Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Helwa Awee....

Egypt has among the highest obesity and diabetes rates in the Middle East, and indeed in the world (14th and 4th respectively). (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/13/world/middleeast/13iht-M13CDIABET.html)

This problem, it seems to me, is that, besides most people sheer disbelief that physical exercise is valuable to their health and well being (there is huge popular support still for diet pills and instant ‘cures’  rather than diet and exercise) ... they make such yummy things from sugar.

Sweet pastries, milk and fruit dishes, not to mention the honey and nuts. Oh, I’m drooling at the thought; Fateer filled with honey, nuts, cream, icing sugar.... or with banana and chocolate... filo pastry with cream, and honey, covered with sugar....

Sorry... drifted off into sweet dreams there.....

I decided I would try to make one of the many Egyptian deserts, Lo’met Al-Ady.

No, I am not getting adventurous in my cooking skills... that would never do... rather I spotted this box of pre-mixed mix in my local sunshine supermarket... and when I saw the 5 min's logo on it, decided – why not?

First thing to note... you mix up the ingredients and leave the yeast to rise for an hour. (Somehow this doesn’t affect the 5min’s promise on the box?). I think it’s pretty much the same as do-nut dough for those who can’t find a ‘ready to make’ pack at their local corner shop.

Then you drop teaspoons of batter into hot oil. At first I didn’t make the portion sizes small enough, and I think the oil was too hot (if it can be ??) so the majority of my results were misshapen, stuck together and treacle coloured....

Mine looked like this....

I can, however, vouch that they still tasted fabulous!
Then you douse said balls in syrup or honey or coat with sugar. Anything which might shoot your blood sugar levels through the roof in fact.

It ‘might’ be discovered that if you soak them in a liqueur of your choice (such as Cointreau, for example) before coating them in honey, that you get a very strong 'kick' when you eat them...... I would imagine anyway! This is not part of the original Egyptian recipe, I hasten to add, especially since this is a dish usually found at Ramadan!

In fact, here's a nice blog article about ramadan sweets; http://uniquemuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/09/27/egyptian-sweet-tooth/
and I also found this video of how to make it, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR0yL44F04c

Then ....after you have enjoyed your honey balls.....
..... you dance.

Of course.

You will have to do something to work off all that sugar and protect both your figure and health!!!!

No comments: