Fahad Inc. Dishes

    G-ress ~ Fried Crushed Bread

    Once a popular bread, it is today only found in some Bedouin villages and remote areas of the Emirates. Making this bead is very time consuming but the end result is delicious. Usually it is served in the evenings but it can also be made and served for a morning or afternoon visit as part of the fou-alla ceremony. Traditionally, it is eaten with the right hand, using the fingertips.
    It can be sweet or dry according to individual taste. (Both methods are given below).

    4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    4 tablespoons samen
    1 1/2 cups water
    Oil for frying
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon saffron
    2 teaspoons cardamom
    1 tablespoon rose water
    4 tablespoons samen

    Mix all ingredients well. Cover and leave for 10 minutes. Take a large handful of dough and form it into a ball, the size of a small apple. Roll out into a circle 8" x 10" (20cm x 25cm) on floured board. Make six 1" (2 1/2cm) holes in bread. Lift and shake off excessive flour. Deep fry in hot oil and keep in a warm place draining on paper towel.
    When all bread is fried, cut into 4" (10cm) pieces and pound into crumbs with mortar and pestal. It will eventually resemble biscuit crumbs. Divide in half and place in separate bowls.
    To make sweet g-ress, put one bowlful into a pot with the sugar, saffron, cardamom and rose water. Mix well. Warm the samen and drizzle it over the mixture. Heat again until well mixed and warm.
    For a dry, unsweet flavour, mix the other bowlful with fresh buttermilk until it is a stiff consistency. Leave to set for ten minutes. Serve immediatley and eat as a pudding.

    From the book "The Complete United Arab Emirates Cookbook"
    by Celia Ann Brock- Al Ansari
    Copyright © 1994 by Celia Ann Brock-Al Ansari


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