I have been in UAE almost whole of my life. Even though my passport is Indian, the decision of my parents to educate us here and let us go through our life here, has caused this special attachment to this country. It’s been more than three years since my parents have said their “bye” to this country, but it doesn’t stop them from coming at least twice every year to not loose touch with this country. D’s friend’s have all retired and have gone back home, but he still wants to come and see around how life is.
Life was much simpler when we were growing up. The fast paced growth of UAE at the advent of the twenty first century has changed the total face of the country. It is difficult to search a part of the old now. Almost all stretches are filling up with new developments and projects, aimed at making the country one of the best.
It is sometimes amazing how this little country has made it’s name big in the world with its continuous persistence for growth and success. This is evident from the fact that there are now cabinet ranks for happiness, tolerance and even artificial intelligence! This year has been difficult for this region but we are hopeful that matters will get better and it will turn out to be good, InShaAllah… As we look forward to the upcoming years, as expats of this country, we will be indebted for the earnings, lifestyle and opportunities that this country is and has been giving us for many many years.
I was thinking to myself that I hardly post anything for occasions apart from the two Eids and the National Day of UAE, I suppose… 😀 Last year, I had posted Chebaab and the year before, I did a 3B2B series with three recipes, and this year it is another interesting recipe… Do check out the posted recipes under the “Emirati Recipes” tab and InShaAllah, I will keep posting new ones whenever I am able to!
Pumpkin was always for savory for me. Even though I have been seeing pumpkin bakes, somehow I have been shying away from trying it. While I was saving up some Emirati recipes to test in my kitchen, this dish came to my notice. I was really intrigued how this would taste. It sounded to me like aatta ka halwa with a twist. Even the name “aseeda bobbar” sounds so cute to pronounce! 😀 The word “aseeda” means sweet and “bobbar” means pumpkin. I decided to try it when I got a tiny cute pumpkin that was perfect to make a dessert for us.
As is like most of the desserts here, it is spiced with cardamom and saffron. Honey is used to sweeten it, but you can use dates syrup as well. I wished I would have used more ghee in this, since it would have made it more rich and delicious. Roasting the flour as much as you can is a very important step, so that you wouldn’t have raw tasting dessert! I did google all available sources while doing this recipe and all looked different! Hehe… You wouldn’t taste the pumpkin at all, if you feel that is a deterrant. I am glad to have tried a dessert which is different from the usual type, and healthy too!
Aseeda Bobbar ~ Emirati Pumpkin Wholewheat Sweet
- 450 gm pumpkin
- 1/2 cup wholewheat flour
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- A fat pinch saffron strands
- 1 tbsp rosewater
- Pistachios or puffed raisins for garnish
- Peel and chop the pumpkin. Boil in water till the pumpkin is soft. Strain and set aside.
- Grind the pumpkin, honey, cardamom and saffron into a smooth paste.
- Heat ghee in a saucepan. Roast the flour on low flame, stirring occassionally till the flour is well roasted and smells nutty.
- Add this mixture to the roasted flour and continue to cook till the mixture comes together. Finally add the rose water and cook briefly.
- Serve warm with a sprinkling of pistachios or puffed raisins, as you like.
I roasted the pumpkin in the oven. Cut by half, take off the seeds. Keep on a baking tin lined with foil face down. Bake in a 200 degree oven for 40-60 minutes till the skin looks wrinkled. Cool, then scoop off the puree. Use into the recipe. The only problem I found with this method is that a little of the awkward taste of the thick skin was present in the puree. I would still prefer boiling and straining over this.