Today is the 41st UAE National Day or Al-Eid Al Watani as it is called in Arabic. The above picture is a personal favourite of mine. It might look like a canvas but is actually a special drink that I’ve created as a tribute to the UAE National Day. The lovely Jihad and Sajith from My Dubai My City, the first video guide to the city of Dubai, came home the other day to shoot the video. So many things to learn from them as they effortlessly went on with their job. I hope you will like the video as much as I do!

2nd December marks UAE’s formal independence from the United Kingdom and the eventual unification of the seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain) in 1971 which combined to form the modern-day UAE that is today. Here’s wishing everyone residing in the UAE the 41st UAE National Day!

Us‘This is my Kitchen’ is a segment in My Dubai My City (@MyDubaiMyCity) where the main aim is to highlight how UAE – specially Dubai, is a beautiful hub of all sorts of cultures. The host of each episode shows us how to make a traditional dish with a story – any kind of story, for example the meaning/origin of the name or if it’s associated with any personal experience.

I was fortunate to have hosted an episode where I showed how to make the Bengali Aam Pana or Green Mango Drink in the traditional way. At the end I twisted this traditional recipe to make frozen pulps of Black grapes and watermelon and created a special drink for the UAE National Day (above)!

Jihad (the smiling lady to my left) transformed my dining table with her little feminine touches here and there – the candle stand, the table cloth and the white crockery and elegant cutlery – thank you my dear! And yes, Sajith (the smiling and humble gentleman above), the next time you come home I’ll try to blink less and probably wear my glasses instead of wearing my usual set of contact lenses and blinking all the way through the shoot!

I’ve written about the Frozen Aam Pana where I’ve frozen the pulp scooped out of smoked Green Mangoes in an earlier post of mine – Frozen Aam Pana/Green Mango Pulp… The Change Initiative! The idea of frozen fruit pulps had been inspired from a visit to The Taste Initiative, the first sustainable café in Dubai.DSC_2141

For the UAE National Day Drink, I froze pulp of Black Grapes, pulp of Watermelons and the green Mango pulp. The Watermelon pulp required some additional sugar. And I added roasted Cumin Powder and a bit of rock salt. Garnish it with fresh green Mint leaves if you prefer and a delicious blend of sorbet-melting-into-a-drink is ready! I do hope you enjoy the pictorial journey of this beautiful drink inspired by the UAE flag colours. The colours on the UAE flag represent the following: white for peace and honesty, red for hardiness, bravery, strength and courage, green for hope, joy, love and optimism and black for the defeat of enemies or strength of mind. You may read more about the UAE flag here.DSC_2109

Frozen Aam Pana/Raw Mango Pulp Drink

Category – Drinks & Beverage; Cuisine type – Traditional Bengali, Indian

Following are the characteristics of all recipes doling out of our little hands, big hearth
♥ Easy to cook
♥ Regular canned products off the shelf may be used (However, we advocate using fresh products)
♥ Goes well both as a regular or party dish
♥ Children can easily help in making the dish (My two little sous-chéfs are aged 8 and 3 years!)
♥ And lastly, guaranteed to be tasty!

Aam Pana or Green Mango Drink is a great summer combat and is made in most regions in India. The Bengali Aam Pana is however a bit different in the sense that the green mangoes are first smoked (right below) and then the pulp is taken out. So while the taste of the mango is intact the smoky smell is strong and lends this drink an unusual charm. While in other places in India, the green mangoes are boiled and then pulped. You may get the recipe from my earlier post Frozen Aam Pana/Green Mango Pulp.

Enjoy the photographic journey of the special UAE National Drink…


As everybody joins in the celebrations, I love the way Google Doodles join in each country’s festive celebrations. Google joins UAE in celebrating the country’s 41 National Day with an artistic doodle highlighting the occasion on Google’s homepage on the UAE domain on December 2.!/image/3272725916.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_475/3272725916.jpg

The doodle shows four flying falcons carrying banners in the colours of the UAE flag: red, white, green and black. Each of the six banners features a letter from the Google logo, with the second ‘o’ in the word depicting one of the ancient tombs found on the island of Umm Al Nar. You can read more about the concept here.

