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The Table of My Ancestors: Week 10 (Egypt)

Through my research, I have found that Egyptian food can be quite similar to Middle Eastern food, of which I ate quite a bit during my years overseas. However, this week, I came across a recipe I had never heard of before but sounded quite delicious. It was for something called umm ali, which is a national dish of Egypt. The legend is that it dates all the way back to Egypt’s Mamluk era (1250-1517) and is named after the wife of the Sultan at the time. She asked her cooks to come up with the most delicious dessert they could create for a victory feast, and it was so good that she distributed it among the people of the land. Umm ali is a type of bread pudding, made with puffed pastry or phyllo dough (I used the former), raisins, shredded coconut, pistachios and pine nuts, then topped with a milk and sugar mixture and baked.

This was absolutely delicious and changed my views on Egyptian food. My family hasn’t loved the recipe so far this month, but umm ali won them over. It’s best served warm with some whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!