Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Qatari Balaleet

This is a traditional and special breakfast served in Qatar, It is also popular one in the neighboring Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait. This meal has a sweet and savory component - sweet vermicelli topped with savory omelet.  It is so satisfying as it has both the sweet and salty elements. I would love to wake up every morning to have this. 

The addition of rosewater, saffron, and cardamom to the vermicelli makes this very aromatic and adds amazing flavor. On special days and during Ramadan days, it is served with sautéed potatoes and onions. This can be served along with chai. That's a lovely breakfast or brunch. Since the vermicelli is cooked in butter, it can be replaced with oil to make a vegan version. I have used butter in my recipe and used vegan omelette.

The vermicelli is roasted and cooked al dente, which is then cooked in butter-sugar-rosewater-saffron-cardamom mixture, and it soaks up all the flavor. Amazing, right! This is addictive and no wonder it is often had as a breakfast in the country. 

The sweet vermicelli is very similar to our vermicelli or semia kesari with slight difference in cooking procedure and rosewater. Most of the time we add cardamom and saffron. Addition of rose water makes it even more aromatic and lip-smacking. We don't add rosewater in our kesari and hence this addition made a new flavor we loved. The vermicelli in balaleet can also be served as a dessert. 

My journey with the theme  A-Z Noodles Around the World theme - Blogging Marathon is exciting and loved the different noodle dishes we enjoyed from around the world. This recipe is for the letter 'Q'. Check the link below for the noodles I shared during this journey. 

Serves 6

Butter - 7 tbsp
Sugar - 2/3 to 3/4 cup
Vermicelli - 2 and 1/2 cups
Rosewater - 1/4 cup
Saffron - 1/8 tsp
Cardamom - 1 tsp
Vegetarian omelets - 6

Fried potatoes/chai - optional to serve


Add the cardamom powder and saffron to rose water and set aside for 10 minutes to steep.

Boil water separately. Heat a tablespoon of butter and roast the vermicelli till golden brown. 

Add the boiling water and simmer for about 3-4 minutes, till the vermicelli is cooked to al dente perfection - tender but not mushy.

Drain and set aside.

Heat the remaining butter in a pan, add the sugar and rosewater mixture. Let sugar dissolve completely. Add the drained vermicelli, mix, cover, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes till all the liquid is absorbed.

Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

To serve, add a portion of the sweet vermicelli on to a serving plate, top with omelet and serve. Sautéed onions and potatoes can also be served with it for a special meal. Serve with chai, coffee, or ginger milk.


  1. wow! love the addition of rose water to the vermicelli. Interesting combination of all the elements

  2. Each of one those components are popular and the combination sounds a delicious one. All those flavors that went into that vermicelli make the dish very enticing, I am sure.