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Changing seasons of the farmer’s market

May 18, 2011

A selection of produce from the marketDesperately clinging on to the bearable weather here in Dubai,  KP and I went for a late breakfast on the terrace of Baker & Spice in Souk Al Bahar.  The food was excellent and the setting strangely tranquil considering you are just across the water from the tallest building in the world.  Burj Khalifa and Baker and Spice terraceWe enjoyed it so much we went back a week later and even though the car temperature guage read 44C at 10am as we made our way down the highway we left the air conditioning and braved it outside (we were not alone).  We ordered shakshuka both times.  This Tunisian dish of tomatoes, peppers and spice (cumin in the B&S version I think) with lightly set eggs poached on top comes in a frying pan fresh out of the oven and just begs for some crusty bread to dip into it.

Shakshuka at Baker and SpiceShakshuka and coffee

The tranquility outside is because everyone has suddenly gone inside, including the farmer’s market which is less bustling and a bit smaller.  I bought a Bokashi bin there but saved my organic vegetable shopping until over the road at Dukkan Al Manzil where they also sell organic produce outside the other Baker & Spice branch.

Organic vegetables

So where can you get fresh, local organic vegetables in these last few weeks of the growing season in the U.A.E.?  Mazaraa, the organic farmer from Abu Dhabi, has halted its deliveries to Dubai, apart from the Souk al Bahar market, until after the summer.  Curiously and of great interest, a new organic delivery service and market has launched called Bumble Box with the first event this Saturday (21st).  Am I going? You bet!

Who could have predicted that we would have a choice of local, organic produce when the Nazwa Farm Shop closed last year?

My shopping basket was a joy to behold on both weeks and also included bread from Baker & Spice and some organic free range eggs that tasted great.  I’ve poached them Turkish style, and made my own version of shakshuka (with @boozychef’s home-grown pepper).

Baker & Spice – Souk Al Bahar Tel +971 4 4252240 and Dukkan Al Manzil Tel +971 4 4279856

Farmer’s MarketSouk Al Bahar – Fridays 9am – 1pm, located by Urbana Cafe (at the end of the last alleyway on the right hand side as you walk from the car park towards Baker & Spice).

Manzaraa – Download location map and details here Tel +971 2 4479933

Bumble Box – Box delivery service plus market at the Dubai Garden Centre on Tuesday and Saturday from 9:30am (starts 21.05.11) info@bumble-box.com

Bread from Baker and Spice

If you like local markets (wherever you live in the world) you might like a lovely new website called Exotic Markets.  You can submit photos of markets you’ve visited too.

25 Comments
  1. May 18, 2011 6:45 am

    OMG, I can’t look at anything but that skillet of eggs…it looks over-the-top AWESOME 😉 I have to get me one of those on a Friday, I just have to.

    Informative post, needed some sort of organized listing of organic places somewhere, so thanks for doing this!

    • May 18, 2011 7:07 am

      You have to take a friend as the dish is for two – I’ve got a real craving for shakshouka at the moment…but I’d sit inside now!

  2. May 18, 2011 6:50 am

    How brave to go out in those temps.
    We don’t get quite that warm here, I could not imagine.

    That egg dish looks sublime! And the breads are inspiring!

    We are just planting our gardens now, I am looking forward to the fresh garden produce.
    It has been a very long winter.

    Love your posts! I need to stop by more often!

    Have a great day Sally!

    • May 18, 2011 7:05 am

      Thanks Redawna – I also always look forward to a post from you. You get used to the heat – although it is really draining. I’ve become completely pathetic about cold temperatures now and can’t imagine how you get through a frozen Winter. I’m off to the UK in July and August so looking forward to the fresh summer produce there.

  3. May 18, 2011 7:31 am

    The baker and spice version has a stack of ground coriander in it. It’s bloody wonderful. I got myself a couple of copper kadais from lulus and recreated it the other day. Will have to post a recipe…. See you on Saturday!

  4. May 18, 2011 7:41 am

    Oh sally, you always make me happy reading about what you ate! I went to the farmers market in Dukkan Al Manzil last weekend and bought the sweetest cherry tomatoes and my first swiss chard. Need to find time to write up that post. See you Saturday too – hubby wants to come so hope he does to meet everyone 🙂

  5. May 18, 2011 8:33 am

    I LOVE Baker & Spice’s shamshouka – and also posted about it a while ago. Mind you I could polish it off by myself quite easily – no need to share! Tried recreating it at home, but not quite the same. See you at Bumble Box on Saturday. x

  6. May 18, 2011 8:56 am

    Oh how I wish I could be joining you guys this Saturday but I’ll be slogging in the kicthen making your lunch 🙂

  7. May 18, 2011 9:35 am

    I know the heat you are talking about – Mauritius summers are the same with a thick blanket of humidity thrown in.
    What a fun time out all the same – it is great to see and learn more about where you are.
    🙂 Mandy

  8. May 18, 2011 10:23 am

    The dish looks mouthwatering and all the produce lovely and fresh. OMW, those breads …

  9. May 18, 2011 8:12 pm

    I love farmer’s markets and seeing all that nature has to offer in all shades of green! Beautiful photographs Sally.
    Magda

  10. May 19, 2011 10:28 pm

    Absolutely STUNNING photos! I just love this post so much. 🙂 Going out for breakfast is one of my most favorite things to do. Those eggs look delicious, and the coffee, and that market. Sigh. Such a lovely trip you’ve taken me on today. 🙂

  11. May 20, 2011 5:38 am

    Such beautiful and (to me) exotic photos, Sally! I love the sound of the egg dish. Thanks! 🙂

  12. May 21, 2011 11:01 am

    Mouth-watering… And great shots of the city! Fun to see. I am fascinated by the bread (ciabatta?) with the whole tomatoes on the vine roasted/baked on top… I want to do that! Great inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

  13. May 21, 2011 11:06 am

    Bread. Stew. Eggs. I would drive many miles too……………… Love the different produce. We are blessed to have so much available to us. Rich pickings one might say 🙂

  14. May 21, 2011 8:09 pm

    I love shakshuka, one of my favorite breakfast dishes especially with lots of crusty bread to soak up the sauce. There’s also a spinach variation which is less well known but still very good. Thanks for the shoutout!

  15. May 21, 2011 10:28 pm

    It looks amazing ! i actually just saw a similar looking dish on Aussie masterchef :D… cant wait to try this place :)…

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