Flavours of Oman

T-Mag Wednesday 14/November/2018 20:17 PM
By: Times News Service
Flavours of Oman

We are all set to celebrate the most significant day of Oman and we take our happiness a notch up by offering a taste of patriotism. Let’s celebrate Oman’s 48th National Day with some mouthwatering Omani dishes.

A deep fried snack with a savoury stuffing of potatoes or meat has a strong presence in the Middle East. In this recipe, the humble sambusa has a Yemeni twist.

• 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 1 tomato, chopped
• 500g chicken mince
• 3 green chillies, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon hawaij (Yemeni spice; mix of cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom)
• Finely chopped fresh coriander
• Salt to taste
• Sambusa wrappers (25)
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1 tablespoon all purpose flour

• Sauté onion and garlic in oil over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes and add tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes have softened.
• Add chicken mince along with the chillies, spices, chopped fresh coriander and salt. Cook till the chicken mince is cooked through and there is hardly any moisture. This would take around 15 minutes. Keep aside to cool.
• Begin to spoon a bit of filling onto the end of each sambusa wrapper. Then gently fold the sambusa over, keeping the filling tightly wrapped inside. Continue until you reach the end of the wrapper.
• Seal the wrapper with the paste of water and all purpose flour to secure stuffing.
• Deep fry the sambusas in oil over medium heat until golden brown and serve hot.

A comforting bowl of fish soup that’s easy to make and delicious to the core.

• 1 tablespoon oil
• 1 onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 3 tomatoes, diced
• 5 cups water
• 3 green chillies, slit
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
• Salt to taste
• 500g kingfish pieces
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

• Sauté onions till light pink in oil in a large skillet. Add garlic, tomatoes and 1/2 cup water; and bring to a boil.
• Add chillies, remaining water, turmeric, salt and fish pieces. Simmer for about 20 minutes till fish is cooked. Remove skillet from heat; stir in lemon juice.
• Serve hot.

Omani coconut macaroons that are quick to make and quick to polish off.

• 1 cup desiccated coconut
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
• 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon butter

• Combine all ingredients in a large bowl to form a soft dough.
• Roll the coconut dough into small balls, place them in a greased baking dish.
• Bake in a 180°C preheated oven for 15 minutes until light brown. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Omani rice porridge fragrant with spices along with the goodness of chicken is a must try.

• 750 g skinless and boneless chicken cut in cubes
• 4 cups water
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 teaspoon Arabic mixed spices
• 2 tablespoons oil
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
• 1/2 cup, garlic cloves, crushed
• 1/2 cup fresh ginger, crushed
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 cups of rice- soaked for half hour and drained
• 2 tablespoons dried lime powder
• 2 tablespoons green chilli, thinly sliced
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Coriander leaves for garnish

• In a large saucepan, place chicken with water and add bay leaves, Arabic mixed spices and bring to a boil. Simmer for almost 40 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Strain the stock through a sieve and discard bay leaves. Keep the chicken aside.
• Heat oil in a separate saucepan and sauté onions until they are golden. Add tomatoes, garlic, ginger and tomato paste and cook to combine well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
• To this add the cooked chicken, stock, rice, green chilies, cinnamon and lime powder. Stir and simmer until rice is fully cooked and mushy, for about half an hour.
• Gently mash the mixture by using a potato masher, until chicken pieces are turned into shreds and rice is completely mashed.
• When Mardrouba is fully cooked, garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.
• Serve hot.

Oneza Tabish is a food blogger, consultant, and columnist based in Oman. She is also the owner of Oman’s popular Facebook group ‘What’s Cooking Oman'.