Tag Archives: Comfort Food


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.

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

It was a bit chilly and breezy early this morning and the weather outside was just so beautiful with a brilliant blue, cloudless sky.  It was a perfect day so I was immediately in the mood for some homemade bread.  

Some people are intimidated by the thought of making bread.  It is not hard whatsoever!  I find it so very peaceful and relaxing and the end results are homemade goodness created lovingly by you…just imagine your home filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread and the compliments you will received for all your “hard” work!

When I first saw the delicious-looking pictures for these dinner rolls I knew I just had to make them.  I have been wanting to make these for quite a while now and have just got around to baking them today.  The original recipe for this is from the “For the Love of Cooking” blog.  But Pam’s recipe for whole wheat dinner rolls was meant for a bread machine and since I don’t have one I had to experiment.

The results?  A perfectly (good for you) luscious, soft, melt-in-your mouth bread that you will want to make every day.  It’s so easy!

For starters you will need:

1/2 cup of warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon yeast

In a medium sized bowl, add these three ingredients and mix.  Store in a nice warm place while it grows to double (or triple) its size.  This will take about 15-20 minutes.

While you are waiting for the yeast to activate, gather these ingredients:

1/2 cup warm milk

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 egg warmed to room temperature

Mix these three ingredients in a large bowl.

In another bowl you will need the following ingredients:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cup whole meal flour (or whole wheat)

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Mix these three ingredients together.

By now, the yeast will have doubled in size.  Add the yeast mixture to the bowl with the milk, egg, and butter.  Stir well.

Now add the flour mix to the bowl with the wet ingredients.  Mix well to form a dough ball.  If the dough ball is a little dry , you might need to add some more milk at this point.  Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you get a nice workable dough ball.

On your counter top or table top, spread a little flour so that you can knead the dough.  This is the fun part.  Hopefully you have a window where you will be kneading the dough so you can sing and watch what’s going on outside. 

Knead the dough for at least 15 minutes.  If you don’t know it, you are incorporating air into the dough helping it to expand and rise…and yeast just loves to be massaged 

Now you will have to add your dough ball (which will be nice and smooth from all that massaging kneading) to a big bowl.  Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to the bowl and smooth it all over.  Add the dough ball and just turn it once to oil the other side.  Cover with cling fling and a clean dish towel and set it out in a nice warm place.  I set mine outside.  Leave it to rise until it has doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours).

Punch the dough down.  Butter a 9×13 inch glass baking dish (don’t use oil…the dough will just suck it up).  Divide the dough into 15 smaller pieces and place into the baking dish.  Brush each roll with melted butter.

Cover and let rise about an hour until it has doubled in size.

Bake in a 375F oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  You can brush each finished roll again with melted butter  and serve hot.  Enjoy!

If you should find you have any leftovers, these keep well in the fridge and can be heated up in the microwave for a few seconds.  They will still be as delicious!

Mama Love Chocolate Cookies

The weather is cooler.  The children are all in school.  What better way to welcome them home than with the aroma of freshly baked cookies made with “mama love”?

This is a very easy recipe to make and it is also a wonderful way to spend quality time with your children.

So here is my recipe which will make 96 cookies (8 dozen).  You can make a dozen cookies or more at a time.  I suggest that when you are making the one inch cookie balls  freeze them on a tray and then pop them into ziploc baggies to use whenever you want to make cookies!

I hope that you enjoy the recipe!

Mama Love Chocolate Cookies

2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour

¾ cup unsweetened baking cocoa (I use Cadbury Cocoa in the orange tin)cadbury cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 ¼ cup unsalted, butter…softened

2 cups of sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Extra sugar in a small bowl for rolling the cookies in

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.flour and cocoa
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy.  butter and sugarAdd the eggs and the vanilla.  Mix well.eggs and vanilla
  3. Add the butter & sugar mix to the flour mixture.  Mix well.butter and chocolate
  4. Chill in the fridge until the dough is firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F.  With a melon baller or with a small spoon, scoop up a bit of cookie dough enough to roll into one-inch balls. melon baller and cookie dough Roll each cookie ball into the extra sugar and then place on a Teflon cookie tray or ideally on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper.cookie balls
  6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes.  Enjoy!!!DSC00959

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!

Banana Pudding

This banana pudding recipe is something that made up this Ramadan 2008. The ingredients I use are ones that are readily available living here in the UAE. Hope you like it.

Banana Pudding

5 cups water
1 1/4 cup of powdered milk
6 heaping tablespoons Fosters Custard Powder
1 package of Ulker biscuits
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 can of Nestle Cream
2-3 bananas

In a large bowl add the water and the powdered milk. Stir well until the milk dissolves. Add the custard powder and stir with a wire whisk until the custard powder has dissolved.

At this point, you can either:

  • Microwave this mixture on “high” for 7 minutes. Stir and then microwave for another 3 minutes….or….
  • Heat on the stovetop and constantly stir until the mixture thickens. Be careful not to scorch.

After you have cooked the custard, stir in the sweetened condensed milk and the Nestle Cream. Mix well.

Using a deep 8-inch square casserole dish, you will now layer the pudding. *Start with 1/2 cup of custard, the Ulker biscuits, and sliced bananas. Cover with another layer of custard and biscuits and then repeat from the * and finish layering the pudding with custard.

Leave in the fridge to cool.

That’s it! Enjoy!