Om Ali (Egyptian Bread Pudding)

I recently had the opportunity to write a guest recipe for The Runcible Spoon, which is a local food ‘zine in Washington D.C. It is completely a D.I.Y magazine, that is community driven and promotes eating healthy local foods.   Its co-founder, Malaka Gharib, has an amazing talent for not only cooking, but also for drawing the amazing illustrations in the ‘zine.  Malaka whips up a mean fetta hamra (our version is here) as well as all sorts of Far Eastern dishes, thanks to her half Egyptian, half Filipino heritage.  Below we share my recipe for Om Ali, as originally published in The Runcible Spoon’s 6th Edition.  For the background story on Om Ali, check page 9 of the ‘zine out! 

– Brenda of midEATS  

Om Ali (Egyptian Bread Pudding)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

3-4 croissants (or any old pastry, or 6 sheets phyllo)

1 cup unsulphered coconut

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/4 cup cranberries

1/4 cup organic sugar (omit if you use sweetened coconut)

3 cups organic milk

3 cups of cream

3/4 cup organic sugar

1 tsp orange blossom water

1/4 tsp almond extract


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Take the old croissants and break them into pieces (If you are using left over phyllo, be sure to lightly toss in a pat of butter.) Put in the oven for about 10 minutes. You want the bread to be lightly toasted, and slightly crusty. Once you remove the bread, raise the heat to 375 degrees to prepare for the Om Ali.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the coconut, nuts, cranberries and raisins. Remember, if you are using sweetened coconut, omit the sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a pot, heat over medium-high heat, the milk, cream, 3/4 cup of organic sugar, orange blossom water, and almond extract. Do not bring to a boil, but heat it just long enough so that the sugar dissolves.
  5. In a deep casserole dish, place one half of the bread at the bottom. Top with half of the coconut mixture. Repeat the layers with the remaining bread and then top with the leftover coconut mix. Cover with the milk mixture (you may have milk leftover).
  6. Place in the oven. Cook for approximately 20 minutes. If all of the milk seems to be absorbed, you can add the remaining sweetened milk.
  7. Serve warm, and ENJOY!

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