Egypt developed as a settlement and culture ages ago along the fertile lands of river Nile. It has been a source of vast knowledge for archaeologists for its excavations and Great Pyramids. A lot of knowledge gained through this points to the culture of cultivating the crops for consumption. These crops over shadowed the meats and the population was more inclined towards vegetarians. Fast forwarding to the modern age, Egyptians still make a lot of use of these crops for their daily preparations. They consume good amount of bread with the main course dominated by vegetables and few of the delectable desserts. This region has given a lot of delicious recipes to the world.
Today we talk about one of the recipes from this country called Egyptian Basbousa. It is a delicious dessert, a sweet cake made with Semolina flour, coconut and rose or lemon flavored sugar syrup. Traditionally, it was cut in diamond shapes and decorated with almonds which is the same way I made it to keep the authenticity. It is an all vegetarian recipe without using any eggs. The dessert is known with different names such as Hareesa or Harissa for the Arabs and Revani for Turkish and Greek. It is a pretty famous dessert recipe in the middle east and can be found in countries like Jordan, Morocco, Alexandria, Turkey and Greece. The flour mixed with ingredients is set and baked while the sugar syrup is soaked into the dish after baking. It is recommended to cut the flour mixture once set in the baking tray as it is much easy and the shapes come out nice. Although a dessert, Egyptian Basbousa also goes well with tea or coffee. With a simple set of ingredients, it can be made easily. You can enjoy the absolutely delightful taste with this Egyptian Basbousa Recipe.
Ingredients (makes a 9 by 13 inch cake)
- Semolina - 350 gms
- Yogurt - 200 gms
- Sugar - 100 gms
- Cooking butter - 150 gms
- Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
- Baking powder - 1 tsp
- Coconut powder - 50 gms
- Salt - 1/4 tsp
- All purpose flour - 75 gms
- Almonds - 15 to 20
- Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
For the syrup
- Water - 1 cup
- Sugar - 1 & 1/2 cup
- Rose water - 1 tsp
- Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
Egyptian Basbousa Recipe
- Boil some water in a pan, soak almonds in it for about 30 min.
- Peel the skin and cut into halves. Keep aside.
- Line a 9X13 baking tray with parchment paper. Keep aside.
For Sugar Syrup
- Boil the water with sugar to make sugar syrup. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for another 3-4 min.
- Remove from heat, cool and add rose water and lemon juice. Keep aside.
- Mix dry ingredients (except butter, vanilla extract and yogurt) in a bowl.
- Melt the butter and mix it with yogurt and vanilla extract. Mix dry ingredients with butter mixture.
- Set the mixture in the baking tray evenly.
- Cut into diamond shape with a knife and garnish each piece with almonds.
- Pre heat the oven to 180 C. Bake for 35-40 min. Remove and pour the sugar syrup all over.
- Separate the pieces, cool and serve.