“I want the aroma of coffee. I need five minutes. I want a five-minute truce for the sake of coffee […]Coffee, for an addict like me, is the key to the day”, writes Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
How do I understand him! I love coffee, I’m a coffee addicted and I like to experience all kinds of this aromatic drink.
After Turkish coffee (which I learned to cook in Syria), here are my instructions to make a tasty Omani coffee.
Let me start by saying that coffee is served in special small cups without handles, called fenjans, poured directly from the typical coffee maker (dallah) with a long curved spout. No sugar is added, but a combination of dates and the typical Omani sweet Halwa.
Arabic powder coffee (1 full tablespoon per person)
Water (1 cup and half per person)
1 teaspoon of rose water
Half a teaspoon of ground cardamom
4/5 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
You can also buy Arabic coffee with cardamom (like the one shown in the picture) but
Omani coffee will be better if spices are fresh.
Boil water, coffee and cardamom pods in a pan for about a minute, at medium to high temperature.
Lower the fire, remove the pan, then put it back, raising the temperature again.
The operation can be repeated up to 4, 5 times depending on the coffee density one wishes. Those who prefer light coffee can do it only once.
Pour it in a coffee pot, removing cardamom pods, adding rose water and powdered cardamom, and let it rest for 10 minutes so that the coffee powder deposits at the bottom.
Now the it is ready to be poured into the cups.
In Oman, the fenjans are only half filled. This way coffee is kept warm inside the dallah for a second or third round…
Meanwhile, you talk and enjoy the dates. The rhythm must be slow. Coffee should be a pleasure.
1. Omani Halwa: a sweet made with sugar, honey and spices. It is served cut into squares or in small bowls.
2. Cardamom: Spice already known by ancient Greeks and Romans used in the kitchen and in medicine. In the Middle Eastern cuisine, the green cardamom is used to prepare Turkish coffee, Arabic coffee, Iranian tea, and to sweeten desserts.
Text and pictures: Antonella Appiano
Discover Oman through her fascinating blog Con Babaglio Leggero (in Italian)