Some lovely Arabic students I’ve taught in the past were kind enough to share this one with me. I have lots of Arabic coffee already made from organic ingredients (all the way from Saudi Arabia), but I’m sure it’s not so difficult to make from scratch or find in Arabic food shops. If you prefer to avoid caffeine all together, simply make it without the white coffee or make it with alternative coffee options like oolong tea, various green teas (matcha is especially good), hierba mate or ganoderma. Thankfully for me, in Asia these teas and caffeine substitutes are easy to find and rather inexpensive.
It looks more like tea and tastes nothing like the black coffee that most are used to. It is also healthy (provided you don’t add sugar or sweeteners to it!) The cardamom is said to aid digestion, the saffron said to have antioxidant properties and the ginger is often used in hot teas across the world as to help treat colds, headaches and flus and to stimulate blood circulation. From what I’ve seen, the Saudis serve their coffee in tiny coffee cups or glasses accompanied by sticky dried dates. Make sure the dates are without added sugar or glucose, dates (like other dried fruits) are already very sweet and a high source of carbohydrates compared to fresh fruits. It makes a nice change after an evening meal instead of fresh fruit.
This recipe serves 6 in tiny cups and lots of refills. The dates (medjool dates are the most delicious in my opinion), are so sweet you only need 2-3 for a sugar kick.
Ground cardamom, 1 tbsp
Grated fresh ginger, 1 tbsp
Ground saffron, 1 tbsp
Ground white coffee, 1 tbsp
1. Add 1 litre of water to a pot or saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Add the coffee mixture and leave to simmer for around 15 minutes.
3. Serve with high quality dried Medjool dates.