This is a very easy and well-known Arabic dessert. If baked well, it is light and fluffy.
3 cups flour
3 cups semolina
2 ½ cup sugar
2 cups milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground aniseed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla or a pinch of vanilla sugar
Pine seeds or almonds for garnish
Tahina/Tahini (a thick paste made from ground sesame seeds) to grease pan (medium rectangular or square)
1) Grease bottom of pan with tahini/tahina.
2) In a bowl mix all the ingredients together to get a mixture medium in thickness.
3) Spread the mixture in the pan and smooth the top with a spoon wetted with water.
4) Garnish with pine seeds or almonds
5) Bake for about 30 minutes or until the golden brown on top in an 350F/gas mark4/180 C oven.
6) Remove from oven and leave to cool in pan then cut up into desired shape.
Taken from book: Anaheed’s Eastern sweets (translated from Arabic)
In Arabic sweets usually the ashta (cream) used is store bought because it is easier than preparing it at home but none is available the following recipe is a good alternative. This can be used in any Arabic sweet that requires ashta.
2 cups/500ml milk
½ cup/60g corn flour
170g thick cream
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
In a saucepan, combine the cream, milk and corn flour. Bring the mixture to a boil until the mixture thickens, constantly stir. Take off the heat and stir in orange blossom water and set it aside to cool.
½ cup or 100g butter, melted
400g sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon anis seeds
½ teaspoon ground mahlab
1 teaspoon orange zest
5 tablespoons orange juice
200g semolina, normal (smeed)
200g fine semolina
2 cups or 400g sugar
11/2 cups or 375ml water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon rosewater
1) Combine butter, condensed milk, baking powder, anis seeds, mahlab, orange zest and orange juice and stir well. Add semolina and stir until well combined.
2) Grease a 28cm x 24cm baking tin, and then pour semolina mixture in the tin. Bake in a 190C preheated oven for 35 min or until it becomes golden in color (well, I opened the grill, the top part of the oven, a bit after baking was finished to get the color needed on the top).
3) Remove from oven and pour the cooled syrup all over (it will be absorbed).
This is an Arab/Arabic sweet and another one with cheese. It is good and is a close cousin of halewet al jibin in taste.
1.5 cup of Egyptian rice (or any big grained rice with starch)
2.5 cups of icing sugar
7.5 cups of water
750g of shredded mozzarella or unsalted Akawi cheese (it is a white cheese if you have a salted one put soak it in water for day to remove salt)
¼ cup rose water or a combination of rose and orange blossom water
A few pieces of mistakeh grounded with half teaspoon of sugar (not necessary)
Fresh kashta or thick cream for garnish
Ground pistachios for garnish
1) Cook the rice in the water until done then puree it with a blender.
2) Put the rice puree with the icing sugar in a sauce pan on heat and use a metal mixer to stir for 10 minutes.
3) Add the cheese and mix until combined and melted.
4) Remove from heat and add the rose/orange blossom water and mistakeh (if used); combine with mixture.
5) Put in dish/s and garnish.
Note: It can be eaten hot or cold. It was also good with sugar syrup (ater)
Translated and taken from Anaheed’s eastern sweets