Bahrain Breakfast Recipe | Grand Prix Eats (2024)

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Bahrain Breakfast Recipe | Grand Prix Eats (1)

Meal Planning

The 2021 Season of Formula 1 kicks off in the last weekend of March at the Bahrain International Circuit. This year sees the debut of drivers Mick Schumacher, Yuki Tsunoda and the other one, and a rebrand of Racing Point to the rich green Aston Martin. All eyes are on Lewis Hamilton who in 2020 tied the all-time record of seven World Drivers Championships (matched by Michael Schumacher), and on Max Verstappen who, with Red Bull, will hopefully give the Mercedes team a run for their money.

Not knowing too much about Bahraini cuisine, I turned to the Google for inspiration. Blog after blog, travellers raved about the rich and elaborate breakfast culture in Bahrain so to kick off the season, we decided to serve up a Traditional Bahraini Breakfast. After looking at a few popular cafe menus, the staples seemed to include a range of vegetarian legume dishes including Nikhee (a spicy chickpea dish), Foule (a mashed fava beans dish), tomato aubergine eggs, an assortment of breads and salads, and the most frequent star player – Balaleet.

Balaleet at first sounded a bit strange, with a mix of sugar, cardamom, and scrambled eggs. I was originally going to pass on the recipe, but a little bag of noodles sitting on the shelf at Shaganappi Grocery caught my eye and ended up in my basket. The balaleet ended up being the star of our meal! Akin to a sweet kugel, or maybe even warm cinnamon oatmeal if you really stretch your imagination, it was one of those things that was kind of off-putting on the first bite, but then we just couldn’t.stop.eating.it.

Local Grocery Highlight

Speaking of Shaganappi Grocery, if you find yourself in the Calgary area I highly recommend checking out this small local grocer. They carry an impressive array of Middle Eastern spices, global pantry items, and fresh produce at super low prices. In the Spring time you can find fresh green almonds, and in the Summer look for sour grapes which can be used in a plethora of Persian stews to add a totally unique acidity.

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Bahrain Breakfast Recipe | Grand Prix Eats (5)

Bahrain Breakfast: Balaleet, Foule, Nikhee, Tomato Eggs, and Tomato Cucumber Salad

Bahrain Breakfast Recipe | Grand Prix Eats (6)grandprixeats

Traditional Bahrain Breakfast. Persian vermicelli sweetened with sugar and cardamom, topped with soft scrambled eggs. Spicy fava beans. Tomato braised chickpeas. Persian style tomato eggs.

5 from 1 vote

Total Time 1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Formation Lap

Cuisine Arabic, Bahrain, Persian

Servings 4

Ingredients

Balaleet

  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 200 g vermicelli noodles
  • 1 ½ tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Foule

  • 1 can fava beans
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½` tsp sumac
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, half seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • cup tomato, chopped
  • ½ lemon, juiced

Nikhee

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp clove
  • ¾ tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped

Tomato Eggs

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ½ small white onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ parsley, chopped

Cucumber Tomato Salad

  • ½ english cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 handful parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juiced

Instructions

Balaleet

  • In a small bowl on the side, hydrate your saffron in the water to make "saffron water".

  • Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil on the stove and season lightly with salt.

  • In a dry pan, add the vermicelli noodles. Stirring constantly to avoid burning, toast until you see the vermicelli starting to brown.

  • As soon as the vermicelli is toasted enough, transfer from the dry pan to the pot of boiling water. Cook as the package directs, should be about 3-5 minutes. Drain.

  • Place the drained noodles back into the saucepan and add the butter, sugar, and cardamom. The warm noodles should melt the butter and coat the noodles with the warm cardamom sugar.

  • In the pan you used to toast the vermicelli, melt the 1/2 tbsp of butter and then lightly scramble the eggs. Serve the balaleet in a shallow bowl and top with the scrambled eggs.

Foule

  • In a saucepan, add the water and fava beans. Bring to a simmer then mash with a potato masher or fork while still leaving a few beans whole. Season with salt, pepper, coriander, and cumin.

  • In a coffee grinder or mini-food processor, blend together the chili, garlic, and oil to make a spicy garlic topping for the foule.

  • To serve, place the hot foule in a shallow bowl and top with the chili garlic oil, parsley, and fresh tomato. Finish with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Nikhee

  • In a saucepan heat the vegetable oil and soften the onion, 3-5 minutes. Add the fresh ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

  • Add the chopped tomatoes and spices and cook until just combined.

  • Add the chickpeas to the tomato mixture and cook until slightly thickened and combined. Stir in the parsley then serve.

Tomato Aubergine Eggs

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Slice your aubergine in half length wise and score a criss-cross pattern across the flesh of the aubergine. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sandwich your eggplant back together and wrap tightly in tin foil. On the rack on your oven, roast the aubergine in the tin foil for about 25-30 minutes. Once the aubergine is soft and tender, unwrap it from the tin foil and let cool slightly before scooping out the delicious aubergine meat with a tablespoon. Set aside.

  • In a saucepan fry the onions until softened. Add the roasted aubergine and spices and cook for 5 minutes longer, ensuring the aubergine is properly broken up in with the onions.

  • Add the tomatoes and cook until just combined.

  • Move the tomato mixture to one side of the pan, then on the clean side add your beaten eggs. Ensure you let the eggs cook about half way.

  • With a spatula or wooden spoon, break up the half cooked eggs and mix in with the tomatoes. Serve immediately.

Cucumber Tomato Salad

  • Acting as the palette cleanser of the meal, combine all ingredients in a bowl and set in the fridge until ready to serve. Can be made 1 day ahead.

Notes

Foule recipe adapted from The Mediterranean Dish.

Keyword aubergine eggs, bahrain, bahrain breakfast, bahrain cuisine, bahrain food, balaleet, chickpeas, foule, grandprixeats, nikhee, persian breakfast, persian salad

Bahrain Breakfast Recipe | Grand Prix Eats (2024)
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