Khameer, a round flatbread of humble Beduin origins, once fell out of favor with the upscale eaters of the United Arab Emirates. But the tender round bread with its golden top is enjoying a comeback. We show you how to make it.
Gently slit open, the puffy top separates from the flexible bottom layer to make room for whatever stuffing takes your fancy. In the Mama Tani Cafe, Dubai, you can buy khameer filled with an exotic saffron-flavored cream, chopped dates and crushed pistachios – or go with something savory, like labneh (recipe for labneh here), basil, walnuts and black olives.
Unlike the current craze for camel meat dressed up in truffles and chocolate sauce, stuffed khameer is sold at reasonable prices. To the Emiratis enjoying the old-fashioned bread, it’s the taste of childhood snacks and times gone by. Maitha Al Shamsi, owner of the Mama Tani Cafe, claims that nostalgia is the biggest draw to her business. Al Shamsi keeps her recipe a secret, but we found this recipe at foodspk.com and see that it’s not hard to make.
Serves : 6-8
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 2 cups wheat flour
- 2 cups all purpose four
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered milk
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 teaspoon ground fennel
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- Dissolve yeast in tepid water. Put dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Add eggs, yeast and oil.
- Add enough water to make a very thick pancake batter. Whisk well, cover tightly and put in a warm place for 10-12 minutes.
- Warm a small ungreased frying pan. Take a handful of dough and put it in the pan, patting in flat with little water in your hand, to form a round patty which is not too thick.
- Heat through and when it starts to bubble, put a teaspoon of beaten egg on top and sprinkle sesame or black cumin seeds over it.
- When the bread begins to swell and turns brown on the bottom, remove from the pan, and put under the grill until brown on top.
- Continue in this way with the reminder of the dough.
More Middle-Eastern breads on Green Prophet:
- Simit, Iraqi Bagel
- Moroccan Anise Flatbread
- Yemenite Whole Wheat Pita
- Zalabya, Bread With Black Cumin Seeds
Photo of khameer bread by Amelia Johnsoon via mamatani.com