Umm Ali

by Amalia


This is a famous Egyptian bread pudding called Umm Ali (meaning: the mother of Ali). According to this website:

Umm Ali (the dish) dates back to Ottoman era Egypt, when legend has it the sultan stopped in a poor village looking for something to eat and the village’s best cook, named Umm Ali, made something akin to this dish. There are other legends too, about a British nurse named O’Malley who may have invented the recipe.

Whatever the history was, what matters the most is that this desert is SOOOOO delicious! It is usually served during Ramadhan.

I remember when I was in Jeddah last year, I was craving for Umm Ali. So we tried to find it and ask people about it. But somehow we couldn’t locate which restaurant served this delicious dish. So my dad took us to a 4-star hotel. Having worked in a tourism business for more than 10 years, he knew most of the people in that hotel really well. From the manager to the security guy. So he asked the chef to make Umm Ali especially for us! Hahahaha. It was the best Umm Ali I’ve ever had!!! EVER. It wasn’t too sweet. The taste was just right on the spot! And it was for free! What more could I ask for?!

My brother (who also came with us to eat Umm Ali) said: “Malu-maluin aja. Dateng kesini cuma mau makan Umm Ali. Gratis pula!” Basically he said that we should be ashamed of ourselves for coming to the hotel only for the sake of Umm Ali! When we finished eating, he popped up the question “That’s it?! We’re leaving now?” Hahaha. Yep. We left and I didn’t feel ashamed at all LOL.

Now I’m craving for this desert all over again. Somehow, the craving and the homesickness always show up prior to/during Ramadhan. Spending Ramadhan in Saudi Arabia is just the best.

I’m going to try making Umm Ali next time! 🙂 (read: when I’m in the mood of cooking). I’ve got the recipe already. Yay.