The Dessert That Gained the Middle-Eastern Hearts
The Milky OM ALI Pudding
A delicious hot vanilla and coconut milky pudding with crunchy nuts.
My first experience with the Om Ali was two decades ago at one of these sumptuous hotel brunches in Jeddah. I got hooked at once, and sought it at every visit.
The Om Ali is a sweet coconut-milky pudding with the aroma of Vanilla and the crunchiness of nuts that is consumed hot. While it came to be labelled Middle-Eastern Pudding, the Om Ali is a dessert of the Egyptian Cuisine (North-Africa).
It made its way to the Middle-Eastern cuisines with the Egyptian Food and Beverage Managers running major hotels in Saudi Arabia. With the significant number of Middle-Eastern expats, including Lebanese, in the main Saudi cities, such a delight of pudding could not miss being adopted by regional cuisines. The Lebanese Cuisine was no exempt.
Unlike the usual puddings of thick homogeneous texture, the Om Ali is a succulent combination of milky sauce and thick and crunchy textures. You will love it!
Om Ali is simple and easy to make. There has been various versions in the making and the components with creativeness and tastes playing their roles at the individual level. The basics of buttered old bread of the original recipe is being alternated nowadays with one-day old croissants or Palmier Pastry.
I used both in my recipe. I also discard the many sugar quantities (in granules and powder) and the milk, and use instead sweetened condensed milk diluted in water and enhanced with vanilla essence. Overall, it is an easier, quicker and less fattening recipe with all the deliciousness conserved. You might want to try it. 🙂
Middle-Eastern Coconut Milky Pudding: The Oum Ali
- 4 Butter Croissants (a day old) cut in chunks
- 5 Palmier Cookies (medium) cut in chunks
- 3 tbsps Yellow Raisins soaked overnight or in warm water for 15 minutes
- 3 tbsps Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)
- 4 tbsps Almonds flakes
- 3 tbsps Pistachio Nuts Grounded
- 1 can Condensed Milk (sweetened)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- 4 cups Water
- 1 cup Whip Cream
- 1/2 cup Whip Cream
- 1 tbsp Almond Flakes
- 1 tbsp Pistachio Nuts Grounded
Preheat your oven at 360°F or 180°C.
In a non-stick baking pan, place half the chunks of croissants and palmier, and top them with the raisins, the almonds and the pistachio nuts. Follow with an even layer coconut and then cover with the remaining croissants and palmier. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, over medium heat, combine the Condensed Milk with the water, and bring to a boil. Stir in the vanilla and turn off the heat.
Pour the milk at once on the ingredients in the baking dish, and allow it to rest for 5 minutes for the chunks of croissant and palmier to soak well in the sweetened milk. Use a tablespoon to gently push down the chunks if needed.
Place the baking pan in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Remove and cover with a generous layer of Cream. Return to the oven, switch the heat to Grill (or upper heat), and leave it for 5-10 minutes for the top to golden.
SERVING: Succulent hot!
Remove from oven and serve in eight bowls. Top each with a spoon of cream, and sprinkle with the nuts.
Serve immediately. The cream topping will be melting on fresh and deliciously.
NOTE: The pudding could be also served as is from the oven in its baking pan. You will then top it with the cream in a decorative way and sprinkle on the nuts.