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Learning to waffle Emirati-style (with Hilton Garden Inn)

October 20, 2016

Waffles with pear and raw honey on mycustardpie.comWaffle. Isn’t that what your Gran does when she natters on and takes ages to get to the point? I’m not sure when I realised that an alternative form of a waffle was something edible. Growing up in Britain it just didn’t even feature and batter-based edibles were confined to pancakes (thin and lacey like crepes) or Yorkshire puddings (brown, round, puffy and served with gravy).  In the eighties waffle meant the fabric of a posh bathrobe from a spa. But slowly another version crept into my consciousness.

At first they were served like dessert for breakfast, coated with pools of sugar or whipped cream, and had something to do with Belgium and then the US.

Of late, the waffle trend has gone into overdrive with the most extraordinary range of things being formed into grilled, corrugated shapes. Could waffling (is that a word?) be applied to different ingredients or even different cultural styles of cooking? It was time to investigate and bring the waffle into my life in some way.

I invested in a waffle iron and then searched for inspiration for recipes, methods and fillings. The simplest recipe was by Jamie Oliver and was very easy to make. Why buy frozen waffles to put in the toaster? It turns out that they are simpler than a pancake and you have control over the ingredients, especially the sugar level. You can even freeze your own homemade ones for serving later. I cored, quartered, seared some little pears on the grill and drizzled with a little raw honey (Balqees Organic Emirati raw honey) to add sweetness with goodness as a topping.

My next source of inspiration was from Emirati Chef Bader Najeeb, who put an Arabic twist on waffles for the Hilton Garden Inn to celebrate their first birthday. Using local ingredients and those inspired by Emirati culture, Chef B created three special edition recipes to mark the occasion: Arabic Coffee Meringues with Strawberries & Chocolate, Saffron Poached Pear Slices with Vanilla Ice Cream and Waffles Stuffed with Rose Falooda and Vanilla Ice Cream. They were put to a public vote, and the winning recipe is below. He was cooking them at a ‘waffle truck’,  a great opportunity to pick up waffling tips and to have a taste.

Falooda is an Indian dessert which became popular on the trading routes including in the UAE. Flavouring it with rose is a particularly Emirati influence. It was really delicious, a lovely texture and not too sweet.


Hilton Garden Inn's signature waffles stuffed with rose falooda and vanilla ice cream

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 100g rice vermicelli
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup rose water
  • 2/3 cup milk powder
  • less than 1/2 cup sugar
  • a handful of cashew nuts
  • 1 drop red food coloring (optional)
  • vanilla ice cream for serving


  1. Boil the water, milk powder, and sugar on medium heat.
  2. Add rice vermicelli and boil until it softens.
  3. Remove from heat then stir in rose water, cashew nuts, & food coloring if using.
  4. Strain out the liquid and set the rose vermicelli aside.
  5. Make your waffles then stuff them waffles with vanilla ice cream and rose vermicelli.

As a waffle novice I’m still on a journey to perfect my cooking of them. The Jamie recipe is a good place to start but I’d like to make them healthier. My next step is to test out some recipes with wholemeal flour like these Wholemeal fruity waffles by my friend Emily from A Mummy Too and these ones on Well Plated that contain apple sauce in the mixture.

Chef B’s rose falooda waffles

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition to win one night’s stay at any Hilton Garden Inn worldwide (the winner was drawn and has been notified).


