Category Archives: Breakfast

Chocolate Chip Pancakes Made With Fresh Laban

Friday mornings are all about pancakes.  My daughter says this is the best day of the week.

I haven’t been able to find buttermilk here in the UAE but Al Marai’s Laban is a very good substitute and actually I prefer the taste of the tangy, thick and rich laban over buttermilk.

This recipe is from Joy The Baker’s blog.  Have you ever visited her blog?  Everything I have seen so far is delicious!

Here is the recipe adapted from her Milk Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes

2 cups of flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 cups of Al Marai Laban (I used full fat laban or you can substitute with 2 cups of yogurt)

4 tablespoons of melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup of chocolate chips

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a medium-sized bowl.  Mix well.

Add the eggs, laban, melted butter, and vanilla.  Whisk it all together.

Add the chocolate chips and gently mix into the batter.

Over a medium heat, in a lightly buttered pan, pour in ¼ cup of the batter.  Cook until the top of the pancake forms small bubbles on the surface.  Turn the pancake over and cook until the bottom gets to be a nice golden brown color (about a minute).

Repeat until you use up all of the batter.  Place the cooked pancakes onto a platter and place in a warm oven until ready to serve.  Enjoy!


Arseeyah (Ar-see-yah)

Arseeyah is a simple and hearty rice and chicken dish.  I consider of the UAE’s great comfort foods.  It is a great food for young children (it is one of my children’s favorite foods) and adults love to eat it as well.  I cook this often during Ramadan and it is also a dish which is always made at my sister-in-laws house every Eid for breakfast time.  I like to make this for a simple lunch or dinner.

This past April, Sharjah had a Heritage Festival.  If you are able to go please do it is held every April.  Anyway, this was a common dish being offered there.  I was able to ask one of the women there how she made hers and it was the same except that she used basmati rice instead of calrose (short grain) rice like I do but she assured me that it could be made using the calrose rice.  I have never tried making Arseeyah with basmati rice.

Arseeyah is very easy to make and only has just a few ingredients.  I use chicken breast to make mine but you can definitely use a whole chicken which will give you more flavor of course.  Okay, now for the recipe.


2 cups of calrose (short grain) rice

1 kg (2 pounds) of chicken breast or 1200 grams of whole chicken

2 liters of water (about 8 cups)

1 large piece of cinnamon bark

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper powder

Melted Samen or ghee


In a medium size pot add the chicken, water, and cinnamon bark.  Boil the chicken breast for one hour or the whole chicken until it is falling off the bones.  Remember to skim off the scum.  Strain and reserve the broth.

Cool and then debone the chicken.  The chicken will now need to be cut into finely chopped pieces.

In a large pot add the rice, the strained broth, the chopped chicken, salt, pepper and cardamom powder.  Stir.

Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.  The pot needs to be covered.  Every ten minutes go and stir the Arseeyah so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

I like to use this heavy spatula to help stir and scrape the Arseeyah.

Every ten minutes you will need to stir the Arseeyah.

Turn off the heat and remove the lid to let all the steam out.

Once, it finished cooking it will look like this…not dry but still moist.

Taste for salt.

With an electric mixer set on high, mix the Arseeyah until the rice and chicken are “melted” into each other very well.

Arseeyah needs to be served hot.

Place the Arseeyah onto a platter and spoon melted samen (ghee) over the entire surface and smooth out.  Since it is Ramadan I am serving the Arseeyah in a huge hot pot (I just love these!  It will keep the food nice and hot for hours!).

Variation:  I like to add 1 can of Nestle Cream to the Arseeyah and then mix it well using the electric mixer.

I hope that you try and enjoy my recipe!

Print this recipe.

Spicy Apple Muffins

The weather here in the UAE right now is wonderful.  The air in the mornings are cool and crisp.  I was awake at 4am and wanted to take advantage of this quiet time to make a special treat for my children.

I decided to make some muffins because what better way to wake up to a home filled with the sweet aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg.   (and I love the scent of nutmeg…especially when it is freshly grated!)

