Food | Recipes

Western touch to Arabic sweets

A mother-daughter team is widening the scope and visual appeal of traditional desserts

  • Manjari Saxena
Deputy Editor, The weekend tabloid!
  • Published: 17:00 August 3, 2012
  • Tabloid on Saturday

  • Image Credit:
  • Bite-sized helpings of Emarati sweets from Gourmandise. (Francois Nel/Gulf News)

An important part of Ramadan food is sweets. While the shops are full of traditional Emirati sweets aseeda, batheetha and halawa, two women decided to repackage the goodness and taste for a modern customer. Mother and daughter Sahar Abu Aisha and Mona started Gourmandise, a concept that offers traditional Arabic sweets with a touch of Western flavour. Imagine a peanut butter or Oreo batheetha or aseeda in a cup.

“Traditionally Arabic sweets are served in large bowls, for example, halawa, kanafe, etc, and not everywhere,” Sahar explained. “Neither are they visually appealing. We decided to do them as bite-size and smaller portions which can be made available everywhere and look beautiful too, while retaining the taste and goodness.

“During Ramadan, people eat lots of sweets and mostly Arabic because it gives them energy and helps them go through the day of fasting. Emirati sweets are very healthy because they are made of dates. We use Khalas dates. Maamoul is another Ramadan favourite and while the traditional maamoul is with nuts, I’ve incorporated traditional Emirati sweets such as aseeda and batheeda in it”.

— By Manjari Saxena, Deputy Editor, The weekend tabloid!

Fact Box


Gourmandise is located on Al Wasl Road near Al Ghazal mall.

Ph: 04-3455455/0566594366

Prices start from Dh135 for 1kg batheetha cubes.


2 cups water

1-1/2 cups date syrup

1-1/2 tsp saffron

100g butter

1g mixed nuts

200g flour

500g whipping cream

Bring water to a boil. Add flour, date syrup, butter and saffron. Keep stirring until all ingredients mix well and become a thick paste. Serve in small cups or bowls topped with mixed nuts and whipping cream.

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