View this post on Instagram

🍧 وافلز بفالودة ماي الورد و الآيس كريم – كوبين ماي – ١٠٠ جرام شعيرية – ٢/٣ كوب حليب بودرة – ١/٤ كوب ماي ورد – مكسرات الكاجو – أقل عن ١/٢ كوب سكر – قطرة ملون طعام أحمر / اختياري – ايس كريم فانيلا .. الطريقة: ١- فوروا الماي و السكر و الحليب ع نار متوسطة. ٢- ضيفوا الشعيرية و فوروها لين ما تستوي لينة. ٣- شلوها من ع الضو و ضيفوا ماي الورد، الكاجو، و ملون الطعام. ٤- تخلصوا من الماي و اتركوا شعيرية ماي الورد ع صوب. ٥- احشوا الوافل بآيس كريم الفانيلا و الشعيرية، و بالعافية! .. من الوصفات الثلاث اللي بنزلها فالأيام الياية، اكتبوا كومنت تحت الوصفة اللي تنال على إعجابكم أكثر شي للفرصة على الفوز بليلة في فندق هيلتون جاردن إن في أي دولة من أنحاء العالم!🏩 و بقدم الوافل اللي وصفته تنال على أكبر عدد من الكومنتات في شاطىء كايت سيرف تاريخ ٢١ أكتوبر – مجاناً 🎪 .. The final special-edition topping recipe I created for the first birthday of @hiltongardeninn in the UAE is with a twist – the signature waffles are stuffed with a delicious combination of Rose Falooda & Vanilla Ice Cream! 🍧 – 100g rice vermicelli – 2 cup water – 1/4 cup rose water – 2/3 cup milk powder – Less than 1/2 cup sugar – A handful of cashew nuts – 1 drop red food coloring (optional) – Vanilla ice cream for serving .. Method: 1- Boil the water, milk powder, and sugar on medium heat. 2- Add rice vermicelli and boil under it softens. 3- Remove from heat then stir in rose water, cashew nuts, & food coloring if using. 4- Strain out the liquid and set the rose vermicelli aside. 5- Stuff your waffles with vanilla ice cream and rose vermicelli, and enjoy! .. Make sure to comment on or like your favourite topping out of the three recipes for a chance to win one night stay at any Hilton Garden Inn in the world! I’ll also be serving up the most popular at the waffle truck at Kite Beach on 21 Oct. T&Cs apply (link in bio) #HGIwaffleDXB

A post shared by Bader Najeeb بدر نجيب (@chef.b) on


I love what Chef B is doing in conjunction with Hilton Garden with Emirati flavours for waffles and starting me on my waffle journey! I hope you liked the competition which gives me the opportunity to give something back to my reader. I received compensation from Hilton Garden to write this post but the content (apart from Chef B’s recipe and video) is all my own. 










  1. The Real Geordie Armani permalink
    October 20, 2016 9:51 am

    We have had a lot of waffle talk in our household, mini me Junior GA has requested a waffle maker but to be honest with you I know it will be one of those kitchen gadgets that will end up lying in a cupboard, bit like my electric egg boiler. A waffle for me would be strawberries and cream with dark chocolate sauce topped with almonds and shared with Paul Hollywood. Bet you didn’t see that one coming 🙂

  2. crasterkipper permalink
    October 20, 2016 10:09 am

    Mmm, maple syrup for me please… 😉

  3. sarahhedonista permalink
    October 20, 2016 12:04 pm

    Our recent holiday rental had a waffle iron – it’s amazing how much more exciting they are when you make them yourself

  4. October 20, 2016 5:47 pm

    My go to Finnish style waffle is savory choice; topping is smoked Baltic herring, with dollop of smetana and few clippings of chives, we call it grass-onion. The best, and I am planning to invite HH Princess Haya bint al Hussain the wife of Dubai rules HH Sheikh Mohamen bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It will be ladies only brekkie at my house. … or hers

  5. October 21, 2016 3:44 am

    Wow! Waffles stuffed with vermicelli – that sounds so intriguing! Looks amazing too. You do find the most interesting stuff, Sally! We’ve been making waffles at home for 30 years, ever since “the waffle iron incident”. I’ll fill you in some time.. 🙂

  6. October 21, 2016 7:17 am

    This post made me laugh Sally – because when I thought of waffles as a child growing up in the 80s in Yorkshire I thought of these frozen potato filled waffle like squares. My mum resorted to them a little too much for my liking…..

  7. October 23, 2016 2:43 am

    these pictures looks amazing, too bad I missed out on the event!

  8. October 24, 2016 11:21 am

    I tried making waffles when I was a teenager but was not impressed with the result or how long it took, so I have never tried again… I prefer to eat them when someone else makes them…
    My ideal waffle has sweet and savory toppings… maple syrup, ripe brie, rip whole preserved figs and a few slices of smoked salmon. I would share it with my favorite travel buddies Simone and Katriena.

  9. October 25, 2016 9:28 am

    I never liked Waffles until last year when we bought a waffle machine/panini maker and discovered a Belgium waffle recipe. It’s loaded with sugar and butter so not healthy but oh so good just by itself with no accompaniments.

  10. October 26, 2016 9:07 am

    Waffles were never much of a thing here in Australia when I was growing up, but are very popular now. It has never occurred to me to try making my own – nor did I know it was so easy. Time to invest in a waffle iron!

  11. October 31, 2016 10:54 am

    What an interesting recipe Sally. I love waffles and my top filling right now would be blueberries as I have quite an abundance of them. Served with some maple syrup and crème fraîche. I would use a sourdough base if my Cordelia springs back to life! Would choose you to spend the night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Dubai!

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