Balaleet - Traditional Arabic Vermicelli Dish Recipe

Balaleet - an Emirati preparation, plays with savory and sweet flavors and is usually served as a breakfast dish. Balaleet has many versions across the gulf region and is sometimes also served as dessert. A simple preparation of sweet vermicelli with hints of cardamom, saffron and rose water topped with a thin egg omelette is a delight to savor on days when you feel like rustling up something simple. 

During Eid, Balaleet is traditionally served along with boiled garbanzo beans and black-eyed peas. The early Bedouins loved the combination of something sweet accompanied by eggs and with introduction of pasta to the Middle East during the middle ages, vermicelli was added to the dish.

Here is a simple recipe to make Balaleet - a traditional Arabic dish:

Time Taken: Approximately 20 minutes

  • 1 pack  vermicelli noodles of choice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter/ 4-5 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • 2 pinch saffron
  • Rosewater to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil

  1. In a thick bottom pan, heat oil and some butter and lightly fry the vermicelli until it turns golden brown for about 4- 5 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid burning.
  2. Soak saffron stands in rose water and keep aside.
  3. Add enough water to boil the fried vermicelli but take care to make it al dente. 
  4. Drain vermicelli in a colander. 
  5. Add remaining butter or ghee to the same pan and add cardamom, sugar and diluted saffron. 
  6. Mix till sugar is completely dissolved.
  7. Add boiled vermicelli to the pan, mix well and cook till done.
  8. In a different pan, heat some oil and make a thin omelette with the beaten eggs.
  9. In a serving plate, arrange the vermicelli and serve with omelette on top.


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