Part of the appeal of going to a new place, any new place for me is the food :).
Dubai was really interesting because I didn’t try any hardcore Emirati dishes. I had lots of Lebanese and Turkish and others though.
Putting that to one side, I got the chance to try a variety of things, most of them at the hotel. They were an interesting variety from egg dishes to bean ones.
1. Foul Medames
Don’t let the name fool you into thinking this is a nasty dish, ’cause it isn’t – it might just take some getting used to.
Pronounced ‘full medam‘, this bean dish was served at the hotel breakfast everyday, set in an earth-glazed tagine.
Country of origin: Egypt
Ingredients: Stewed Fava Beans, tomato sauce, garlic, cumin, etc.
The waiter descried this dish as the Arabic equivalent of baked beans. While new and interesting, I didn’t particularly enjoy this ‘ful’ – something about the beans. They were creamy but…I don’t know, not my thing.
I love, love, love this dish of eggs baked in a sauce of tomatoes, peppers and seasoning.
First you make that sauce, which comes together fairly quickly on top of the stove, then you gently crack each of the eggs into the pan, nestling them into the sauce. The pan is moved into the oven to finish; NYT
Country of origin: Thought to be Tunisia
Ingredients: Tomato sauce, eggs
This would make a great brunch dish, and dinner too. It is definitely going in my mix. Add some fresh bread to dip…you’re home.
3. Eggs Florentine
Another baked egg dish said to be a variation on Eggs Benedict.
Country of origin: France
Ingredients: Eggs, Spinach, Hollandaise
I like it but found the spinach too watery and the Hollandaise too ‘yellow’ for my liking :). Oh well, that’s just me.
4. Bao/ Steamed Buns
I’m a huge fan of steamed buns but I’ve never tried the sweet variety.
These intrigued me because of how they indicated what they were filled/ flavoured with – by a coloured dot at the top of the bun, or the colour of the bun itself cf. green bun.
Country of origin: China
Ingredients: Bread dough, sweet fillings – adzuki beans, green tea and creamy custards
It never ceases to amaze me how beautifully bread dough rises with steam. Who would have thought that steamed buns would be soft and delicious – but they are.
My one gripe? The fillings were gritty compared to the feather-pillow smooth-softness of the exterior. I liked the custard one the best – dotted with yellow to differentiate it from the adzuki bean one which had a red dot.
I thought these were doughnuts when I first saw them but they aren’t. And then I tasted them and something drew me home, to Nigeria. They tasted like Akara.
Country of origin: India
Ingredients: Lentil, gram flour and spices
I really enjoyed these – they had a beautifully crisp exterior and wonderful fragrance of whole spices, which dimpled their appearance – cumin here, onion there, and altogether wonderful.
I had so many other delightful and interesting things but these five stand out.
What are your favourite recipes, discovered on holiday?