Spicy Apple Muffins

2 cups of sifted flour

2.5 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup of sugar

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg

1 cup of milk

1/3 cup melted butter

1 large apple (peeled, cored, and shredded)

Preheat your oven to 425F.  Brush muffin tin with some butter.  Add the sifted flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a mixing bowl.  Mix well.

In a small bowl, mix the egg, milk, and butter.  Add this to the dry ingredients and mix just enough until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

This makes 12 moist, delicious muffins!  

Balaleet – Vermicelli and Egg Omelet


This is an unusually delicious salty and sweet breakfast dish that is enjoyed on a regular basis.  This is also traditionally served on the Eid holidays along with boiled garbanzo beans and boiled black-eye peas.  Along with the salty-sweet taste your taste buds will be tickled with the cardamom spice.  It is very interesting to eat this for the first time because you think it will not be delicious but it will soon become a favorite of yours too.




2 cups of vermicelli

2 tablespoons cooking oil

¼ cup of ghee (or a mixture of 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons cooking oil)

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cardamom powder

2 generous pinches of saffron soaked in ½ cup rose water

4 eggs beaten with ¾ teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper


In a large pot, bring enough water to boil for the vermicelli.


Meanwhile, in a wok, or wide pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and add the vermicelli.  With a wooden spoon, constantly stir the vermicelli so it won’t burn.  Lightly fry the vermicelli until it is a dark, golden brown color.  Remove the wok from the heat.


Once the water starts to boil, add the vermicelli and cook for just 3-4 minutes and then drain.  Place back into pot.  


In another pot, heat the ghee and add the sugar and cardamom powder along with the saffron rose water.  Cook until the sugar melts and then pour over the cooked vermicelli.  Cover the pot with a lid to keep warm.


In a pan make an omelet.  Heat about 3 tablespoons cooking oil and then when very hot add the beaten eggs.  Tip the pan around to spread the uncooked egg.  When dry on top, turn the egg omelet over and cook for one minute more.


In a large serving dish, spread the vermicelli and top with the egg omelet.


Enjoy!  It is very delicious!


Tomato and Egg Scramble

This is a dish that I will regularly serve for breakfast and dinner.  I usually serve it with sliced cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese drizzled with olive oil.  I also serve it with either Lebanese khobuz or Khobuz Irani.  This is another favorite of my children.


The recipe I am giving is for just one serving.  It easily doubles and triples.  For my family, I will use 8-10 eggs, 2 ½ cups of chopped tomatoes, and I will increase the spice amounts to 1 ½ teaspoons.


Ingredients for one serving:

2 eggs

½ cup chopped tomato

3 tablespoons cooking oil

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground tumeric

Salt to taste


Heat the oil in a pan and add the chopped tomato.  Saute until the tomato is “mushy”. 


In a small bowl add the eggs and whisk until thoroughly mixed.


Add the spices and salt and stir.  Now add the eggs and with a wooden spoon slowly stir until the eggs are cooked.


Serve hot and enjoy!

Potato and Egg Tacos

There I posted a recipe for tortillas but didn’t post a recipe for anything to go in them!

Potato and Egg tacos are usually eaten for breakfast but I have also made them for dinner.

1 large potato, cut into small cubes
4 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheese (Chedar or Monterry Jack) optional
some oil for pan frying

Pan fry the potato cubes until soft and golden. If the potatoes are cooked on the outside but still hard on the inside add a little water to the pan. Cook until soft.

Add the beaten eggs, salt, and pepper to the potatoes. Stir. Let the eggs cook until set.

Serve the potato and eggs in a hot tortilla with shredded cheese over the top. You can sprinkle some hot sauce in there too and my children like the tacos with ketchup on top.

Serves 2 to 4

Fried Egg Sandwich

Here is a comfort food that is sure to fill you up. It is quick to make and the kids like to eat it. I make this for suhoor during Ramadan because it is very filling.

Fried Egg Sandwich (makes 1)

2 slices of bread
Kraft cream cheese spread
thinly sliced tomato
1 fried egg

Toast your bread and as soon as it is toasted spread on the cream cheese, as much as to your liking.

Top with the fried egg and the tomato slices.

That’s it! Enjoy!