" Cook it our way, اطبخها بالعربي"  

As-salāmu alaykum, allow me to welcome you to "cook_it_our_way" "اطبخها_بالعربي" event here on my blog, a series of guests posts written by talented Arabic food bloggers who are interested in sharing their amazing Authentic Arabic recipes all over the world! I thank each and everyone for being part of this series and making it so successful, Your work is really appreciated :) Today we have The Sweetest Asmaa Olwi Of : Sleepless in my kitchen from Saudi Arabia, a wonderful food blogger,I my self have always enjoyed following her blog, her way of writing and her words have always impressed me!  Asmaa chose to present a very traditional Saudi dish, prepared and captured by her :) 

let's get over Asmaa :)  

I feel very honored to share with you a recipe here on Nisreen’s food blog.  Nisreen has always encouraged me to blog regularly, and especially to present recipes inspired by our traditional local cuisines.  Since I am from Saudi Arabia, then I will present a traditional recipe from my home country. I hope that this post will be both informative, and lead to a delicious and healthy dish.

 

Saudi Arabia is a vast country and has a very rich cuisine that most people know very little about. The cuisine varies a lot across the different regions, where each location integrates its own local ingredients, culture and local tastes in their popular dishes. Take for example the Central Saudi region of Najd; an arid vast of a landlocked desert, littered with scattered oasis and palm gardens. Their cuisine is very original and has seen little change over centuries. Their unique dishes mainly utilize ingredients native to their harsh environment.

 

Other regions like the eastern coast (Known as Hijaz) are influenced by a lot of cuisines from adjacent and remote countries in North Africa, Mesopotamia, and even Central Asia and Anatolia.  Due to its location and significance as an active trade route and a pilgrimage destination for Muslims over the centuries, its tastes, culture, and cuisine have been continuously enriched by travelers and immigrants settling in from as far west as Andalusia in Spain all the way to islands of Java in Indonesia. This civilizational flux has created a cuisine that is inspired by other cultures, yet at the same time bares the unique fingerprints of the Hijazi culture.

But despite this seemingly diverse origin of Saudi cuisines, the one ingredient that unifies all of our dishes is dates. We harvest it in the summer, store it and consume it throughout the year in different forms. Some of it is dried for storing purposes and some are pressed. Some of it is made into molasses that people used to use it as a natural sweetener. Desserts that are made with dates are numerous and they are all very delicious. I especially love the traditional ones. They are usually made with local simple ingredients which highlights the dates as the star of the dish.

Today I will be presenting a traditional dish called (Haisa) حيسه that is popular in the region where I am from (Hijaz). It is made out of very few simple ingredients that are usually available in every house. It is can be served for breakfast, holidays, or special occasions. Eid that is approaching us soon is a perfect time to serve it in.

Haisa

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ cup unsalted butter

5 cups pitted dates, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

½ cup milk at room temperature

¼ cup ground toasted almonds

Method:

- On a medium heat, in a heavy saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour while stirring with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until it turns into amber color.

- Lower the heat and add the dates and the cardamom and keep stirring until all the dates are coated with the flour mixture.

- Pour the milk into the mixture until all the milk is observed by the flour.

- Garnish with the ground almonds and serve warm.

-The Haisa can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. To reheat it use a steamer pan so it doesn’t dry up in a regular pan.

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