Dip your spoon in to Om Ali—a golden, bread pudding-like dessert, lush and creamy with heat milk, and studded with golden raisins and pistachios—in any eating place or cafe in Doha, Qatar, and you may not prevent to suppose something except that is probably one of the high-quality cakes in existence. The recipe could not be extra easy, nor extra perfect. Puff pastry, milk, sugar, cream, and a smattering of nuts and raisins and/or different dried end result are thrown into an oven and served golden brown.
Qatar, one of the smallest countries of the Gulf States, shares dessert traditions with the relaxation of the Arabic nations of the vicinity. Even as the use of Qatar rushes headlong into futuristic green electricity architecture and making plans, this historic dessert hailing from decrease Egypt may be discovered at cafes and fancy accommodations. Q-explorer Qatari manual Abdullah Mohammed instructed me “you could even eat it for breakfast.”
But, like many well-known dishes, the concept of the recipe is hotly disputed—and uncovering the over-the-top real crime detail of one of the three competing beginning stories is a real thrill ride. All three stories refer back to the name of the dish—“mom” (om) of Ali, her son. (Thanks to the patriarchy, the girl who created the dessert never receives her full name written down inside the annals of records.)
One story follows a humble route of an old woman (who takes place to have a son named Ali) in a poor village within the Nile Delta, in which a sultan inside the thirteenth century with obvious imperiousness asked for some thing to consume while he passed thru this specific village while on a hunt. Scrambling for something worth of a sultan, the vintage woman mixed together anything she had reachable, and the sultan observed it as melt-in-the-mouth scrumptious because the contemporary day variations and made it famous upon his go back to the town—naming it after the mother of Ali.
An extra Cersei Lannister-bent tale, with greater windy plot twists than an episode of Game of Thrones, also lays claim to the dessert’s origin tale: Life and loss of life stakes combined with a Great British Bake Off turn.
Shajarat Al-Durr (a Syrian chronicler calls her “the most cunning women of her age”) commenced her direction to energy first as a bonded slave who married a sultan after giving him a son, and when he died, she ruled in his stead. However, due to a very complicated political state of affairs, she ended up needing to remarry and misplaced the reputable seat of strength due to the fact the powers that be could no longer take delivery of a girl ruler. But she already had a flavor for head-of-nation matters and changed into reputed to be pulling the strings in the back of the facade of her second husband.
When she allegedly murdered her 2d husband for taking another spouse, his first spouse—the purported Om Ali of dessert repute, who changed into thrown over at Al-Durr’s behest—allegedly bribed a few maids to murder her in the hammam by means of beating her to demise with their shoes. (It’s doubtful whether or not the shoes were a part of the instructions or that became a spontaneous method of murdering.)
Another account says that Al-Durr met an ignominious demise via being thrown off the pinnacle of the citadel by using the first spouse, who were anticipating her sweet, sweet revenge. (When you play the Game of Thrones…)
Upon the jubilant information that her rival became useless, the first wife demanded her cooks compete to create a dish celebrating her rival’s dying and to be even greater, she even served it in with a gold coin within the bowl.
It should be noted that this tale indicates up best thru gleeful stories across the dish and not in authentic ancient accounts, which could be in large part due to the reality many reliable records books have been stored by means of men—perhaps they didn’t care about the bread pudding-like dessert element.
Navigating lore and history get a bit “turtles all the way down,” but Al-Durr may be discredited in the aftermath after she misplaced her power as a form of a reputational smear marketing campaign that King Richard III also suffered.
Lastly, eliminated from political intrigue and murder, is a story approximately an Irishwoman. Yes, indeed a dessert dish usually served in the Middle East may want to probably contain an Irish mistress. An Irish nurse with the circle of relatives name O’Malley stuck the eye of the ruler, Khedive Ismail who turned into the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan from 1863 to 1879. Khedive Ismail had a dessert created in particular for her called O’Malley, which, a few say, could have been bastardized into Om Ali by Arabic audio system.