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Amardeen, watermelon and halloumi salad, and fish

Amardeen, a drink made from dried apricots, is a staple in Ramadan. Amardeen is basically a fruit leather usually produced in Syria and exported all over the world.

June 4, 2017 at 8:00 am

Amardeen, a drink made from dried apricots, is a staple in Ramadan. Amardeen is basically a fruit leather usually produced in Syria and exported all over the world.

This drink is really simple to make, but it needs to be planned before hand because it needs to be soaked. Once soaked, it needs to be boiled, cooled and enjoyed… it’s as easy as that. If you want to be fancy, you can sprinkle any nuts you like to give it a little crunch.

Next is my watermelon and grilled halloumi salad. This is my own creation and it is an ode to a traditional snack in Palestine, watermelon and white cheese, usually nabulsi or akkawi. Nowadays, we are seeing watermelon and feta salads on restaurant menus, but there is something about having a squeaky cheese rather than a creamy one with watermelon that appeals to me more. This is the perfect summer salad, as it is refreshing and cooling and anyone you make it for will be asking for more!

Finally, we have baked white fish with potatoes and onions. I decided to take all the Middle Eastern flavours that are usually used with seafood to make a delicious marinade that can work on anything!

I used sea bream because that was what was fresh at my fishmonger on the day, but any fresh white fish will work. Make sure you have your fishmonger clean, gut and slit the fish for you, it makes your job ten times easier!

To make sure you get the most flavourful fish possible, score each side of the fish and when you coat it with the marinade, make sure you rub it on the inside and outside of the fish, as well as in each slit.

I chose to use potatoes for this dish because they are a crowd pleaser and are always on hand, but you can use the vegetable of your choice or even leave out the vegetables and serve it with some tabbouleh or any other salad.

This dish is great for Ramadan because it is light and zingy and doesn’t require much work. It is also easy to make for a small or large crowd and is one of those dishes you just pop in the oven and forget about!

Serve with a salad and enjoy!


  • 1 pack amardeen, cut up into squares and soaked for at least 8 hours or overnight with enough water to cover it.
  • 500ml water (or to taste)
  • Slivered almonds to garnish
  1. Stir the soaked amardeen until it becomes smooth.
  2. Heat it on the hob, on a low heat, until it comes to a boil, making sure to stir often.
  3. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  4. Add 500ml water or to taste, depending on the brand of amardeen you have. Some are sweeter than others. Add water to reach the desired consistency and sweetness. Refrigerate until time to serve.
  5. Pour into cups, garnish with almonds or the nut of your choice, and enjoy!

Watermelon and grilled halloumi salad

  • 250g Halloumi cheese, cubed
  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • 400g baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup spring onions, chopped
  • ½ cup mint, chopped
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  1. In a serving plate, layer the spinach, watermelon, spring onions and mint evenly.
  2. Brush a grill pan, or a frying pan, with some olive oil and place the Halloumi cheese. Once browned, turn over and brown the other side.
  3. Spread the cheese over the salad.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and salt, and enjoy!

Baked Fish


  • 2 chillis
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper


  • 3 sea bass (or any white fish)
  • 3 potatoes, finely sliced
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil to drizzle on top
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced