to taste
A pinch of saffron


Combine water, cardamom pods and loose leaf tea in a medium saucepan. If using a teabag, open the bag to use loose tea.

Let the mixture boil on high heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until fragrant, stirring regularly.

Reduce heat to medium and add milk and sugar to taste. Increase the amount of milk for a Crimean tea. Stir the tea until well heated, but do not let the milk boil.

Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Strain the tea maker into a heated carafe or tea pot. As an alternative, add a few saffron to the carafe / tippet or tea glass.

Serve hot in a small tea glass or tea-cup.

Pancakes cooked in a black fry: two golden brown on top, two still cooked and pale

Recipe: Chbaab (Emirati Pancakes)

By Ahmed Al Bawardi and Hanan Saad Warrell


1 cup (150 g) flour for all purposes
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (240 ml) of milk
1 tablespoon cooking oil
A pinch of saffron
Butter or ghee


In a small bowl mix the flour, sugar, yeast, baking powder, salt and cardamom.

In a medium bowl shake the eggs, milk, oil and saffron. Soak the dried ingredients in the milk mixture until it is wet. For a thin pancake, add more milk. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place away from drafts for 30 to 45 minutes.

Heat a frying pan or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter or ghee and distribute when it melts. Pour about 1/4 cup (60 ml) of bata iddle for each pancake. Cook until bubbling and bursting a few, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Invert with a thin spatula and let the other side brown for another 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat for all cakes.

Serve hot with honey, date molasses, brown sugar, or cheese.

Kathy Fung is the food coordinator of the Smithsonian Folklore Festival, who also runs the exhibition kitchen at the National Museum of American History. With a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and baking and pastry art, he has worked as an ompa lumpa, pastry cook and butcher at various food establishments in the DC area.

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