The Flavours of the UAE

As I chatted with Arwa Lootah, an Emirati food blogger about the authentic Ramadan Traditions of the United Arab Emirates (post on this link), I learnt that a Ramadan table in the UAE is never complete without serving the popular and dearly loved Farni (a dessert made with rice flour). So if you wish to learn, make and serve an authentic Emirati dessert, this recipe is for you and very generously shared here by Arwa Lootah.

I love the fact that this dessert does not include any type of gluten, which means those intolerant to gluten can too enjoy this sweet treet. This dessert also does not include the addition of any fats apart from the ones present in the milk, which makes it a leaner dessert in general, however it does use sugar! We can’t omit all, otherwise it will not be a dessert! Give this recipe a try and see how you like it.


1 litre milk

3/4 cup rice flour

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp ground cardamom (placed in a cheesecloth or tea bag)

1/4 cup rose water

For garnish

Chopped walnuts

Chopped raisins

Desiccated coconut

A sprinkle of ground Cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add the milk, sugar and rice flour. Whisk constantly and make sure it doesn’t stick to the edges.

In the meantime, soak the ground cardamom in a cup of hot water.

When the milk mixture thickens, add the cardamom infused water and the rose water. Keep whisking until the mixture appears glossy.

Pour into serving bowls, and leave to cool slightly.

Mix all the garnish ingredients together and sprinkle on the farni cooled. Cover the pots and chill for a few hours. Serve cold.

Meet Arwa Lootah

Mother of two young children, Arwa Lootah, is an Emirati food blogger on a mission. Through her blog: La Mere Culinaire, she aims to bring creativity into the home kitchen (where mothers usually are) as well as add new flavours to already existing recipes and adapting them to her Emirati background and personal taste. Arwa comes from an artistic family and is a surreal artist herself. Besides her passion for food, she is also passionate about art and design. She had only recently plunged into the world of food, and describes it as: “Raising a toddler and a baby isn’t an easy job, and obviously since I haven’t had time to hold a paintbrush, I had to bring art to something else I enjoyed until once again my fingers caress a clean canvas! Coming from an artistic family, bringing creativity into my culinary aspect of life just seemed natural although at the beginning taking that risk made me nervous.”

This Rice Farni recipe and photos are provided by Arwa and are her property. They are published on this blog with her permission. Please do not copy or use them without her permission.

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