Here we are again, back to another World Series post and Oman was pretty much the only choice I had this time around, but that doesn't mean they don't have a huge array of national dishes for us to attempt! Looking around I really liked the idea of an Omani Pudding, this sweet and nutty dessert is a favourite of the country and although mine is a very simplified and basic version, I still really enjoyed it!
I couldn't find a lot of information online about Omani desserts but from what I was reading, a rise in the popularity of desserts (especially softer almost pureed ones like this one) came after hospital patients complained about the standard of food in Omani hospitals, the Sultan at the time enlisted the help of national chefs and they came up with Omani Pudding and a whole host of other soft, palatable and sweet desserts that are accessible for almost anybody and have been enjoyed throughout generations!
I've seen that Omani Pudding is usually made in large quantities to be served after group meals and is a favourite around Eid. I made a video for this one and although I think mine curdled, it was only a first attempt and despite the texture being off, the taste was great!
Half a 397g tin of Sweetened Condensed Milk
75g Butter, cubed
1 tsp Vanilla Essence (more traditional recipes call for Vanilla Powder but I wasn't able to get that)
Zest of half a Lemon
60g Pistachios, finely chopped
70g Almonds, finely chopped
1. Put all the ingredients except the nuts in a small bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon to combine, we're mainly breaking up the eggs and mixing the milk with the condensed milk.
2. Pour the mix into a small saucepan on a VERY low heat and gently mix for 10-15 mins until the butter has melted, the ingredients have come together, and slightly thickened the consistency.
3. Keeping on low heat, tip in the nuts and stir these through to combine until you have a thick custard-like consistency. Save a handful of nuts to decorate the top later on!
4. Once combined leave to cool for 20 mins before pouring the pudding into bowls/mugs and leaving to fully cool in the fridge for around an hour.
5. Take the puddings out of the fridge and decorate the tops with some nuts, I arranged mine like flowers, but I've seen some arranged with far more detail or just a simple sprinkle of pistachio, that part is up to you!
And there you go! Ok, I have to admit that mine curdled and looked more like rice pudding than beautiful Omani Pudding but it was my first attempt and I only had a few pictures to go by in terms of how it looked, but I was really happy with the taste! It had a definite sweetness from the condensed milk, nuttiness, a small hint of citrus from the lemon zest, and a thick, creamy taste from all that milk, eggs, and butter, this one is definitely not for the vegans but I really liked it and only wish I'd been able to do a better job. I think my main issue is that I may have turned the heat up too high (even though I never turned it up higher than low-medium) but maybe I should have been more patient and left the temperature where it was, so my advice to you if you're looking to make this delicious dessert is to have a bit of patience as it will pay off in the end when you have a sweet, thick and creamy dessert, beautifully decorated to impress your loved ones...or just yourself!
I was really impressed with how basic the ingredients are and although we might not all have the array of mixed nuts available in our cupboards, it's a nice little treat, and I'm glad I attempted it.
I will definitely attempt it again in the future, hopefully with a lot more success next time!
In the next post, I'll be talking all about our trip to the Van Gogh Alive Exhibition in Manchester!