Minna Herranen

Founder of nakedplateblog.com

Minna Herranen is a Finnish trade compliance specialist who works in Dubai Internet City. The founder of cookery blog, nakedplateblog.com, has lived in Jumeirah with her Egyptian husband, and ten children (from her extended family) for ten years. The blogger loves photography, balcony gardening, baking, and supporting charitable projects to help and empower youngsters in Cairo.

About the blog

It started cooking with my mom and sister at a young age and have always been kind of creative, artisan-minded. I published my first post on www.nakedplateblog.com in 2011, and since then the blog has been a showcase of micro food memories linked to my current food experiences here in Dubai. A pinch of Finland and dash of Dubai, I manage to find similarities of Finnish cuisine with any of the ethnic foods that I eat and cook. If you look at the tag cloud of my blog you will find these words in bold – easy, fast, baking, dessert and bread. It confirms my love for easy and quick recipes with stories attached. In particular, you will find a story of my favourite cookware item that I still use – a cast iron frying pan from 70 years ago, which was my grandmother’s engagement gift to me.

Foodie memories

I remember many outdoor picnics from my childhood. When my brother, sister and friends would play outside, my mom would stop by with freshly baked Finnish sweet buns called Pulla. They were warm outside with berry jam inside. I also remember going berry picking in the forest and our family fishing trips.

As a child, my favourite snack was Quark with lingonberries and sugar. Ikea has started selling lingonberry jam, so I can’t wait to eat it again.

Food culture: Nordic! It’s simple, seasonal and full of fresh, pure flavours. The food is so clean, without overpowering spices.

My hidden gems in Dubai

Signor Pomidor, an authentic healthy Italian restaurant in Business Bay, and Charm Thai at the Jumeirah Fishing Harbour.

I love using…pomegranate molasses – thick, fragrant and tangy, it can be used as a salad dressing, marinade, sweetener for juices, or just drizzled over chicken and vegetables before roasting.

Sweet something…I love Konafa bil eshta with mango. Who can resist cream, mango, and crispy stringy dough with melted cheese?

A dish my family loves

Finnish Mama’s Berry Pie – it’s a great combination of creamy fromage frais with a fresh forest berry filling on a soft pie crust.