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Irresistible Desserts from Arab Cuisine

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Arab cuisine hides many famous but not so widespread sweet temptations that can truly make our life sweeter and more delightful. Here's how to prepare 2 of the most well-known desserts from Arab cuisine.

Qatayef - the most popular dessert for the month of Ramadan

Ingredients for 4 servings: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup corn semolina, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 pinch baking soda, 4/5 cup sugar, 2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp lemon juice, 5 tbsp orange juice, 2 cups water, salt to taste, 2/5 cup walnuts, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 pinch nutmeg.

Preparation: In essence, qatayef is a syruped pancake. To prepare the mixture for the pancakes, mix together the flour, semolina, baking powder, baking soda, a pinch of salt and stir well. Gradually add about 1 1/2 cups water to this mixture and mix everything to homogeneity. Leave thus prepared smooth dough for about 30 min. in the fridge, then prepare standard pancakes about 1/16" thick.


Prepare the syrup for the pancakes by mixing about 2/5 cup water and 4/5 cup sugar. Put it on the stove and once it comes to a boil, add the orange and lemon juice. Boil everything for no longer than 10 min.

Make the filling for the pancakes by chopping the walnuts coarsely, mixing them with 2 tbsp sugar, the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Fill each pancake with 1 tbsp of the filling, wrap them in the form of a crescent, smear with syrup and put them to bake for about 10-15 min. in a preheated 360°F (180 °C) oven. Serve the qatayef with the remaining syrup, should anyone like to add extra.

Mamool Cookies

mamool cookies

Ingredients: 4/5 cup butter, 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 4/5 cup chopped walnuts, 6 tbsp orange juice.

Preparation: Melt the butter on the stove, pour it into a bowl and add the flour, powdered sugar and 2 tbsp orange juice to it. Mix everything well and leave thus prepared dough for 2 hours in the fridge. In the meantime, mix the walnuts, sugar and remaining orange juice.

Form small cones from the dough, make a small hole at each of their bases, fill it with the walnut mixture and close it. Place thus prepared cookies with their points facing up in an oiled tray and bake about 30 min. in a preheated 390°F (200 °C) oven. Once they cool, sprinkle the mamool cookies with a little powdered sugar.

Try these other favorite Arab desserts: tulumbas, kadaif, kanafeh, malebi, lokma, kodrit kadir, Arabian sponge cake.