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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kunafa, a Jordanian Sweet Pastry


For the month of September the ladies at Walima Cooking Club have relished the cuisine from the beautiful Historic country of Jordan in Middle East.The dessert pick was Kunafa,the festive Arabic dessert very popular during Ramadan,made by layering Cheese in between the crispy thin Kataifi pastry dough.The flavored sugar syrup and crunchy nuts are added for perfect finish.One can also use the thin vermicelli if kataifi is hard to find.And for the cheese the authentic recipes uses Naboulsi or Akawi Cheese ,which can be substituted by ricotta and fresh mozzarella together.

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Recipe adapted from Diana's Desserts.Also watch the video at Summer's blog.

Ingredients
*1 (1 pound) package Kataifi (can be found in most middle eastern, Arab or Greek grocery stores )
1/2 cup Pure Ghee,melted

For Sugar Syrup
1 cup brown or white sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoon lemon juice,freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon Orange blossom water or rose water
Pinch of Saffron

For Garnish
1/4 cup blanched whole almonds,sliced
1/2 cup golden raisins or chopped dried dates
1/2 cup roasted cashews or walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon pure ghee

For Cheese Filling
2 cups low fat Ricotta
1 cup fresh mozzarella,shredded

*One can also used very thin roasted vermicelli(available in most Asian stores).Roast in ghee,cover and cook in very little water just until soft but not mushy.

Method
Prepare the sugar syrup
In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, add water, sugar ,saffron and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Let simmer to a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat, let cool and add rosewater or orange blossom water.

Prepare Cheese filling
In a blender or food processor blend together ricotta and mozzarella.keep aside

Bake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Butter a 12-inch round or 8x8 inch square pan.
In a large bowl gently loosen kataifi or roasted cooked vermicelli. Mix very well with pure ghee. Cover with half of the kataifi or vermicelli in the baking dish. Press down lightly.Spread the cheese mixture evenly.cover with remaining kataifi or vermicelli mixture.Bake until lightly golden, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Soak in Syrup and Garnish
lightly roast all the dried fruits and nut in pure ghee,separately.keep aside

When baked immediately pour cold sugar syrup evenly over the hot kunafa. Let cool completely to room temperature.loosen the edges,invert onto the serving plate.
Sprinkle the garnish all over.Let cool.Slice in squares and serve.

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The scrumptious Arab pastry made perfect dessert for Eid.I'd love share this with Rosa's Pastries for peace and Sanghi's Fall In Love:Ghee

38 comments:

rekhas kitchen said...

I have tasted this Kunafa many times it taste yumm but never tried at home looks so delicious Yasmeen. nice recipe too

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is one of my favorite Middle Eastern desserts! Yours looks lovely!

Cheers,

Rosa

Happy cook said...

I have neve rhad this, it looks so so yummilicious. Wish i could have a taste of this, just know how it is. SO so yummy looking.

Justin said...

how interesting that the cheese part uses mozzarella!

DUSBAHCESI said...

In Turkey this pastry is very famous. It is one of my favourite.

meeso said...

Wow, that looks amazing! I would love to taste it :)

chakhlere said...

wow!! What a lovely dessert!! I loved the topping very much.

Gita said...

This is a new dish to me Yasmeen...looks divine :)

The Gourmet On A Diet said...

This looks amazing and delicious. I had to look up one of the ingredients and that only made me want to make it more! How interesting.

RAKS KITCHEN said...

Looks sinful!

Pavithra said...

Looks sooooooooooooooooooooo yummy ....

mona said...

Yasmeen, I enjoyed going through the video. Good that you are enjoying trying out new dishes.
The dessert looks very good!

Cham said...

Kind of cheese cake :) Quiet interesting recipe!

Priya said...

Quite an interesting dish, never tasted yet..Looks gorgeous yas!

Ivy said...

It looks yummy. I never thought that you can make this will vermicelli as in Greece we always use kataifi.

Soma said...

Thanks for the recipe yasmeen. I have seen this in a middleeastern restaurant, thru' a glass pane:-) never got to try it. looks very delicious.

Muneeba said...

This is killing me ... how am I supposed to control my sweet tooth with desserts like this one splattered all over my computer screen?! Loving it ... craving it .. going out now to look for kataifi in my neighborhood middle eastern store.

Arabic Bites said...

Beautiful kunafa yasmeen ;)
What a coincidence I made mini kunafa last week & I'm planing to post the recipe soon when I have time :D

zainab :)

Varsha Vipins said...

am seeing this for the first time Yas..looks so pretty..Middle Eastern desserts are always so unique aint it..:)

Jen said...

The cheesy filling is making crave for the dessert right now.

Simply Life said...

Oh that looks great!

Kerstin said...

What a cool post, I haven't heard of this pastry before, but it looks great!

notyet100 said...

ummm new for me,..looks terrificly yummy

Veggie Belly said...

I had something similar to this in Turkey and it was so good!

Chef Jeena said...

Mmmmm this is delightful I love kunafa and yours looks amazing Yasmeen!

Shabs.. said...

This is one of the desserts that i ever wanted to try....but pulling back thinking of the sugar that i will have to consume,..I have had this from Emirates and goodness, its so yummy....ur pic is a treat for the eyes!!droolworthy yasmeen:)..
hey i loved that oats and coconut pudding...would try it soon with reduced sugar as breakfast fro my son.....i wouldn't mind having with sugar as well...lols......:)loved the snap...

Smitha said...

Yasmeen.....that looks yummo! You girl are still going strong on your recipes and experiments. Great.

sabah said...

It looks ammmmazing, good job, Yasmeen.

Lena Rashmin Raj said...

Yasmeen...this looks amazing... :)

5 Star Foodie said...

What a delightful sweet treat, I love the topping!

Curry Leaf said...

Looks great,have heard of it,but recipe is for the first time.Looks lovely and very inviting.

Summer said...

Yasmeen, this looks so good and so yummy! your photos are superb! thanks for making this recipe for the walima Challenge.

Malar Gandhi said...

Looks delicious...

Anjum said...

i love kunafa...this is the only middle eastern dersert i have actually...thanks 4 posting

Anjum said...

i love kunafa...this is the only middle eastern dersert i have actually...thanks 4 posting

Arlette said...

Marahba Yasmine...
sorry for my late visit, but better late than never.
What a beautiful photos, and gorgoues looking Knafeh....
thank you so much for participating in the challenge.

I did mine this weekend, after i lost the first challenge.

Lo said...

I love Middle Eastern desserts -- never too sweet and always a celebration of textures. Bet this was delicious.

Lebanese Jemma said...

Kunafa, is NOT a jordanian sweet pastry. Its a Palestinian sweet pastry. Its original name is Knafeh Nabulsiyeh, indicating its origin in Nablus in Palestine and because it is made with their Nabulsi cheese originally. It wasent even eaten in what became jordan until after 1948 when the Palestinians had to flee there and brought with them their cuisine.

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