Iftar tents are the way to go during the Holy Month, while it’s sweltering outside you still have the feel of dining al fresco with the bonus of some serious air-conditioning. The marquee at the Kempinski is a prime example, overlooking the lush gardens of the hotel and putting on a nightly iftar feast with live cooking stations. Soup is a traditional way to break fast and the harira on offer is meaty and full-flavoured, a bowl of warm comfort food. In the way of appetisers the fatayer are a must – packed with a generous amount of lemony spinach, they’re juicy and moreish. The aromas of shawarma will have you gravitating towards the station where you’ll have one made to order. Forget the bread and just tuck into a plate of the moist slivers of chicken. While you’re there it’s worth grabbing a thick-cut lamb chop from the grill selection – slightly pink on the inside and simply seasoned it’s a winner for meat-lovers. The dessert selection is abundant with goodies like Turkish delight and old favourites like Umm Ali and baklava. Once you’ve had your fill, settle in for some shisha on one of the sofas and enjoy the sounds of the oud player.
INFO: Iftar buffet, Dhs175 per person followed by à la carte suhoor, Kempinski Hotel & Residences, Palm Jumeirah, 04 444 2000, www.kempinski.com/palmjumeirah.
HARIRA WITH KOFTA
250g lamb meat, minced
1 onion, minced
1 cup tomato juice
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup coriander leaves, chopped
3 tbsp rice
1 tsp ginger, powdered
1 tsp curcuma
4 cups broth
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
Mix the minced meat with 2 tbsp parsley. Form small balls and keep aside.
Heat the olive oil, and cook the meatballs for few minutes until golden brown. Add the onion and the broth, and bring to the boil.
Add the rest of the parsley, coriander, spices and tomatoes. Let it cook for 15 minutes. Add the rice and season to taste. Cover and allow to cook until the rice is done. Garnish with parsley and coriander.
The food department of Galeries Lafayette in The Dubai Mall is every gourmand’s dream. Apart from the nine different cooking stations there’s a gorgeous selection of fresh produce from around the globe, as well as artisanal products. We recommend the luscious French honey, Miel de Tilleul by Le Mas des Abeilles (Dhs41.95), and for a sweet iftar treat try the traditional date chocolates (Dhs36.95).