Britain’s ‘coronation quiche’ gets a Middle Eastern twist to celebrate historic event

Britain’s ‘coronation quiche’ gets a Middle Eastern twist to celebrate historic event
The royal household chose quiche as the coronation dish because it is considered a good ‘sharing’ dish to take to a street party and can be served hot or cold. (AFP/ Supplied)
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Updated 08 May 2023

Britain’s ‘coronation quiche’ gets a Middle Eastern twist to celebrate historic event

Britain’s ‘coronation quiche’ gets a Middle Eastern twist to celebrate historic event
  • Dubai chefs concoct Middle Eastern version of royal dish on occasion of Charles’s accession to British throne
  • The quiche is a nod to coronation chicken, a dish which was invented for the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

DUBAI: The Arab world is gearing up to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, with regional chefs preparing an Arab twist on the couple’s chosen coronation dish, a special quiche.

The dish, featuring spinach, broad beans and tarragon, is a nod to coronation chicken, a curry and mayonnaise-based dish which was invented for the 1953 coronation of Charles’ mother Queen Elizabeth II that is still enjoyed today.

Britain’s King Charles III (R) and Britain’s Camilla, Queen Consort arrive for the Easter Mattins Service at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on April 9, 2023. (AFP)

Coronation chicken, created by Cordon Bleu-trained chef Rosemary Hume, was named the “poulet Reine Elizabeth” and consists of cold poached chicken in a sauce made from red wine, mayonnaise, whipped cream, apricot purée and a touch of curry powder.

By the 1980s, an easier to make version of coronation chicken salad had become ubiquitous in Britain, found in ready-made sandwiches at many local stores across the country.

Now, cold shredded chicken, mayonnaise and a healthy heaping of curry powder are considered a staple form of the dish, while some recipes call for raisins and mango chutney for a sweet kick.

Coronation chicken vol-au-vents are served at a reception for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II with representatives from local community groups to celebrate the start of the Platinum Jubilee on February 5, 2022. (AFP)

As the UK celebrates the new monarch, the royal household is hoping the “coronation quiche” will prove equally popular 70 years on.

Quiche was chosen because it is considered a good “sharing” dish to take to a street party and can be served hot or cold.

The palace said on its website that the dish had been chosen personally by Charles and Camilla, and was “easily adapted to different tastes and preferences,” presenting it as a recipe for hundreds of community lunches planned across the country to mark the May 6 event.

“A deep quiche with a crisp, light pastry case and delicate flavors of spinach, broad beans and fresh tarragon. Eat hot or cold with a green salad and boiled new potatoes,” said the recipe on the royal family’s website, which accompanied a video clip featuring a royal chef preparing the dish.

Marwan Sardouk has culinary experience that spans over 15 years. (Supplied)

Lebanese chef Marwan Sardouk, with culinary experience spanning 15 years, and chef Shelton D’Souza, of Dubai’s FireLake Grill House at the Radisson Blu hotel, have added an Arab twist to the dish.

Sardouk’s recipe, created for TV channel Fatafeat, is good for two to four people.

Sardouk’s quiche recipe:

Croque Madame in Quiche by Lebanese chef Marwan Sardouk. (Supplied)


For the Mornay sauce:

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2/3 cup whole milk

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup shredded Gruyere Cheese

For the Croque madam:

300 grams quiche dough

2 tablespoon butter, softened

2 teaspoon whole grain mustard

1/2 cups mornay sauce

6 thin slices turkey ham

1 cup shredded gruyere, divided

For the egg:

1 tablespoon butter

2 large eggs

Salt flakes, for sprinkling

Freshly ground black pepper, as needed


For the Mornay:

Make the roux and add milk and salt and pepper as flavoring.

For the Croque madame:

Roll the dough on a flat surface with a rolling pin.

Shape it into a tall pie using a round ring mold.

Place all the filling and cover it with the remaining dough.

Bake it at 180 C for 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough is golden and comes loose from the ring mold.

