Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Recipe Guide for Hot Drinks Served in Oman: Omani Qahwa, Chai Haleeb, Turk Kahvesi, Chai Karak, Haleeb wa Zataar, and many more


"Omani Qahwa" i.e Arabic Coffee
INGREDIENTS: -6 cardamon pods -1/4 cup coarsely pulverized Arabica pulverized dark roast coffee (or you can buy a specific Arabic blend with the cardamom already in it if you prefer that easily in any Omani grocer's isles) – 1 cup cold water *rose water and/ or saffron threads if desired---I personally prefer without*
MATERIALS:-an "ibreeq" style pot, and a "dala" & "finjans" set for serving
METHOD: Bruise cardamom pods by hitting with a mallet or pound briefly in a mortar. Put water in a long-handled coffee pot (ibreeq) and add cardamom pods and coffee. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Leave to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes so grounds settle. Pour ibreeq pot's mixture into the Arabic coffee pot (dala) to let additional loose grinds settle.
TO SERVE: When you are ready to serve (done so in front of your guest/guests) pour the dala with your left hand into tiny porcelain coffee cups (finjans) until each is half full. Fill only half way! [Filling less than half--- or more than half--- can mean an insult or can signify some other intention of the host traditionally---though if you are a non-Omani or make it known this is your first time serving Qahwa people are very forgiving these days! J.] Serve the poured little porcelain cups with your right hand while maintaining the Arabic coffee pot (dala) in your left. And repeat with the next guest.
Omani qahwa is usually served with fresh fruit that is sliced before the eyes of the guest/guests and dried dates and/or fresh dates. Sometimes Arabic sweets and other juices. The order in which the fruits and coffee are served varies between female and male gatherings even in the same region, but as long as there is a plate of dates alongside the qahwa you are formally serving, it is up to par with the best of them.*Note, Qahwa in the Gulf is served traditionally without sugar. 3 tablespoons of rosewater is added for sweetness if desired to the brew on the boil. 2-3 Saffron threads are also added for flavor ***usually for more important occasions in my own home but I don't know about other Omani families in the Sultanate. I find my Saudi girlfriends use saffron a lot more traditionally than my husband's village does, same goes for Lawati Omanis I have visited in Mutrah****
Interesting fact: I have found that whether or not fruit is served first or sweets or dates varies even among women of the same region. So either find out the order in which the women closest to where you live serve the qahwa or don't sweat it if you are different than anybody else. The coffee itself along with a plate of dates is enough to satisfy tradition. By the way, I'd be curious from any other Khaleeji girl, how her Qahwa preparation and serving methods + ingredients vary from my own.
Often served alongside or instead of traditional Omani Qahwa these days is…"Chai Haleeb" aka "Chai Hindi", i.e a humble tea mixed with warmed with milk and sugar
INGREDIENTS: 4 bags of any old plain black tea (I personally prefer bagged) such as Liptons, Teltey, Red Rose, *but not Earl Grey*, 2 cups water, 1 & 1/2 cup milk, and 5 tablespoons of sugar. *I like to stick a whole stick of cinnamon into my Chai haleeb to flavor it but that isn't the norm in Oman at all****
MATERIALS: Pot to boil it in, and flask or teapot for serving, as well as cups.
METHOD: Bring water to a boil and then add the other ingredients, and reduce heat. Mix well, and stir to avoid the milk from cooking. Simmer, until the mixture is warm throughout, remove the tea bags, and strain any loose tea grinds if the any of the tea bags broke.
TO SERVE: Serve straight from pot into cups to brought out of the kitchen on a tray or put into a flask or tea pot to be served in front of guests. *Usually served at the end of a meal along with desert or in place of desert but growing in popularity to be served as a secondary option next to Arabic coffee in Oman. -----Again, I'd be curious from any other Khaleeji girl, how her Chai-Haleeb preparation and serving methods + ingredients vary from my own.
"Haleeb wa Zaatar" i.e Hot milk with a thyme infusion popular in more rural Omani villages
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup of milk &1 tsp of unground thyme leaves fresh or dried is okay
MATERIALS: Pot to boil the milk in.
METHOD: Bring milk in the pot to a boil, turn down the heat and then add the thyme. Stir, and let simmer, or remove from heat and let stand for 1 minute and a half.
TO SERVE: Usually served with the thyme leaves floating in the milk, one can strain them out before serving if they prefer to.
"Nescafe" i.e. any instant cappuccino or the like ect.
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup of hot boiling water, 1 packet of instant coffee, either Nescafe or Alicafe.
METHOD: A solid no-brainer, water is boiled and then the packet of instant coffee is mixed in.
*Super popular in Oman where no one Omani I know owns an electric kettle, let alone an espresso machine. So khalas on the Black&Decker coffee maker/brewer in my householdL. When they saw the kettle they were like "oooooooooohhhhh! Fancy!" J****
