Balaleet (Sweet Vermicelli and Egg Omelet)
Happy new Year for all of you,wishing you a year rich with happiness, blessings and laughter! In the first day of this year I would like to share a traditional recipe from my beloved UAE, where am living now.. This Authentic Emirati dish "Balaleet" (بلاليط ) was a new dish for me, which was introduced by the beautiful "Maei Jeneidi" from Arabic Flavour group and this was my entry for Balaleet dish :)
Balaleet is a delicious salty and sweet breakfast dish that is enjoyed on a regular basis in UAE and common to all Gulf countries. It is a sweet and savory dish served as the traditional breakfast, and it is eaten either hot or cold. Consists mainly of a sweet fried-cooked vermicelli, flavored with saffron and cardamom soaked in rose water, then topped with omelet eggs. Little weird ha! that's what I thought first ;)
It is hard to imagine the mixed flavors for the first time,because you think it will not be delicious but it will soon become a favorite of yours :) or at least this is what my husband felt! ;)
Now will leave you with the full recipe of Balaleet :) Enjoy!
الوصفة باللغة العربية اضغط هنا
Emirati Balaleet – Sweet Vermicelli and Egg Omelet ArabicFlavour/recipe by Maei Jeneidi (host of the month)
Ingredients: - 500 grams vermicelli, 1 pack (preferably the fine long type) - 6 tbsp. butter or ghee + 2 large tbsp. of corn oil - 3/4 to 1 cup sugar (according to preference) - 1/2 tsp. saffron threads - 1 tbsp. ground cardamom - 1/3 cup rose water - 1 small onion finely chopped (optional) - 4 eggs - A pinch of Salt and Pepper - Boiling water
Preparation: 1. Soak the saffron threads in rose water as these strands require moisture to release their flavor and magic qualities. You can add some extra ground cardamom to the mix as well to enhance flavors. Set aside to use later. 2. In a deep pot, heat 3 tbls. of butter + 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add vermicelli and keep stirring till it turns into a mixture of light and dark golden vermicelli at the same time. 3. Add boiling water, enough to barely soak the fried vermicelli, and let it cook for 2-3 minutes maximum (al dente). This step is critical since over cooking it could result with very soft and mushy vermicelli. 4. Strain cooked vermicelli using a colander, place the same deep pot you used earlier over medium heat and add the remainder of butter and oil. Add the finely chopped onion with a pinch of ground cardamom and stir till it turns translucent; this insures that the flavor of raw onions is gone and they have broken down enough for their flavor to permeate the dish without overpowering it. Adding onions is optional, but it gives a wonderful kick to this recipe and I strongly advise adding it. 5. After the onions turn translucent, add strained vermicelli, sugar, ground cardamom and the rosewater and saffron mix you prepared earlier. Mix by folding gently to prevent breaking or mushing the cooked vermicelli. Make sure the sugar dissolves and the flavors are distributed evenly. Cover the pot and let it simmer over low heat for 20 minutes until the vermicelli is entirely cooked by steam. 6. During the last ten minutes of the cooking process, place a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat with a little bit of butter. Whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper and pour one third of the egg mix into the frying pan to cook a thin omelet, ensuring it’s cooked on both sides. Or use a large sized frying pan to make 1 large and thin omelet. It depends on the size of your serving dish as the vermicelli in this recipe is usually topped with a thin omelet. You can add a pinch of ground cardamom to the eggs if you wish. 7. When the vermicelli is cooked it’s time to assemble the Emirati Blaleet. In a wide serving dish, add the cooked vermicelli and top with large and thin omelet. Or assemble it using smaller serving plates with smaller thin omelets. The authentic recipe calls for folding the omelet in half making it easier to scoop from. 8. Scoop the desired quantity of vermicelli and cut off a part of the omelet to eat it with. 9. Serve hot along with tea, ginger milk or Arabic coffee. Balaleet is also very tasty when served at room temperature.
Notes: - In some recipes, you can fry the chopped onion with the eggs instead, but its preferred to add it to the vermicelli. - You can add more sugar to the vermicelli in step #5 if you wish. And if you realize that you want it to taste sweeter after cooking it, always add powdered sugar as it dissolves easier and faster. - In some countries, such as Kuwait, turmeric powder is added to the vermicelli’s boiling water to give the Balaleet an appealing yellow color. - In some recipes sugar is added to the vermicelli’s boiling water, with the addition of extra sugar later on in step #5. - You can make your Balaleet more colorful the same exact way you color any biryani rice, with light shades of red, orange and yellow to make it more appealing. This can be done either by adding saffron, turmeric powder or food coloring to some rose water or water, then distributing it in random spots after stirring and mixing the vermicelli, and before covering it to complete the cooking process. In my picture I added another half a cup of rose water distributed equally into three saucers with a single color added to each of them, red, yellow and orange. - People with diabetics can make a salted version of this recipe instead, or can use any sugar substitute that accommodates their diet, but of course this will affect the original taste. Bon Appétit :)