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Egyptian Puff Pastry: Om Ali

Egyptian Puff Pastry: Om Ali

Om Ali, also known as Umm Ali, is a delicious Egyptian delicacy that features layers of golden puff pastry, a variety of nuts, and a rich milk combination that is flavoured with enticing vanilla and energising cardamom. This dessert may not be deeply ingrained in Morocco's traditional culinary scene, despite its Egyptian origins. 

Om Ali's past is filled with mystery and lore. The name of this delectable dish, which translates to "Mother of Ali," denotes its connection to Om Ali. She is said to have been Sultan Ezz El Din Aybek's first wife. Sultan Ezz El Din Aybek ruled in the 13th century during the Bahri Mamluk dynasty. According to legend, Om Ali and his second wife began a bitter feud after the sultan's death about who would succeed to the throne. Om Ali triumphed, and to celebrate, she gave the order to make this decadent dessert to serve to her people.

Om Ali's recipe is reported to have been methodically passed down through generations, becoming a fundamental component of Egyptian culture, as the dessert's heritage develops. In addition to its delicious ingredients, the meal is adored for the historical background it conceals.

Preparation Time

45 minutes


5-6 sheets of puff pastry

1/4 cup raisins

4 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 cup mixed nuts (almonds, pistachios, and walnuts) - chopped


Whipped cream 


  • Combine the broken puff pastry pieces, nuts, and raisins in a mixing bowl. Mix them and then spread the mixture evenly in a baking dish.
  • Combine the whole milk, heavy cream, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, ground cardamom, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. 
  • Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes until it thickens slightly.
  • Pour the milk mixture over the puff pastry and nut mixture into the baking dish, making sure to evenly distribute the liquid.
  • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.
  • Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and serve!