Discover the flavors of UAE history at Al Fanar

Hashem Al Marzuki had a dream to contribute to Emirati history. His dream came true when he opened the first “Al Fanar” restaurant in Dubai in 2011.

Since then, the brand has grown with 9 restaurants opening, from Dubai to London. We went to Al Fanar Seafood Market to find out more.

Hashem’s son Suheyl Al Marzuki shared some important information about the recipes that are the signature of the family restaurant.

At Al Fanar, Chef Puru cooked some of the traditional Emirati dishes. The chef first started with the fishmonger. Mahbus is a kind of rice prepared with a mixture of fish broth and spices special to the Emirates.

Suheyl El Marzuki gave information about the spices in the mahbus: “Spices usually vary from house to house. Each family has its own recipe. It is usually prepared with 10-12 spices ground together. It contains spices such as black lemon, turmeric, cardamom, saffron, cumin. different spices are brought together.”

United Arab Emirates flavor recipes

Flavored rice is made by frying onions, green peppers, garlic, fenugreek and coriander in vegetable oil. Then tomato puree, fresh tomatoes and spices are added and vegetable juice is poured over it. The rice is then cooked in water to which a ladle of black lemon pulp has been added. In the United Arab Emirates, instead of a chair, one usually sits on a tablecloth with plates on it or on cushions around a low table. Delicious fish mahbusu is usually served with a variety of appetizers or a salad.

We tried two types of Emirati desserts at the restaurant. The first is acidat el tamor or date pudding. This sweet date is cooked with water, flour, fennel powder and date syrup and flavored with a spoonful of butter.

The other is legimat, a famous Emirati flavor. Saffron is put into the dough fried in oil, date syrup and sesame seeds are drizzled over the yeast and flour.

If you’re looking for a taste of Emirati history, a dinner at Al Fanar is the perfect place to start.

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