Hareeseh or hareesa (semolina coconut dessert)


I was honored when Tanja (the amazing lady behind Tanja’s cooking corner) asked me to write a guest post for her amazing blog. She is one of the most talented bloggers I have met. Her pictures are stunning, recipes original, styling mouth watering but above all she is kind and sweet, always there with a kind comment or words of encouragement just when you need them.

I wanted to share a middle eastern recipe with Tanja and her readers but which one? After some thinking and consulting my mum I came up with Hareeseh.

 The recipes to hareeseh vary and so do the names. Some call it basboosa, namoora, harissa or haresse. Some use coconut, dates, yogurt or eggs while others stick to the basic semolina sugar and oil base. No matter what you call it or what combination of flavors you put in it, it is a treat worth making, a sure way to impress your guest and a quick and easy dessert that is loved by kids and adults alike

Hareeseh هريسه is an arabic dessert made with Samolina and sweetened with rosewater syrup. It is there in every dessert shop , family menu and it is even sold by street venders in the old parts of Amman and other middle eastern cities.


Please stop by Tanja’s blog  here and  take your time to explore Tanja’s wonderful blog, believe me you will thank me later 🙂


2 cups semolina

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 and 1/2 cans cream ishta

1/3 cup greek yogurt

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon rosewater (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Zest of one orange (optional)


3 cups sugar

2 cups water

1 teaspoon rose water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

To make the syrup

In a pot add the sugar, water and lemon juice

Bring to a boil over medium heat, allow to simmer for 2-4 minutes.

Take off the heat and stir in the rosewater

To make the Hareeseh

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined

Brush your baking dish with oil or butter

Pour the batter and then smooth the surface using a wet hand

Using a sharp knife that you wet with water cut the pattern you like into the batter(here is a the way I did my pattern)

Bake in a 180 C oven on the lowest rack until the edges of the hareeseh are golden brown

Place under the broiler until the top is golden brown

Take out of the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes

Add the syrup to the hot hareeseh (the amount you add depends on how sweet you like it to be I usually add about half of the syrup)

Run your knife along the pattern you made to separate the hareeseh pieces

Allow to cool to room temperature

Decorate with pistachio