Delicious Recipes for Special Occasions

Together with our chefs across Middle East and Africa, we have gathered some of the most famous and delicious recipes that can be easily recreated at home with basic ingredients for special occasions like Eid or Ramadan. Get inspired by our menu made of recipes passed down numerous generations and guaranteed to make anyone fall in love with the cuisine. Enough talking, time to roll up your sleeves and give it a try! Read on to learn all about our tried-and-tested recipes and don’t forget to get all the ingredients you need next time you hit the shops!

Okra & Chickpea Tagine with Vermicelli Rice

Traditionally from Middle-East, this famous dish is a quick and easy stew, full of rich flavors and a good source of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and many other nutrients such as proteins. The recipe is a personal favorite of Chef Ahmed, from Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Waterfront, who enjoys cooking this dish because of the memories it carries.

Start preparing the vermicelli rice by washing the basmati rice in water until it turns clear. Let the rice soak for minimum 20-30 minutes. Heat oil on medium heat in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed pan. When the oil is hot, add the vermicelli and stir for around 3 minutes, until they begin to change color. Now add the rice, hot water and salt, then cover the pot with a lid. Slow down the heat and allow the rice to cook for 15-18 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the rice rest for 10-15 minutes.

To prepare the perfect tomato sauce, you’ll need a mix of the below ingredients:

- 50gm onion
- 10gm garlic
- 20gm celery, leeks and carrots
- 500gm tomato pulp (can replace with fresh tomatoes)
- 20ml  vegetable oil

Heat the olive oil in a large wide skillet on medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic, carrot, celery and leeks, then stir to coat. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened and cooked through. Add the tomatoes, bring to a low simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered until thickened for about 15-25 minutes. If you want you can push the sauce through a food mill or purée it in a blender or with an immersion blender, to give it a smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now the last step! Okra & Chickpea Tagine requires many ingredients – but worry not! With our step-by-step guide it’ll be ready in no time!

- 100gm chickpeas, cooked
- 200gm okra, deep fried
- 1tbsp salt, black pepper
- 20gm cumin powder; onion, chopped
- 30gm butter
- 20 ml oil
- 10gm fresh coriander, chopped
- 500ml tomato sauce
- 10gm garlic, chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2pcs charcoal (small)

Heat oil and butter in a pan, then add the cinnamon stick and let it release its flavor. Add onion and garlic and sauté until the onion start turning brown. Add cumin powder, chickpea and tomato sauce, then cook for 20 mins. Now add fried okra and coriander and give it a nice stir. Season it with salt and pepper. Place the dish now in a tagine pot. If you like the smokey flavor, you can place a lit charcoal over an aluminum foil and place it in the center of tagine pot and cover the lid for 6-8 minutes. Serve it while hot.

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Chicken Freekeh

Freekeh with chicken is a traditional Middle-Eastern dish using the superfood grain Freekeh, rich in magnesium, selenium, and potassium, and low in glycemic index. Chicken Freekeh is a dish that Chef Karim Mohammad, Junior Sous Chef at Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City, often cooks for his family. Keep reading and gather all the ingredients you need!

- 1 nos chicken breast
- 2 cups freekeh
- 1 nos minced chicken breast or thigh
- 2 nos onions
- 1 cup green pea
- 2 tbsp whole spices (cloves, cinnamon, bay leave, star anise, cardamom)
- 1 tsp coriander, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, pepper, cardamom and chicken stock (powder)
- a pinch of salt
-  ½ cup ghee

FOR CHICKEN MARINATION

- 1/2 tbsp pepper
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tbsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil

Wash the freekeh and soak it for ½ hour in warm water before draining it. Marinate the chicken breast with above-mentioned ingredients, keep aside for 20 minutes. Make sure the oven is pre-heated at 70 degrees. While you wait, cut the onion into small pieces, heat the ghee in a thick bottom vessel, add whole spices and the onion, then stir for 2 minutes. Now add the minced chicken and sauté it for few minutes, add the freekeh and the green peas and continue stirring until all is well mixed. Add all the spices and stir for few seconds, then add warm water. Stir well and cover with an airtight lid, cook until the freekeh is done and dry, which will take approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

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Caramel Pot Au Crème

During Ramadan, the global Muslim community visibly becomes more adventurous and creative in the kitchen, seeking new culinary inspiration. Eid, the celebration culminating the month of fasting, also sees a spread of delectable dishes and inspired desserts. With this in mind, it was only appropriate to share the recipe of a show stopping dessert, Caramel Pot Au Crème, the perfect ending for a day of fasting or to indulge in with the family on the day of Eid. This is one of our Executive Chef, Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Cape Town, Garth Johnson’s favorite recipes to prepare this time of the year.

- 180g sugar
- 50g water
- 180g milk
- 500g cream
- 5 yolks
- 65g milk chocolate

Bring the milk and cream to boil, then set aside. Caramelize the sugar and water to dark caramel at 177°C. Tip - Use a sugar thermometer or caramelize the sugar until you can’t see the bottom of your sauce pan. Add the boiled milk to the caramel and whisk until dissolved. Whisk in the chocolate. Pour this mixture over the egg yolks while whisking. Pour the mix evenly into heat proof coffee cups or Crème Brûlée ramekins (in the restaurant we measure out 120g per portion). Bake at 120°C in a water bath for 15 minutes until wobbly. Tip - line the bottom of the baking tray with paper towel to prevent the cups from moving around. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down in the water bath. Refrigerate once cooled down. The baked custard will last in the fridge for 6 days, so this can be done well in advance.

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Want to learn more about Ramadan and the best practices for travelers during this time? Read our blog and discover the essence of this ancient tradition with #RadissonBlu.

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