Rice pudding with dried fruits

rice pudding with dried fruits 2

This dessert is a very nice treat any time, satisfies the sweet tooth and has health elements at the same time.

Serves 6


½ cup short grain rice

6 cups water (1500 ml)

400 g sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons blossom water

About a handful of dried fruits of your liking (put them in water when you begin making the pudding so they become a little more soft)

Dried pistachios, almonds, pecans/walnuts, pine nuts, cashews for garnish ( put them in cold water for an hour or two)

rice pudding with dried fruits


1) Put the rice and water in a pot, bring to boil and simmer on low heat with occasional stirring until rice is well cooked. Don’t worry if the water seems too much for the rice.

2) Add the milk to the rice mixture. Bring to boil and simmer over low heat with stirring from time to time until the mixture is thick and creamy. The mixture will thicken more when it cools.

3) Add what you wish and the blossom water, and stir. Remove from heat and pour the mixture in cups or a bowl.

4) Allow the rice pudding to cool a bit and then place in fridge to cool.



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)

Cooked Ashta (cream)

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.

Atayef bi ashta (pancakes with cream)

Orange Basbousa

Serves 10


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).

Halewet Al-Riz (Rice sweet)

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

Toast bread kunafa

This is a well-known Arabic dessert which is even eaten for breakfast. The traditional way is to do it with kunafa dough that is usually bought readymade but in case you can’t buy it then this is a good alternative with a tasty result.


Toast mixture

1 packet toast bread

1 cup pistachios, finely ground

¾ cup unsalted butter, melted


1 ½ cups milk

¼ cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup thick cream

1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

1 tablespoon rose water or orange blossom water

For serving

1 cup sugar syrup

ground pistachios


1)     Preheat oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line a 10 inches round pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.

2)     For the toast mixture: With a serrated knife cut the brown edges of the bread slices. Place in a food processor and mix until crumbled. Place in a deep bowl; add pistachios and melted butter. Rub the mixture with your finger tips until butter us well mixed with bread crumbs.

3)     Divide the toast mixture into two portions. Put one half of the mixture in the pan and press gently to even top.

4)     For the filling: In a stainless steel sauce pan, place the milk, sugar, cornstarch and flour; stir with hand beater until mixed. Cook over medium heat stirring slowly until the sauce thickens and starts to boil. Reduce the heat and let boil for one minute; add cream, cheese and whichever flower water you want. Stir until cheese is melted. Use directly (at once).

5)     Spread warm cheese filling on the lower level of toast. Sprinkle the second half of the toast to cover the filling completely.

6)     Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

7)     Remove from oven; wait for a few minutes or until you feel the cheese can hold together if turned onto a plate. Pour sugar syrup as desired on each serving plate. Garnish with pistachios and serve warm.

Taken from: Manal Al-Alem’s Kitchen

Sugar Syrup:

Gives 3 cups


2 ½ cups of sugar
1 ½ cups of water
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of rose and orange blossom water


Make the sugar syrup beforehand (any excess keep in a glass jar in fridge, keeps well).

1) Mix sugar in water and heat moderately without stirring.

2) Increase the heat until the mixture boils.

3) When it boils, add the lemon juice. Allow the mixture to boil slowly until it thickens.

4) Add rose and orange water.

5) Keep the mixture on heat for a few minutes then allow to cool.

Khoshaf (dried fruit salad)

serves 8-10

This dessert comes from the Arab Gulf and it is on the healthy end of the sweet scale. It makes a very good snack.


½ kg of Qamar Al deen/dried apricot paste, 4-5 cups of water, and  ¾ cup of sugar (to reduce the amount of time and work needed I used instead of the three items Qamar al deen syrup, for every cup of it add 1 cup of water)

½ cup of almonds

½ cup of pistachios

½ cup pine nuts

½ cup of raisins (different type if available)

1 cup of each cut dried fruits: apricots, plums, and figs (I used fresh figs and they work too)

I also used some candied dried fruits

1 tablespoon of rose water

1 tablespoon of orange blossom

1 stick of cinnamon


1)     If using the regular dried apricot paste soak it after cutting it into pieces into the water and sugar and leave over night until completely liquid (you can use warm water to get faster results). If using syrup then as mentioned use for every cup of syrup one cup of water with it. Water can be added if necessary to get the needed consistency.

2)     When the apricot mixture is ready add the rest of the ingredients to it (leave the rose and orange blossom water and cinnamon till the end).  

3)     Leave up to 5-6 hours so the fruit gets softer in the fridge before serving.

Adapted from Sufrat Anaheed Al Shahiyah (translated from Arabic)