"Turk Kahvesi" most commonly referred to as Turkish Coffee
INGREDIENTS: Turkish Coffee, water *and sugar if desired
MATERIALS: A long handled metal pot tapering at the top (called "jesve" by the Turks and an "ibreeq" by the Omanis) is required for brewing over fire or heated cook top.
METHOD: Fill the "ibriq/jesve" pot with one demitasse cup of cold water, and add 1 heaped teaspoon of powdered Turkish coffee. *If you would like to add sugar 1 level teaspoon makes it moderately sweetened, and two make it very sweet*. Stir, and put on medium-low heat. When coffee rises in the pot remove from heat immediately, and spoon froth into cup. Return pot to the heat and cook until coffee rises again. Remove the froth into serving cup and repeat a third time. This technique ensures that the coffee has a creamy foam floating on top. Pour the surface coffee into the cup after the third froth spooning. Enjoy.
Note, Turkish coffee is ideally made one cup at a time, three at the most ."Chai Karak" (recipe taken from my friend Um Khaled over in UAE) and undeniably the most popular hot drink over in the United Arab Emirates, a type of spiced milk tea
INGREDIENTS: 4 cups of cold water, 4 black tea bags (I use Lipton but you can use King Cole, Tetley, Red Rose, ect---or equivalent loose black tea----but NOT earl grey), 1 teaspoon of cardamom powder, 5 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 small can Rainbow (or Carnation) EVAPORATED Milk. *some saffron threads are optional
MATERIALS: Pot to boil it in, strainer, and flask/dala METHOD: Add all of the ingredients together in the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and then bring it to a boil again. Reduce heat, and then bring it to a boil… again. Repeat until it gets frothy. If tea bags break just use the strainer later. DO this several times until you get a nice color...then strain into your cup or flask. If you like put some saffron strands in your cup or flask and pour tea over and let steep for a few mins :D
"Chai Ahmar" i.e red tea with or without sugar
INGREDIENTS: any kind of black tea but Earl Grey pretty much, water, and sugar
METHOD: This is a basic tea so boil the water, dip the tea bag until preferred darkness, and sugar as you desire. Nothing fancy here.
"Chai Maghrebi" aka Moroccan tea, which is tea with fresh mint.
INGREDIENTS: I use 2 Lipton red tea bags, 1 1/2 cups of water, 8 springs of fresh mint leaves (dried won't work), and sugar as desired.
METHOD: I boil the water and then pour it into the service pot and first put the mint in. After the water turns a light greenish shade I add the tea bags and usually 5 teaspoons of sugar depending on how dark the tea is.TO SERVE: Moroccan tea is traditionally served from a teapot that has a longer neck to the spout from ahigh into thin rimmed medium height Moroccan tea glasses to ensure that there is a frothy foam to each cup. *the Moroccan social service requirement similar to Qahwa in Oman***"Haleeb Zanjabeel" i.e Ginger Milk (Recipe taken from Um Khaled over in the UAE)
INGREDIENTS: 4 cups fresh milk, 3 tbsp fresh grated ginger, 3 tbsp white sugar
METHOD: Put all ingredients into a pot and whisk/stir often. Increase heat until the mixture almost flows over. Reduce heat and let simmer. Increase heat again until almost overflowing and reduce (do this several times) taste and check for "gingery-ness" I like it a little spicy...add more sugar if you like...
TO SERVE: pour in the cup/flask with the ginger (will sink to bottom) or use a small strainer to strain out the pieces....then enjoy...soo yummy and healthy too! Great for night drink or outside in the evening! And for a similiar recipe "Haleeb Bil Hail" using cardamom instead of ginger follow this link"Qahwat Al-Hilo" i.e a sweet spice infusion popular in Saudi Arabia
INGREDIENTS: 1 & 1/2 cups water, 3 whole cardmom pods---bruised, 3 teaspoons saffron threads, 2-3 teaspoons pounded sugar to taste
MATERIALS: Long handled "ibreeq" coffee pot or a small pan, and small porcelain Arabic coffee cups (finjan) to serve.
METHOD: Combine ingredients in a small pan or large long-handled coffee pot. Stir to dissolve, then leave on low heat for 30 minutes until reduced and thick.
TO SERVE: Pour into the finjan coffee cups, filling them, and serve on tray for your guests each to take one. *there is no rule about overfilling the finjan when it comes to Qahwat Al-Hilo!


hijabi said...

Assalaam aleikoem

I love chai Maghrebi only I use chinese green tea. Oooh and what about persian/Iranian's the best :-)

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

hijabi: wa alaykom e salaam. My husband loves it the same way. I have yet to meet anyone in Oman serving Persian tea outside a restaraunt but you're right. It is amazing.

Noor said...

Nice post mashAllah! I love them all but nescafe I always have to have my coffee from Dunkin Doughnuts daily.

I have never tried the milk and thyme drink though.

Mai said...

Hello ladies. I am not sure if you have tried it or would like to, but a friend of mine from Jordan use to serve us red tea with sprigs of dried sage. Make red tea, as usual, add a sprig of dried sage, one per glass or per person, let it steep, add sugar to taste. I love it and so does my Omani husband and his brothers. Let me know what you think.