Category Archives: Saudi

Saudi Brioche

I found this recipe for Brioche saoudienne or Khaliyat an-Nahl on Soulafa’s blog. She posted a Ramadan version of Khaliyat an-Nahl with a filling of Nutella rather than the usual Kiri cheese – with either filling it makes a lovely breakfast snack.  Since the recipe is in French, I will translate here.

Saudi Brioche (Khaliyat un-Nahal)


180ml warm water

3 tablespoons milk powder

2 tablespoons orange flower water

100g melted and cooled butter

3 eggs beaten

3 tablespoons sugar

500g all purpose flour

1 tablespoon instant yeast

Kiri portions or Nutella

1 egg beaten with 3 tablespoons milk for glazing

honey to pour over after baking

Soulafa’s method: Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre and add the eggs, yeast, sugar, milk powder and salt, add the water little by little and mix until a ball forms. Knead well for a couple of minutes and then add the butter. Knead until all the oil is absorbed. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to double in volume.

Knock back and then divide into little balls about the size of a walnut. Fill each walnut with a quarter of a portion of Kiri or half a teaspoonful of Nutella then seal the dough around the filling.

Grease a baking dish and place the balls into the dish so they are touching each other. Leave to rise for a few minutes. Heat the oven to gas 4/180 deg C/350deg F. Glaze the brioche with 1 egg yolk beaten with 3 tablespoons milk and then sprinkle with nigella seeds or sesame.

When the brioche comes out of the oven glaze with heated honey.

My bread machine method: I don’t buy milk powder and I don’t want the flavour of orange flower water in this brioche so instead of the first three ingredients (180ml warm water, 3 tablespoons milk powder, 2 tablespoons orange flower water) I just use 190ml  slightly warmed semi-skimmed milk.

Place the ingredients into the breadpan in the order listed and set to the pizza or dough cycle. When the cycle is completed remove dough from the pan and proceed to roll into small walnut sized balls; flatten out each ball and place a blob of about 1/3 teaspoon of Nutella into the middle and carefully seal the edges to form a ball. You may find this easier if the Nutella is refrigerated and slightly hardened or you could just as easily use a few chocolate chips.

Place the balls into a greased, round baking dish so they are all touching, glaze with a little of the beaten egg and leave to rise for 20 minutes.

Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20-30mins (180C/350F/Gas4) Drizzle about 3 tablespoons of hot honey over the brioche as soon as it comes out of the oven.

This mixture was enough for me to make one large and one small batch.

NB: Make sure the yeast you are using is INSTANT yeast, it will say so on the box/tub and comes in the form of tiny strands, usually in 11 g sachets. If you are using non-instant yeast (looks ike tiny balls) you will need to follow the box instructions and mix with some warm water/milk and sugar and leave to froth for 10 minutes before using.


Saudi Shorba with Oats

A perfect shorba to serve up during the month of Ramadan since soups are gentle on the digestive system and are a good dish to prepare for the breaking of the fast. I enjoy making a range soups from simple cream of vegetable (leek and potato, celery, tomato, mushroom etc) to more substantial soups such as Saudi shorba with oats.

Saudi Shorba really has to be the simplest and easiest soup in the world to make! It uses minimal ingredients and no blending is required. The secret is in cooking the soup long enough for the meat to become very tender and the oats to disintegrate somewhat and become very soft so they melt in your mouth.

You need:

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic

2 or 3 pieces of lamb on the bone

1/2 tin chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon ground cummin

salt and pepper

1 dried black lemon

1/2 cup fast cooking oats OR barley (remember that barley will take longer to cook)


Gently saute the onions and garlic in a pressure cooker, when softened add the meat and fry until sealed. Add all the other ingredients and 3/4 litre water. Stir well and bring to the boil and then cover the pan and reduce heat to a simmer. Keep checking the water level and stir regularly to stop the oats from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add more water if you want the soup thinner.

Soup is ready when the meat is tender and oats are mushy. Remove the black lemon before serving.