Eastern delicacy Umm Ali

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Umm Ali

Umm Ali

Umm Ali is a popular dessert in many eastern countries, but Egypt is considered its homeland. Translated from Arabic, the dish is called Mama Ali. According to an old legend, once, during a military campaign with his army, Sultan Ezz El Ding drove past the home of poor Egyptian cook Ali and demanded to feed them deliciously. But he only had bread, nuts, raisins and coconut. The cook’s mother brought her son milk and sugar and helped prepare a delicious treat, which the Sultan really liked, from a simple set of products. He generously rewarded both, and upon returning to his homeland he named the dish he loved in honor of a good woman.

In fact, Umm Ali is a stuffed bread pudding. For its preparation in different Arab countries they use filo, puff pastry, and finished bakery products. The filling can also be varied based on available stocks in the kitchen. Mandatory ingredients are only sugar, milk and bread.

I propose to cook Umm Ali dessert according to one of the most successful recipes of Arabic cuisine - from puff pastry with nuts, raisins and coconut.

Essential Products

To prepare a dessert Umm Ali you will need:

  • 500 g./ 17 oz puff pastry;
  • 700 g / 24 oz of milk;
  • 200 g / 7 oz of sour cream 20-25% fat;
  • 6 tbsp white sugar;
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar;
  • 100 g / 3,5 oz of raisins;
  • 100 g / 3,5 oz of almond petals;
  • 100 g / 5 oz hazelnuts;
  • 10 g / 0,3 oz vanilla sugar;
  • 50 g / 1,7 oz coconut flakes.

Instead of puff pastry, you can use ready-made puff cakes (sold in stores for Napoleon cake) or 6-7 croissants without filling. Hazelnuts can be replaced with toasted walnuts, peanuts or pistachios.

Cooking process

Step 1. If puff pastry is used to prepare the dessert, then roll out 2 thin layers of it and send them in turn to bake in the oven, heated to 200 degrees. Dough layers should be punctured in several places with a knife or fork, so that large bubbles do not form when baking.

Step 2. While the cakes are baking, put a pan of milk on the stove. Bring it to a boil, pour sugar and vanilla sugar into it. Leave on low heat so that the milk does not cool.

Step 3. Fry the hazelnuts in a dry pan or in the oven and grind it in a blender. Pieces of nuts should not be too small.

Step 4. We wait until the layers of dough have cooled slightly and tear them with our hands into pieces of arbitrary size (we also act with croissants or store puff pastry cakes). Pieces are placed on the bottom of the pan, greased with a small amount of butter.

Step 5. Cover the bottom of the pan with the first layer of dough and sprinkle with hazelnuts, brown sugar, raisins and coconut flakes on top (use half of the total amount of ingredients).

Step 6. Tear into pieces the second layer and evenly close the filling with it.

Step 7. Sprinkle with the remaining amount of hazelnuts, raisins, chips and sugar.

Step 8. Pour the contents of the pan with hot milk and sugar: first half, wait 2-3 minutes and pour the leftovers.

Step 9. Beat sour cream to steady peaks.

Step 10. The top of the dessert is evenly greased with sour cream.

Step 11. Sprinkle sour cream with almond petals and send the baking sheet with dessert to bake in the oven, preheated to 200 degrees, for 30-35 minutes.

Step 12. When the sour cream and almonds take on a golden appearance, take out the treat from the oven. We wait until Umm Ali cools down a little, move it with a spatula from a baking sheet to a cutting board and cut into portioned pieces.

Eating Umm Ali dessert is best right away - while it is fresh, it is incredibly tasty and tender. Bon Appetit!


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