Fry the eggs in a frying pan with butter and season it with salt.

Set aside the fried eggs for later use.

To finish off, place the egg on top of the pastry and garnish as you like.

D’Souza’s quiche recipe

This recipe serves four people.

Dubai’s FireLake Grill House in Radisson Blu hotel will served the dish at the eatery on coronation day from 1 to 4 p.m. (Supplied)


For the quiche mix:

300 grams spinach (cleaned, blanched and chopped)

25 grams of white onion (chopped)

5 grams of garlic (finely chopped)

140 grams of akawi cheese (grated)

30 grams of gruyere cheese

For the quiche pastry:

200 grams of flour T55

200 grams of butter

1 pasteurized egg white

30 grams of dry zaatar powder

10 grams of salt

25 milliliters of water

For the quiche custard:

200 milliliters of milk

100 milliliters of cooking cream

2 eggs

2 grams of cinnamon powder

5 grams of salt

2 grams of black pepper

Chef Shelton D’Souza at Dubai’s FireLake Grill House’s recipie serves four people. (Supplied)


Preheat the oven to 162 C. Prepare the quiche dough then mix all the ingredients together and make a dough. Roll out the dough into a pie mold. Line a pie dish with short crust pastry, cutting off any excess and pinching the edges. Prick the bottom and all over the side. Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes until it becomes light brown.

In a medium frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the garlic and onion in butter for about five minutes until lightly browned.

Add the blanched and chopped spinach. Taste the mixture then wait for it to cool before adding the akawi cheese. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pastry-lined dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk the custard mix. Season it with salt and pepper. Pour it into the pastry base, allowing the egg mixture to thoroughly combine with the spinach mixture.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Bake an additional 35 minutes, until it is set in the center. Allow the dish to cool for five minutes before serving.


Baz Luhrmann to head Red Sea Film Festival jury

Baz Luhrmann to head Red Sea Film Festival jury
Updated 26 September 2023

Baz Luhrmann to head Red Sea Film Festival jury

Baz Luhrmann to head Red Sea Film Festival jury

DUBAI: Australian director Baz Luhrmann has been chosen to preside over the Red Sea International Film Festival’s features competition jury this year, organizers announced on Tuesday. 

The third edition of the Saudi festival is set to take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9 in Jeddah. 

Luhrmann will head the jury that will be bestowing awards to a competition of 17 titles from filmmakers from the Arab world, Asia and Africa.

Mohammed Al-Turki, the festival’s CEO, said in a statement: “As we work towards our third edition, we are delighted to welcome legendary award-winning director Baz Luhrmann as the head of the jury.” 

Luhrmann said: “As a child in the local cinema that we ran near the tiny country town where I grew up, I was mesmerized by the powerful historical and physical landscapes of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. 

“Since that time, I have had an abiding passion for the Arabian world, but after visiting Saudi Arabia, I felt truly inspired by the remarkable young filmmaking talent coming up across the region and to see how they are now capturing the attention of the global film community.” 

The Academy Award-nominated auteur is known for being a master storyteller across film, opera, theater and music, as well as his critically acclaimed filmography, including double Academy Award-winning “The Great Gatsby,” “Strictly Ballroom,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Moulin Rouge,” “Elvis” and “Australia.” 

Review: Be prepared for deep story and complexity in ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’

Review: Be prepared for deep story and complexity in ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’
Updated 26 September 2023

Review: Be prepared for deep story and complexity in ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’

Review: Be prepared for deep story and complexity in ‘Baldur’s Gate 3’
  • Latest incarnation of the 1998 series creates very human experience despite outrageous fantasy world

LONDON: The “Baldur’s Gate” series dates to 1998 and this latest incarnation (available for both PC and PS5) allows gamers into a vast and hugely complex fantasy world of Dungeons and Dragons, with hundreds of customization options as you weave your story from the depths of the Underdark, to the glittering rooftops of the Upper City.