An interesting timeline of events for the UAE starting from the 1820’s can also be found in BBC Middle East. If you prefer to watch videos, then don’t miss out these string of videos that The National had come out with last year – ’40 historic objects that shaped the UAE’… for example a Foetal heart monitor – early 1960s,  Etisalat phone – 1987, Royal invitation cards- 1979, A Grundig radio used by Sheikh Shakhbut and many more. You’ll get to watch all the videos here.DSC_189612554_501641649869264_1799755918_n

As UAE flags dot each and every shop located in each alley of Satwa, Karama or in the other emirates, UAE is probably the only country where patriotism is marked by how dressed up your car is! So it’s not surprising that UAE residents may win Dh100, 000 in prizes for decorating the best vehicles on the National Day parade. More on such patriotic fervour here!

I’m signing off with two of my Dubai posts – The Diary Of A Dubai Resident… As Home Turns Into An Inn! and Things to do in Dubai – Like a tourist in my own city! The latter post is perhaps one of the most ‘shared’ post in my blog. I am digging out this post from the archives only because I had spent lots of humorous hours penning it down and now it’s time to showcase my love for Dubai with the 41st UAE National Day lurking around the weekend. Also, I have been nominated for the Expats Blog Awards. If you like reading my posts, do show some love for me by leaving your comments here.

Updating my post with a video shot right now (12:50am on 3rd December) at the JBR Walk… the National Day celebration continues with full fervour!

Unblogging it all… Ishita

Disclaimer: I hope you enjoy reading the posts with lot of visuals. While you enjoy seeing them please don’t use them as some of them have been taken from our personal albums just to make your reading experience more pleasurable. You can see more pictures of my travel and food journey here.


My Dubai Diary in this blog:
♦ Things To Do In Dubai – Like A Tourist In My Own City Showcasing the city I love to call my home!
My First Authentic Emirati Food Experience! – Al Fanar Restaurant, Dubai Festival City
Al Maha Desert Resort & Twitterati Lunch – Al Maha Luxury Eco Resort
An Evening of Wine Tasting at Asado Wine Club – Asado Wine Club, The Palace Hotel, Old Town
♦ The Label Project – Wines Tasted Blindly! – Invite to a Global Wine initiative from Jacob’s Creek
TRIBES Celebrating South African Heritage Day! – TRIBES, the South African Restaurant in MOE
Locavorism in UAE, Friday Market
The Change Initiative Inspiration!  – Dubai’s first sustainable store, restaurant & café
Zatar Lamb, Crushed Lemon Potato with Chef Ron Pietruszka – Treat 2012, Burjuman World Food Fest + a Recipe
♦ Back To Dubai, Back to Costa –A nostalgic recount of favourite coffee haunt
Searching for Shiraz – Lucknow to Kolkata to Dubai – Nostalgic search for Kolkata’s famous Shiraz Restaurant ends with Siraz opening in Bur Dubai. Exploring some Awadhi/Lucknowy Khana!
♦ Down To Earth Organic Store In Dubai & Mutton Chick Peas Curry – An event + a Recipe
Mums Who Share @JBR A charity initiative
♦  Deep Sea Fishing & Fish Barbeque – Persian Gulf off Dubai Coast
♦  The Million Street, in the middle of nowhere – Rub Al-Khali Desert, UAE

Written by IshitaUnblogged

A Culinary Travel Blog by a Bong Gourmet. From Dubai, Kolkata & the world beyond, street food to fine dining, recipes to chef talks, it pens down experiences. With 2 kids in tow!


  1. I never knew that about the colours of the UAE flag. I wondered where all the traffic was – there was very little on Jumeriah Beach Road (not like last year) – the party moved to the Marina obviously! Beautiful drink

    1. Thank you Sally! Oh yes, the whole night the camaraderie lasted. But as you have mentioned, people were much more restrained with a whole lot of police security. It was lovely pouncing on your older articles as well… didn’t realise from where the hopping began. I believe it’s the Twitter – expatsblog!!!

  2. Nice! What a handful of things you have done, love it🙂 The drink is very interesting Ishita, love the frozen pulp and I know I always like to dig into granita style fruits, so yes please I will have a serving of that🙂
    Good job!

    1. Thank you Dima for such a beautiful comment and the lovely #FF tweets. The smoked Green Mango drink is traditionally a Bengali drink. Thought of twisting it a bit for the UAE National Day:)

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