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Umm Ali (Egyptian/Arabic Dessert)

Umm Ali (Egyptian/Arabic Dessert)

Stop and drop whatever you are doing…You NEED to make this ASAP. Once I saw this recipe on a British food channel. Chef’s accent made the name sound like “O’Malley” and I actually thought it was a dessert named after “George O’Malley”, the surgical intern in “Grey’s Anatomy” who— SPOILER ALERT—-died in season five. Later when the recipe was shown I was like, Aaaa, it is Umm Ali. I don’t remember trying out it back then because it was way too simple and I thought it won’t be a real treat. But it is always good to admit you were wrong, right? So yeah, my perception was completely off.


Just look at this! How can THIS not be good? It is like a pudding or bread pudding to be precise. Recipe is pretty straight forward, you need baqar khanni or thaw frozen puff pastry and you pour hot sweetened milk with lots of nuts, top with cream to give a more texture and richness to the dish and bake, which is optional but I would strongly recommend, to make the top golden-ish. Bonus point: can be served hot or cold and can be made ahead.


Feel free to add any variety of nut available or go with the-more-the-merrier philosophy.


I had rectangular shaped baqar khanni but it doesn’t matter what shape is used. Procedure would remain the same.

Umm Ali

Simple ingredients can do wonders my friend! 

Cuisine Arabic, Egyptian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8


  • 375 gm baqar khanni
  • 1 cup assorted nuts I used almonds, raisins, coconut
  • 3 1/2 cups full fat milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dairy cream, divided


  1. In an oven proof pyrex dish arrange baqqar khanni in single layer. Scatter nuts over it. Keep aside.

  2. Combine milk andsugar in a medium sized saucepan. Cook on medium flame for about 5-7 minute, stirring in between to avoid boiling over of milk. 

  3. Preheat the oven at 180 C/ 450 F.

  4. Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes. Add in half a cup of cream.

  5. Pour it over the baqar khanni and let it soak for about five minutes. Spread remaining half cup of cream. Bake for 5-7 minutes.

  6. Rest another five minutes after baking if serving hot. Or wait till it gets to room temperature. Cover with foil and refrigerate to chill. 

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