I Know God Loves Me Because He Made Something Called Frying Pan Adventures

Absolutely beside myself with the Frying Pan Adventures Middle East Pilgrimage food tour I went on this week! A MUST for all foodies, visitors, or anyone wanting to do something off the beaten path.

Four Hours of Culinary Delight = Frying Pan Adventures

Frying Pan Adventures Goodie Bag
Our survivors kit: water, wipes, sweets, a team sample, and hair net.
Frying Pan Adventures Audio
Radio receiver on. Ready, set go…

In a city where the food scene is ballooning, there is still a part where the true soul of Dubai lives. And it’s in the teeming retailers, grocers and eateries of Diera.

Frying Pan Adventures, Little Manila Resto
One of the restos spotted along the way. Seemed pretty new.
Frying Pan Adventures, Philippine supermarket
A place to snag all your Pinoy favs.
Frying Pan Adventures, Sharwarma
I can bet the Shawarma’s on this side of town are the best.

Deira resides in the old parts of Dubai. Congested it may be at times, but it is communities like these that are such an integral part of Dubai’s history. Stripped of the pretension and niceties that Dubai is so known for, when you arrive here you feel like you stepped into another country altogether.This is where you get a real feel of Dubai’s soul — a landing-place for MENA-region and Asian immigrants of all stripes. If you are adventurous enough, you can lose yourself for hours here exploring all the bakeries, Karak stops, and restos.

Our tour guide, Arva Ahmed, has lived in the area for most of her life and was simply amazing! Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, attentive, engaging, funny, and carrys a repository of both food and neighborhood history to share. With passionate fervor, she did not miss a beat with anything! Thoroughly, she delved deep into the who/why/what of regional foods and culture over our radio receivers. A true SME on Middle Eastern and Indian culture. This, by all means, is a NOT tourist trap. And by far, THE best tour I’ve done in Dubai.

Arva, Frying Pan Adventures
At Samadi Sweets, Arva explaining a popular sandwich in Lebanon where they stuff a Kunafa in this purse shaped bread. Oh my word!

Come hungry indeed, as they warned, because you WILL be fed! And amply! Talk about a feast for the eyes and taste buds as our hungry and curious group popped into numerous hidden gems in Diera. I’m talking about mom & pop eateries that you would never find on your own.

Frying Pan Adventures
Put first stop – Al Nabulsi on Murraqqabat Street. Falafel Mahshi (chickpea falafels stuffed with chilli paste called ‘shatta,’ sumac spice and onions), hummus with a coriander/parsley/capsicum/lemon sauce called tatbeela. Musakhan (Palestinian chicken pie with onions, sumac and olive oil). Sides of fried cauliflower and roasted eggplant.
Frying Pan Adventures, Falafel
The magic of composing your OWN Falafel wrap. Loved the interactive parts of this tour.
Frying Pan Adventures, Chicken dish
Musakhan (Palestinian chicken pie with onions, sumac and olive oil). Happy hormones began to flow after I sampled this.
Frying Pan Adventures, dips
There’s always, always olives and pickled veggies.

The food was all absolutely, deliciously authentic. We stopped at several nostalgic eateries with appealing stories behind each. The staff at each stop was incredibly hospitable and welcoming. The food was prepared fresh just for us from oven to table. I felt spoiled, grateful, and incredulous at the same time. Could this all be a dream? 🙂

Frying Pan Adventures
Soarikh on Rigga Road. Nutella pizza in the making
Frying Pan Adventures, Egyptian feteer
Soarikh on Rigga Road. Egyptian feteer with basturma (beef pastrami), veggies and cheese, along with spicy ‘shatta’ sauce.

With my survivors kit bag overflowing with the little goodies that came along, as well as those that I nabbed along the way, I arrived back home in a purely happy state — blabbering to Z about how wonderful it was until I fell asleep.

Fell in love with Dubai all over again that night. This old part of town has so much to offer. If you are looking for the soul of Dubai and some good Middle Eastern soul food this is where to go!

Egyptian feteer, Mosque

Random shot of a mosque-goer reading his Quran.

Frying Pan Adventues, Sweets
Samadi Sweets, Murraggabat Street. Where we got sample to take home to have the next morning. At this point, I just needed to be carried.
Frying Pan Adventures, Al Samadi Sweets
At Samadi Sweets. I just HAD to buy a piece of this prettiness. This deliciousness is made with pista, almonds, rosewater, and natef.
Frying Pan Adventures, Qwaider Al Nabulsi
Say cheese! Kunafa (cheese pie with kataifi noodle pastry on the top) – at Qwaider Al Nabulsi, Murraqqabat Street.
Frying Pan Adventures
One of the seating areas at Al Tawasol (near the Clock Tower). Our stop where we have our Main Course. Everything we ate before enough to make a main course.
Frying Pan Adventures
There are smaller rooms too to accommodate smaller groups.
Frying Pan Adventures
Just look for this sign. 🙂
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Arwa explained the basics and history of Emirati cuisine and taught us the proper technique of eating with our hands.
Frying Pan Adventures
Shorbat Adas (lentil soup). This soup was incredible. We all sighed in unison at our first sip. Made by the owner each day with her own secret spice blend.
Frying Pan Adventures, Natef
Natef (a cream made from soapwort…also used to make soap ??) She had us trying to guess what it was made of. Nature’s version of marshmallow fluff.
Frying Pan Adventures
We went nutty at our last stop: Sadaf Iranian Sweets and Spices on Maktoum Street.
Frying Pan Adventures
Curious flavoring syrups of all types at Sadaf Irianian Sweets.
Frying Pan Adventures, Iranian faloodeh
Iranian faloodeh (icy sweetened noodles with rosewater) and bastani (saffron ice cream) at Sadaf Iranian Sweets and Spices, on Maktoum Street. An unbelievable taste sensation fit for a hot day.
Frying Pan Adventures
And then, as if things can’t get any better, we had a graduation ceremony with an adorable certificate and tiny gift to take home. 🙂

 

4 Comment

  1. Why you not write reviews for magazine again? Paneer! Great article!

    1. Need more hours in the day. I wish I can blog everyday, but priorities come first. 😉

  2. Devine Darling! Absolutely loved reading this!

    1. Thanks! So glad you enjoyed it!

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