For those unfamiliar with the series, adjusting to this world, its history and lore, as well as the practical aspects of turn-based role-playing game, or RPG, combat, can be difficult. But, if you are willing to persevere, you are rewarded with a story of incredible depth all shaped by your choices.

The story begins — following significant time choosing your character’s class and appearance — with you trapped on a nautiloid ship where you witness an Illithid also known as “mind flayer” place a tadpole into your brain. One dramatic air battle with dragons later and you are free and desperate to cure this contagion.

As ever with RPGs, you balance a central quest alongside a steadily increasing number of side quests. There is a fair amount of dialogue but the choices within it, which often involve going to the role of a dice, feel substantive and the silky tones of the narrator give you greater immersion into the impressive world that you find yourself in. 

Combat is turn-based and akin to a game of chess with each of your four-person team possessing certain skills and strengths that need to be knitted together for success. Again, the pace of this style of game is very different from the quick reactions of other more conventional fighting fantasies like “Elden Ring” but again after a time complexity becomes familiarity.

Movement around the battle space is limited, jumping becomes an important attribute and enemy spells or actions like throwing grease can force some of your party to miss their turn, sometimes with lethal implications. Leveling up is a serious affair offering a host of new skills, but patience is required to read and understand each. 

The dice mechanic can seem a bit arbitrary at first but once you get to grip with the logic of a character’s developing strengths it can reinforce the sense that your choices matter. Charismatic characters can persuade non-playable characters to do what they want, whilst stronger ones can try and use intimidation to get to a similar outcome. Again, it is worth spending time slowly understanding the menus, dialogue histories and item effects to really get the most out of the game. 

The world is varied and can be fast-travelled. Music and atmosphere are both solid but one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game is the relationship between your tadpole-infected group of four. It is your choices that determine who you travel with, and the world’s history will mean some companions will not get on with each other. Time spent resting in the game’s “camp” facility offers further dialogue and the chance for your characters’ relationships to become stronger. This all means that “Baldur’s Gate 3” creates a very human experience despite the outrageous fantasy world in which it is based. 

Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini walks for Boss

Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini walks for Boss
Updated 26 September 2023

Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini walks for Boss

Syrian swimmer Yusra Mardini walks for Boss

DUBAI: Syrian Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini this week walked the Boss runway during Milan Fashion Week.

The athlete wore a grey shirt, an oversized black blazer, a knee-length skirt, leather boots and a white clutch.

She walked alongside US-Dutch-Palestinian catwalk star Gigi Hadid, Russian model Natasha Poly and Senegalese-Italian media personality Khaby Lame.

This is not the first time Mardini works with the German fashion label.

In March, Mardini, whose story of fleeing her homeland alongside her sister Sarah was made into a BAFTA-nominated film by Netflix called “The Swimmers,” walked Boss’ runway in Miami.

She also starred in the brand’s digital campaign that month, which featured a long list of Arab and international stars, including DJ Khaled, Hadid, Demi Lovato, Paris Hilton and Bella Thorne.

Mohra Tantawy crowned Miss Universe Egypt 2023

Mohra Tantawy crowned Miss Universe Egypt 2023
Updated 26 September 2023

Mohra Tantawy crowned Miss Universe Egypt 2023

Mohra Tantawy crowned Miss Universe Egypt 2023
  • Winner qualifies for Miss Universe 2023 in El Salvador on Nov. 18
  • Finalists included Salma Eltoukhy, Doaa Meera Tarek, Aya Abdelrazik and Amera Othman

DUBAI: Mohra Tantawy, the 21-year-old runway model, was crowned Miss Universe Egypt 2023 on Monday.

The rising star now has the opportunity to represent Egypt at Miss Universe 2023 in El Salvador on Nov. 18.

Tantawy competing with other finalists Salma Eltoukhy, Doaa Meera Tarek, Aya Abdelrazik and Amera Othman.

The competition’s categories were a personal interview, swimwear round backed by Egyptian brand Hadia Ghaleb, evening gown round, and the final question.

