Monday, January 28, 2008

Hayam's Om A3li

Om A3li (translating to mother of Ali) is an Egyptian dessert that is made of bread, whole fat milk, lots of ghee, sugar, and anything you like such as raisins, coconut, nuts, etc. that is baked in an Egyptian clay pot in the oven until it turns golden brown and bubbles over. The best way to describe it is to liken it to bread pudding. It is the epitomy of Egyptian comfort food.

The best Om A3li I've had in Egypt comes from Hayam's kitchen. Hayam is Shaban's wife and she makes the best Om A3li. I watched Hayam make Om A3li from scratch only once, and it stuck with me ever since. From frying the phyllo dough to adding the milk and nuts and raisins. It is delicious.

My mother always made desserts from scratch and never used anything out of a box. So if I'm going to learn how to make something I want to know how real the real cooks do it, not the box cooks. My experience with cooking in Egypt does not use much in terms of measuring cups or spoons, rather the eyeball method.

If I want to cook something badly enough, I will do it no matter what no matter how it turns out. I think it turned out well considering a foreigner made Om A3li from scratch from memory. It must have turned out well because Mira ate it for breakfast and it was gone.

CAUTION: It is extremely fattening.




Anonymous said...

Congratulations, it looks interesting. I am trying to lose weight, but little by little it will be whittled away... i have enjoyed talking with you lately, it is a shame it is not in person.
xox Karen

Living Away said...

it looks sooooo delicious!
the only bad part is that i didn't get the chance to try it out! lol

'L' said...


Please share this - step by step. I'm drooling. I love milky, soupy, sweet umm ali - is this the same?!?!


Anonymous said...

Wow now that looks dangerously heart stopping!

Layla said...

Marian - Gosh that looks De-LISH!I am drooling over here lol.

Love and Hugs!!

Cairogal said...

That looks great, M! Could you take some photos of koshari and send those, too! ;-)

Tom said...

Feb 11, 2008

Happy Birthday! Wishing you peace, health and happiness.

Anonymous said...

Been thinking about you all day!
-- Laura

Marian said...

Thank you all for the comments on the Om A3li. I will post the Om A3li recipe once I write it down. As is the case in most Egyptian cooking, ingredients are just thrown together and estimated - by smell and consistency. And remember, my cooking is learned by half English being used at most by the cook and all the garbled understanding of Arabic I can muster up in this brain of mine.

Tom - Thanks for the birthday greetings. It is hard to believe my age (gulp). I guess if I can make it this far, there's hope for anyone. Love.

Laura - Thanks for the birthday greetings. It's nice to be remembered. Love.