JEDDAH: Ramadan is a month of reflection and giving, a month where families gather and reconnect over a table full of wonderful traditional dishes. Families gather regularly and since it’s customary to bring a dish to the household you’re visiting, food delivery apps often save the day.
For my weekly family gathering, I scrolled through food delivery app Lugmety, which operates in Jeddah and Riyadh.
My cousins were craving samboosak, a staple on every Hijazi table. My grandmother’s pastries were like no other, but it’s time for us young ones to make up for all the years that she hid a big batch of samboosak away from our parents.
I ordered from Ahel Awal, a restaurant that is quite new to the restaurant scene in Jeddah. It serves dishes often found on tables in the Hijazi region, such as fuul, okra stew and mulukhiya stew, but I needed my pastry fix.
I chose the madini puff and the samboosa sajair, but unfortunately the other options were not available at the time, which was rather disappointing.
Nevertheless, the order arrived piping hot just a few minutes before iftar and had the perfect crunch we were all craving. The fluffy samboosaks, complete with crumbly pastry, were stuffed with just the right amount of tender, well-seasoned meat and served with various chutneys, including a sweet and tangy tamarind sauce.
On to dessert and I broke Ramadan dessert protocol by ordering a banoffee pie from Ms. Moh Bakery.
Although the café does offer a wide of sweets — including Arabic desserts with a twist, cakes, pies, puddings and trifles — the banoffee pie called my name.
It was fantastic, with just the right amount of fluffy cream over a light biscuit crust and perfectly aligned fresh bananas drizzled in a thick caramel sauce.
It’s been a while since I’ve tasted a great banoffee pie and this one topped the charts and even scored fans in my traditional Arabic dessert-loving family.