Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Walima Second Challenge Representing the Bahraini Cuisine

The Kingdom of Bahrain (Arabicمملكة البحرين‎, Mamlakat al-Baḥrayn, literally: Kingdom of the Two Seas) is an Arabic Island Country in the Persian Gulf ruled by the Al Khalifa Royal Family. Saudi Arabia lies to the west and is connected to Bahrain by the King Fahd Causeway, which officially opened on 25 November 1986. Qatar is to the southeast across the Gulf of Bahrain. The planned Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Bridge will link Bahrain to Qatar as the longest fixed link in the world.
The culinary history of Bahrain spreads over a wider time span from the far off Dilmun era to the present days. In between, it has also adopted both eastern and western eating habits to perfection making cuisine of Bahrain a medley of flavors.The food items in traditional Bahraini cuisine include fish, meat, rice and dates. Among the most famous Bahraini dishes are Machboos - dish prepared with meat or fish and served with rice and Muhammar - sweet rice served with dates or sugar. Fresh fish is an important part of the Bahraini diet. Dishes prepared with Hamour, Crayfish, Crap, Prawns, Lobster, Tuna, Safi, and Mackerel are the most popular fishes that are served grilled, fried or steamed mostly with rice.
The June Challenge is brought to us by Arlette from Phoenician Gourmet and Summer from They choose two recipes giving the participants the choice between savoury or sweet.
Fish Stew
1 tsp of turmeric
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 kg of fish fillet cubed
2 jalapeno peppers seeds removed and finely chopped
1 tbsp of freshly chopped fresh ginger
4 cloves of garlic chopped
2 med size chopped onions around 300gm
300 gm chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp of dried mustard
2 ½ cups of water (625ml)
2 cubes of chicken bouillon (unless you have homemade chicken stock. Replace the water with stock)
2 tbsp of freshly chopped cilantro
Mix the turmeric with veggie oil, and marinate the fish in it for couple of minutes.Then lay the fish on a baking tray and bake in a preheated 400F oven for 18 minutes to turn golden brown.In a food processor, add the garlic, onion, jalapeno peppers tomatoes ginger and mustard, and whip until it turns to paste. Heat a non stick pan and cook the paste on medium heat, without oil, till it start to turn golden,(takes around 5 min) add the water and dissolved chicken bouillon or the chicken stock, whatever you have on hand, and cook for 7-8 minutes more to become a thick sauce, pour over the fish in the oven and continue cooking for 10 more minutes.Serve over basmati rice and sprinkle fresh cilantro on top..
Khabeesah - Dessert
4¼ cups plain flour or 600 g (I used Semolina flour)
4½ cups water or 1125 ml (I used whole Milk)
½ teaspoon saffron filaments
¾ cup sugar or 150 g (used one cup)
¾ tablespoon ground cardamom
3 tablespoons rose water
3 tablespoons desiccated coconut
½ cup butter unsalted or 100 gm
1 can sweetened condensed milk - 397 g (used pure Canadian maple syrup)
Sift the flour and add it to a large saucepan placed over medium heat. Toss flour and stir continuously until golden brown. Remove from heat and sift again.Add water, saffron, sugar, cardamom, rose water, desiccated coconut and half the quantity of butter to a large saucepan. Bring ingredients to boil.Add the toasted flour gradually to the water while stirring continuously.Add remaining butter, and stir until well combined. Cover and cook on very low heat for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool.Add condensed milk and stir until well combined.
Serve at room temperature with coffee. You can add tooted nuts on top of the platter.
A cup of Turkish Coffee with a plate of Khabeesah
Toasting the Coconuts,then the Semolina, adding the Milk and sugar, stirring then adding the toasted coconuts after you take it off the heat.

a serving plate of Khabeesah with toasted coconuts

the plate is decorated with toasted coconuts, chopped almond, pistachios and dried apricots mixed with some cardamom. Its a smooth pudding full of the aroma and flavours of Saffron and Cardamom and the Rose water . tasty , reminds me of a dish I grew up eating specially for breakfast called Mamounieh, its also prepared by toasting semolina, then adding sugar , water and butter and cooked together. (this was the reason I used semolina) Serve it hot with a dash of cinnamon, and if you want to get the best of the two world add Arabic Cheese, and you will be biting into sweet and salty flavour at the same time . Try it and enjoy a nice pudding served any time!!!!

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

To see the Savoury Recipe check the Walima Members and see their posting.

Our July Challenge will Represent the Egyptian Cuisine, Join us if you are interested to taste the Middle Eastern Flavours.


://: Heni ://: said...

Thank you again for the kind invitation. June has past but cannot wait for the next challenge!

Both of these dishes look interesting. The Khabeesah looks much like Algerian tomina except it has coconut ... looks rather nice and I imagine the flavours are wonderful. I will make this since it's wedding season ... looks like great dish to take!

Chahira Daoud said...

It looks nice and delicious, great idea to use semolina, I thought that I really won't like it with flour so I did the savoury dish, come and have a look, thanks a lot Arlette for your efforts and your kind words !!

kaouther said...

hello/ salam

I Find the concept of walima very original. I'd be happy if you accept me as a new member.

Thanks in advance

Lisa Michelle said...

Oh wow, Arlette, you so outdid yourself. I want to try all of them..everything! I'm drooling!

Arlette said...

Hello Ladies, and Welcome

thanks you so much for your nice visit and beautiful words....
I love you all, and do try this dessert.. its very simple and refreshing, and can be used as breakfast or dessert.

The Savoury Dish is Awesome too and you can check the rest of Walima Members for their Savory posting.

joumana said...

Hi Arlette
Where is the July challenge? Please help! I am itching to try Egyptian cuisine!

Arlette said...

it will be posted today, Chahira is preparing something special for us all....

sabah said...

Hi Arlette,
I have an Award for you in my blog, check it out.
Have a nice day !

MAG said...

Wonderful challenge result Arlette! Sweeetttttttt!!!

Noor said...

Oh wow this turned out amazing, how was it? It looks very good. Great Job..

Antonio Tahhan said...

كيفك يا ارليت؟ انشاءالله كلو تمام
I can't believe I missed out on this challenge :(
when I first saw the photo of your dessert it reminded me of namourah, but when I read your post I can see it tasting like mamounieh. I love both of those, so hopefully I'll get to make it at some point.
يسلمو دياتك

Taste of Beirut said...

Love your work as always.