During the final question and answer segment, Tantawy was asked: “What do you think is the biggest reason why poverty still exists in many countries in the world?”

Her winning answer was: “I believe the main reason why poverty still exists in many countries is the lack of resources such as education or the lack of economic opportunities, and if I were to be Miss Universe Egypt, I would work with both local and international organizations to create (a) micro-funding environment and to empower these people that are stuck in the unfortunate circumstance of poverty, and just empower them to break out of the cycle.”

The competition was organized by Dubai-based Yugen Group, the same entity behind this year’s Miss Universe Bahrain pageant.

Josh Yugen, owner and national director of Miss Universe Egypt, said in a statement: “On behalf of Miss Universe Egypt organization, we are very honored to crown our new Miss Universe Egypt 2023 with our utmost goal of celebrating a platform that gives a voice to the empowerment of young women, to highlight their incredible and innovative contribution to our society and to inspire other women to break stereotypes not only in Egypt but all throughout the world.”

“Our new queen is quintessentially graced with passion, cocooned with courage and armored with pursuit of love, sisterhood and kindness,” he added.

Miss Universe Egypt was held in Cairo and live-streamed globally on the pageant’s YouTube channel.

The jury members included Egyptian actress Mai Omar, Miss Universe Philippines 2022 Arci Munoz, and Filipino-Italian model Celeste Cortesi.

The event was hosted by Evlin Khalifa, who was crowned Miss Universe Bahrain in 2022.

A guide to uncovering Europe’s Islamic heritage this autumn

A guide to uncovering Europe’s Islamic heritage this autumn
Baščaršija, Sarajevo’s old bazaar and the historical and cultural center of the city and was built in the 15th century.
Updated 25 September 2023

A guide to uncovering Europe’s Islamic heritage this autumn

A guide to uncovering Europe’s Islamic heritage this autumn

As the leaves begin to fall and Europe’s landscapes are painted in autumnal hues, a captivating expedition awaits travelers. It is a voyage that invites you to retrace the steps of Arab-Muslim pioneers who left an indelible mark on this continent, from the bustling bazaars of Sarajevo to the elegant Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.

Day 1: Arrival in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina 

As the first light of dawn breaks over the horizon, your journey begins in the heart of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This city, where East meets West, is an emblem of resilience and cross-cultural heritage. The echoes of its Ottoman past resound through the labyrinthine streets of the Baščaršija, Sarajevo’s old bazaar and the historical and cultural center of the city built in the 15th century. The air is infused with the fragrant aroma of spices, and the calls of merchants create a symphony of languages as diverse as the goods they offer. 

The 500-year-old multi-domed Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque stands as a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture, a silent witness to the history that unfolded within its walls. The intricate details of the mosque’s facade tell stories of faith, culture, and the intertwining of civilizations.

The interior of the 16th century Ottoman style Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque. (Shutterstock) 

Day 2: Sarajevo Exploration 

The sun rises over Sarajevo, casting a warm glow on the city’s rich history. Today, you will embark on an exploration that delves deeper into the layers of this dynamic city. Svrzo’s House stands as a living museum, offering a glimpse into the daily life of an Ottoman-era family. The Sarajevo War Tunnel, constructed between March and June 1993 during the Siege of Sarajevo in the midst of the Bosnian War, is a stark reminder of the city’s recent past and speaks to its enduring spirit and resilience. 

The Sarajevo Tunnel which provided a lifeline for Bosnian citizens' survival during the Siege of Sarajevo from 1992-1995. (Shutterstock) 

Day 3: Travel to Skopje, North Macedonia 

It is time to journey to the captivating city of Skopje in North Macedonia. A short flight whisks you away and as you land, you’re greeted by the majestic Vardar River, which has witnessed the ebb and flow of history. 

