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Basbousa: the Arabic dessert recipe based on semolina and almonds

Basbousa: the Arabic dessert recipe based on semolina and almonds

The basbousa it’s a dolce typical of the Middle East made with semolina, covered with a sugar syrup flavored with rose water, and then decorated with whole almonds. Of very ancient origin, it is known by different names depending on the area of ​​origin: harisa in the Arab countries, revani in Greece and Turkey, safra in Israel. There are different versions and some ingredients may vary based on where it is made. Whatever the recipe, however, it is a soft, fragrant dessert with a moist texture, perfect for all occasions: from breakfast to snack up to the greedy after dinner.

Once out of the oven, the basbousa is cut into cubes or in diamond shapes with a whole almond set in the center, thus giving it an unmistakable appearance. From the very romantic name, in Arabic, the word basbousa it means “just a kiss”, perhaps to symbolize the sweetness of the cake. To prepare it, rose water is used, which is not always easy to find; alternatively, you can use theorange flower water, for an equally delicate and fragrant result. You can replace the yogurt with milk and omit the grated coconut, as in the Lebanese recipe, adding another 100 grams of semolina.

Find out how to prepare it by following the step by step procedure and advice. If you liked this recipe, try baklava and galaktoboureko as well.

How to prepare the basbousa

First prepare the syrup, bring the water with the sugar to a boil and simmer until it has dissolved, then pour into a bowl and add the rose water and lemon juice. 1.

In a bowl put the semolina and semolina 2.

Add the coconut, sugar, and baking powder 3.

Also combine the melted butter, 2 eggs and yogurt 4.

Mix all the ingredients well 5.

Then pour the dough into a well-buttered rectangular or square pan, level with a wet spatula, make square cuts with a small knife and place an almond in the center of each square, then bake at 180 ° for about 35 minutes in a static oven. 6.

Once the basbousa is cooked, wet it with the syrup and bake again at 180 ° for about 10 minutes 7.

Finally, let it cool well and serve the basbousa cut into squares 8.


The basbousa being very sweet and having little water inside it keeps well for several days, closed in a tin box or in a food bag.

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