layers of semolina ,coconut , cinnamon and nuts alternating in a beautiful pattern and heavenly combination of flavor.
It is sort of mammoul meets harissa/basbousa meets knafeh and oh my if there was one dessert that is the best of those three worlds it would be dahdah!
When I was a kid, before globalization and the internet (yes , that statement does make my kids giggle and makes me feel old) whenever we had a special occasion and we wanted to buy desserts for it, the options were simple: Baklava, muhalabia, layali lobnana, eish al saraya , awwameh or another item from a long list of traditional Arabic desserts. These desserts were sold by specialty stores who displayed them in the most tempting ways. Sure they sold the occasional cake and some cookies but these were never that fancy nor tempting when compared to the extravaganza of Arabic delicacies on display.
My favorite dessert, as a child was these little white rolls you see in the next picture. They are , velvety and almost melt in your mouth. Delicately flavored with orange blossom water, the creaminess from the filling is beautifully balanced by the nuttiness of the pistachios. They are little clouds of bless. There weren’t that many places that sold these little beauties, so whenever we passed by one of the stores that did, my dad would buy me some
Knafeh has got to be the recipe I get the most questions about and requests for! and that’s no wonder because it is one of the most addictive Arabic and middle eastern desserts.
What I try to explain to most people when they ask me is that knafeh is not a single dessert. It is actually a broad category of desserts. There is knafeh naameh (which means smooth knafeh and that refers to the texture of the dough used to make the crust), knafeh khisneh (rough knafeh)-both the naameh and khisneh are filled with cheese-, knafeh othmanieh (Ottomali Knafeh) which is filled with ashta or cream, knafeh asabe3: rough knafeh dough formed into mini logs filled with cheese or cream ,and last but not least,today’s recipe: Arabic knafeh or Gazan knafeh which is filled with walnuts and spices.
Our Arabic flavor recipe for the Month of April took us to Nablus! Rania Al Wazani invited us to make Tamriyeh, the popular Nabulsi dessert from scratch.
Last year, in my Romanieh recipe post I took you on a little trip to the old markets of Nablus.
Nablus (sometimes called Nābulus) is a Palestinian city in the northern West-Bank, approximately 63 kilometers (39 mi) north of Jerusalem. Located between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim
When it comes to food, Nablus is a gastronomic heaven,famous for its signiture cheese “the Nabulsi cheese” and its wide array of sweets, ranging from kunafeh, a stringy, cheesy, crispy, sweet, gooey, delicious dessert which defies definition.
So many of you have kindly written to me asking how I was coping in Ras Al Khaima, wondering about my new life here. I’ve been meaning to write a long post about this for months! but something always comes up! So I have decided to break it up into a series of posts. I will tell you a little bit about the great move, life in the UAE and how I’m coping with the whole idea of being an expat. Do stay tuned 🙂
If you are here for the recipe, scroll to the end of the post, you will find the English and Arabic versions