Baked and Healthy, International Cuisine, Party ideas

Umm Ali from Egypt (low fat version) | Low fat desserts | Party Ideas

Ali is not someone I know, and Umm Ali (in Arabic) means mother of
Ali. Also someone I dont know. But what I know was the dish was wiped clean in
a matter of minutes. A dessert at my place has never had such success, and I am
patting myself on the back for choosing to make this.

If I had declared a no-sugar BM series at the beginning of my
Armenian Baba Ganoush post, how come this dessert ? Two reasons – one : its a
really really low fat, and very mild sweet version of the original. Two : Rules
are meant to be broken, atleast for a reason (today being 12 yrs of being
together with the husband). That calls for a decadent dessert right, away from
the usual cakes.. Flowers, and diamonds I dont mind :p (am still looking
forward to the evening when I think I might have a surprise from hubby !! we
women dont learn :D)

Anyways, long story cut short : If you like mildly sweet desserts
along with a low cal/low fat version thrown in, check out this recipe. The
original of course contained cream which I totally replaced with milk (low
fat). Yes, the original looked a lot more creamier and luscious but we were
pretty happy with our version too :-))

The origin of this dessert is a rather sad one from Egypt (where
this dessert has origins from), which I would skip today on account of the
happy occasion. If you are keen to read it however, please head here.  Oh ! and one more thing, I was so
happy with the replacement Cherie’s recipe gave me in place of the (ever
unattainable) puff pastry sheets : she suggested I use croissants instead. That
was a superb replacement and thanks so much to Cherie. However if you have
access to puff pastry sheets, head here for the original recipe. Else my recipe
works for the croissant version, albeit low fat.


Before we head to the recipe, 5 quick facts about Egypt, known as
the “Gift of the Nile” (source – Wiki)


  • The English name Egypt is
    derived from the ancient
     Aígyptos (Αἴγυπτος), via Middle French Egypte and Latin Aegyptus.
  • There is evidence of rock
     along the Nile terraces and in desert
    oases. In the 10th millennium BC, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers was replaced by a grain-grinding culture. Climate changes or
    overgrazing around 8000 BC began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt,
    forming the Sahara.
  • The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level
    waterway in Egypt considered the most important center of the maritime
    transport in the Middle
    , connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in
    November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows ship transport
    between Europe and Asia without navigation around Africa
  • Egyptian cuisine is characterized by dishes
    such as Ful Medames, mashed fava
    Koshari, a mixture of lentils, rice, pasta, and other
    ingredients; ‘Molokheyya, a green plant chopped and cooked with garlic
    and coriander sauce; and Fetir Meshaltet. Egyptian cuisine shares
    similarities with food of the Eastern Mediterranean region, such as
    rice-stuffed vegetables, grape leaves, ShawermaKebabFalafelBaba Ghannoug,
    and baklava.
  • Bread made from a simple
    recipe forms the backbone of Egyptian cuisine. It is consumed at almost all
    Egyptian meals; a working-class or rural Egyptian meal might consist of little
    more than bread and beans 



Country : Egypt

Dish : Umm Ali – a decadent Egyptian Dessert

Serving Suggestions : Warm, served as it is, or with maple syrup
or plain vanilla ice cream

Sourcehere & here


Prep time : 15 mins | Baking time : 15-18 mins (max 20) | Serves :


  • Large
    Croissants – 3 nos
  • Full fat
    or low fat Milk – about 500 ml
  • Chopped
    nuts (I used walnuts and raisins and almonds) – about 1 large cup
  • Pistachios
    – fro topping (I skipped this)
  • Demerrera
    sugar (wet brown sugar) – 5 TBSP (adjust accordingly)
  • Saffron
    strands – few (optional)
  • Cream –
    1/4 cup (I didnt use)
  • Cinnamon
    powder – 1 tsp
  • Brown
    sugar to sprinkle on top



  1. Mix the
    nuts, half of the sugar in a big bowl. crumble the croissants into smaller
    pieces, and add to the bowl with the nuts. Transfer to an oven proof dish (I
    used one large dish and two ramekins)
  2. Bring milk
    to a boil with the saffron and 1 TBSP of sugar. Pour half the quantity over the
    croissants- nut mixture and let the stuff soak up the milk. 
  3. If using
    cream mix it with the remaining sugar and pour on top to form the top layer.
    Else repeat the same with milk
  4. Sprinkle
    cinnamon powder and brown sugar on top.
  5. Baked in
    a preheated oven at 180 degree C for 20 minutes or till the top browns.
  6. Top with
    chopped pistachios.
  7. Serve
    warm or cold.


An InLinkz



  1. Well I guess I can accept this low fat dessert from you nicely done and a great idea Kalyani..

  2. Varada's Kitchen

    I hope you had a great anniversary. A very fitting dessert for a big celebration

  3. MySpicyKitchen

    Happy anniversary! The story behind the dessert is sad but love the dessert. I was meaning to make this dessert for some time. Croissants are a nice idea to substitute for puff pastry

  4. Suma Gandlur

    First of all, many many happy returns of the day. Hope you had a great day.
    Decadent dessert. I came across croissant versions too and these buttery, flaky breads would nicely substitute for puff pastry I guess. Milk instead of cream definitely lowers the calories.

  5. Many Many Happy Returns of the Day, Kalyani! Hope you got the flowers and diamonds as well 🙂
    This dessert looks decadent even if you say it is low fat 🙂

  6. The Pumpkin Farm

    ahh teachers day is your day? happy birthday dear…and this one is lovely like a bread pudding…you end up making a croissant dish also low fat…you are good

  7. cookingwithsapana

    Many many happy returns of the day Kalyani !
    Umm ali is such an interesting dessert and low fat version sounds great !

  8. Priya Suresh

    Congrats and Happy anniversary Kalyani.. Thats a beautiful dish for celebration, nice alternative for puff pastry, however crossiants works awesome in Umm ali too.

  9. Thanks girls for ur wishes.. It was our wedding anniversary, not my birthday ! And yes, croissants work beautifully well in place of puff pastry sheets … We truly loved the dessert warm..

  10. This dish has been on my to-make list for a very long time. Yours turned out so good. Will try some time.

  11. Chef Mireille

    Happy Anniversary and love this Egyptian version of bread pudding!

  12. I alway wanted make this dessert and this low fat version is really interesting 🙂 Using croissant dough for making this a super idea usually they use puff pastry isn't it 🙂 irresistible dessert dear !!

  13. Happy anniversary Kalyani!Hope you had a wonderful day .I am sure this dessert would have won praises!Looks very delicious…

  14. vaishali sabnani

    By now it is Belated Happy Anniversary.
    I have loved the dessert. .low calorie is good for reminds me of the famous double ka meetha..similar concept. .a must ry and on my list now…

  15. Gayathri Kumar

    Happy Anniversary Kalyani and what a nice way to celebrate. The dessert looks yumm…

  16. Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen

    Looks super delicious kalyani! ! A very happy anniversary ! !! Using croissant for puff pastry is very clever suggestion!!

  17. Belated anniversary wishes!! This is a very very yummy dessert. I am stuck with a lot of bread slices, all stale can I replace the croissants with that!!!! 😀
    Sounds ridiculous doesn't it?

  18. Foodiliciousnan

    Your intro had me in splits…this sounds like a wonderful 'lower-fat' version of a super rich dessert! Can only imagine the taste! Looks wonderful Kalyani….and belated anniversary wishes…have a wonderful year of togetherness

  19. Very yummy dessert. Looks flaky & delicious.

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