We’re now 11 days into the month of Ramadan so, by now, you’ve probably made your way around some of iftar offerings around town, from the relaxed to the opulent and the downright unique. If you’re hoping to try one that exudes the spirit of Arabian hospitality, but don’t know where to go, head to Manzil Downtown on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard.
Its signature restaurant Boulevard Kitchen is serving a sumptuous iftar buffet of traditional Levantine dishes and cuisine from the greater Middle East region as well as beverages designed specifically for Ramadan in a contemporary Arabesque environment. Alternatively, you could make your way over to The Courtyard, where comfort food in a more serene setting awaits.
After experiencing iftar at this charming boutique hotel ourselves, Savoir Flair was particularly taken with one dish – the signature ‘Bomboloni’ that was created by the in-house culinary team in collaboration with Emirati food consultant Shaikha Al Ali – and decided to track down its recipe. Read on to see how this decadent sweet treat is prepared.
Lugeimat Bomboloni Dough
- 1kg all-purpose flour
- 22g dry active yeast
- 8g bicarbonate of soda
- 30g milk powder
- 400ml cold water
- 160g unsalted butter, melted
- 4 medium eggs
- 150g sugar
- 10g salt
Spiced Glaze (Balaleet Bomboloni)
- ¼ cup full-fat milk
- 250g iced sugar
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- 3 to 4 saffron strands, broken
Saffron and Cardamom Pastry Cream
- 400ml full-fat milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 70g sugar
- 30g corn starch
- 25g unsalted butter
- ½ tsp cardamom
- 5 to 6 saffron strands, broken
- 200g balaleet vermicelli noodles
- 100g sugar
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 10 saffron strands, broken
For the lugeimat bomboloni dough, mix the all-purpose flour, dry active yeast, bicarbonate of soda, and milk powder in a mixer with the paddle attachment. Add in the unsalted butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and cold water. Mix on medium-high speed for 15 minutes. Roll out to ¼-inch thickness and cut out circles. Allow to proof on a floured baking paper-lined sheet pan for 45 to 60 minutes. Heat the fryer to 180℃ and fry on both sides while flipping once. Place on paper to absorb excess oil.
For the spiced glaze, whisk together the milk and sugar. Add the spices, as directed.
For the saffron and cardamom pastry cream, simmer the milk with variations and set aside (allow to sit for one hour to infuse flavor). Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and corn starch. Warm the flavored milk on heat and drizzle slowly on the egg mixture while whisking. Return to heat while whisking continuously until thickened. Remove and sieve, then whisk into the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.
For the balaleet, cook the noodles in water until al dente, then drain. Add in the sugar, butter, egg, cardamom, and saffron. Mix really well, then cover and place on the stove on low heat for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before topping.
Stuff the bombolini balls with the saffron and cardamom pastry cream.
Top the bomboloni balls with the spiced glaze, the balaleet, and pistachios.