El Chico, the authentic Mexican food chain from Southern United States, opened its third branch in the UAE on Friday 23rd Jan.

El Chico has a branch on JBR, Dubai. In Abu Dhabi, the chain already had a presence in Dalma Mall, and given the high demand for authentic Mexican cuisine, El Chico has now opened its second branch in the capital in the very stylish World Trade Center Mall. el chico wtc mall

Hanan Taha (or rather Dr. Hanan Taha!) and I go back a long time. We used to go to school together, and although we haven’t met since high-school we still keep abreast on each other’s lives via Facebook (thank goodness for social media!).

Hanan is based in Houston, Texas and is a qualified dermatologist. With a friend who works wonders on skincare for a living, I had to steal some beauty tips off her!

hanan

In the Middle East, weekends fall on Fridays and Saturdays. On Fridays, Muslims the world over offer the very special ‘jumma’ prayer, and this is traditionally followed by a lavish lunch with the family.

Biryani, a decadent rice pilaf layered with succulently spiced meat, tends to be a Friday lunch favorite.

My dear friend Sana Wahid makes the most delicious Yakhni Pulao, and has agreed to share her family’s secret recipe with us.

yakni pulao recipe2