Ramadan treats: lamb ouzi

Lamb ouzi at Emirates Palace iftar. Courtesy Emirates Palace
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Lamb has got to be my all-time favourite meat so I was keen to try Emirates Palace’s version of traditional lamb ouzi — a whole roast lamb served on a bed of Oriental rice.

This Ramadan favourite is certainly a standout at the luxury hotel’s sumptuous iftar buffet, which offers a staggering array of traditional Arabian and international dishes.

Melt-in-the-mouth tender, delicately flavoured and juicy, the locally sourced meat is served with rice and a yogurt sauce.

Chef Ali Ebdowa, who is the executive chef at the hotel’s Emirati restaurant Mezlai and is overseeing the Ramadan tent, says: “The whole lamb is first marinated. At Emirates Palace, we have a special secret marinade to give the lamb a unique, juicy flavour. The whole lamb is marinated for 24 hours in the chiller. Once taken out of the chiller, it is surrounded by celery, carrot and some stock, covered in foil and roasted for three hours at 180 degrees. Once cooked, it is placed on top of oriental rice.”

“The ouzi is a communal dish, to be shared by families and communities. Traditionally, the ouzi is placed in the middle and everybody eats from the same plate. Ramadan is an important time to bring communities together, and the ouzi is instrumental in communal celebrations.”

Iftar at Emirates Palace Ramadan tent is served from sunset to 9pm, Dh265+ per person and an a la carte suhoor is available from 9.30pm until 1.30am, minimum spend of Dh150.

For reservations and more information, call 02 690 7928 or visit www.emiratespalace.ae

sferguson@thenational.ae