One of the oldest and largest marketplaces in the Balkans is Skopje’s Old Bazaar, a labyrinth of cobblestone streets and artisan shops. It beckons with its Ottoman-era charm. Here, you’ll find hidden courtyards and intricately designed facades that harken back to a bygone era. Built on Roman foundations under the patronage of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror, the Stone Bridge, an iconic symbol of the city, spans the river, connecting the past with the present. 

Skopje’s Old Bazaar. (Shutterstock) 

Day 4: Skopje and its surroundings 

Today, you’ll delve further into Skopje’s rich history and venture beyond its borders. A day trip to Tetovo offers a glimpse of the Arab-Muslim influence in the region. The 600-year-old Painted Mosque, adorned with vibrant frescoes and intricate designs, is a testament to the enduring cultural exchanges that have shaped North Macedonia. 

Returning to Skopje, the city’s architectural wonders continue to unfold. Situated on the highest point in the city overlooking the Vardar River, the Kale Fortress with foundations dating back to the early 6th century offers panoramic views of the cityscape. As the sun sets, you’ll find yourself immersed in the enchanting blend of cultures that defines Skopje. 

Day 5: Journey to Granada, Spain 

Your journey takes a new turn as you bid farewell to Skopje and set your sights on the sun-drenched landscapes of Granada, Spain. A flight transports you to a land where Moorish architecture and European charm intertwine harmoniously. As you check in to your accommodation, the Alhambra Palace looms in the distance, promising a glimpse into a world of architectural marvels. 

Dating back to 1238, Alhambra, a masterpiece of Islamic art and culture, is your gateway to centuries past. The Nasrid Palaces with their intricate stucco work and delicate mosaics showcase the artisans’ dedication to perfection. The Generalife Gardens, a tranquil oasis of fountains and greenery, provide respite as you traverse this living testament to history. 

The fortress and palace complex Alhambra. (Shutterstock)

Day 6: Granada’s Albaicín and Albayzín 

The allure of Granada extends beyond the Alhambra’s walls. The Albaicín and Albayzín neighborhoods, with their narrow winding streets and white-washed houses, transport you to another era. The Mesquite Mayor de Granada, a former mosque, reflects the city’s multicultural history and spiritual significance.  

Day 7: Travel to Lisbon, Portugal 

Leaving behind the enchanting vistas of Granada, you board a flight to Lisbon, Portugal – a city that echoes with tales of explorers, poets, and a rich mosaic of cultures. Settle into your accommodation and venture into the Alfama district.

As you wander through the tangled alleys of Alfama, the Moorish influence is palpable. It’s in the graceful archways that frame your path and the ornate tilework that adorns the buildings, each tile whispering stories of centuries past.

The soulful strains of fado music fill the air, evoking a deep sense of nostalgia and longing. This genre of music, with its roots in Portuguese-Arabic poetry, encapsulates the complex emotions of saudade — a deep, melancholic yearning for something lost.

Alfama’s essence is a testament to the enduring legacy of the Moors and Arabs who once called this district home. Their architectural marvels and cultural contributions continue to shape the identity of Lisbon and remind us of the rich tapestry of influences that have shaped Europe’s heritage.

Alfama in Lisbon. (Shutterstock)

Day 8: Algarve Adventure 

Your journey takes you south to the Algarve, where the golden beaches and rugged cliffs meet the azure waters of the Atlantic. Silves, a town with a rich history, showcases remnants of Arab-Muslim influence in its red sandstone castle and archaeological sites. In Faro, the Algarve’s capital, the Arco da Vila gate serves as a gateway to the past, inviting you to explore its charming streets. 

As your nine-day journey draws to a close, take a moment to reflect on the threads of history you’ve traced through these remarkable destinations. Cherish the memories of Sarajevo’s bustling bazaars, Skopje’s Ottoman architecture, Granada’s Alhambra, Lisbon’s Alfama, and the Algarve’s coastal splendor. 

From the bustling markets to the serene courtyards, from the opulent palaces to the humble neighborhoods, each step you’ve taken has been a step through time.