The Murderous History of Qatar’s Most Common Dessert

by Marie Rodriguez

Dip your spoon in to Om Ali—a golden, bread pudding-like dessert, lush and creamy with warm milk, and studded with golden raisins and pistachios—in any eating place or cafe in Doha, Qatar, and you won’t forestall to assume something besides that is in all likelihood one of the quality desserts in existence. The recipe couldn’t be more simple, nor greater ideal. Puff pastry, milk, sugar, cream, and a smattering of nuts and raisins and/or other dried result are thrown into an oven and served golden brown.

Qatar, one of the smallest international locations of the Gulf States, shares dessert traditions with the rest of the Arabic international locations of the region. Even as the country of Qatar rushes headlong into the futuristic inexperienced power structure and making plans, this historic dessert hailing from decrease Egypt may be discovered at cafes and fancy motels. Q-explorer Qatari manual Abdullah Mohammed advised me “you may even consume it for breakfast.”

But, like many well-known dishes, the concept of the recipe is hotly disputed—and uncovering the over-the-pinnacle genuine crime detail of one of the 3 competing foundation testimonies is an actual thrill trip. All three memories refer back to the name of the dish—“mother” (om) of Ali, her son. (Thanks to the patriarchy, the female who created the dessert by no means gets her full name written down inside the annals of records.

One tale follows a humble path of a vintage lady (who occurs to have a son named Ali) in a negative village inside the Nile Delta, where a sultan within the thirteenth century with obvious imperiousness requested for something to devour when he passed thru this precise village at the same time as on a hunt. Scrambling for something worthy of a sultan, the vintage girl mixed collectively something she had handy, and the sultan observed it as melt-in-the-mouth scrumptious as the contemporary day versions and made it well-known upon his return to the metropolis—naming it after the mom of Ali.

Shajarat Al-Durr (a Syrian chronicler calls her “the most cunning women of her age”) began her course to energy first as a bonded slave who married a sultan after giving him a son, and when he died, she ruled in his stead. However, due to a complicated political scenario, she ended up desiring to remarry and lost the legitimate seat of electricity due to the fact the powers that be would now not be given a female ruler. But she already had a flavor for head-of-nation topics and became reputed to be pulling the strings at the back of the facade of her 2nd husband.

When she allegedly murdered her second husband for taking some other spouse, his first wife—the purported Om Ali of dessert fame, who became thrown over at Al-Durr’s behest—allegedly bribed a few maids to homicide her inside the hammam by way of beating her to loss of life with their shoes. (It’s doubtful whether the footwear has been a part of the commands or that became a spontaneous technique of murdering.)

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