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BASBOUSA : a middle east dessert

Wishing a joyful Happy New Year to all my friends.this is the first post of 2016 ,and ofcourse we should start our year with a sweet dish..


Basbousa or harisa or nammoura is originated from middle east. Basbousa is a traditional middle east dessert. It is made from cooked semolina or farina  soaked in syrup.the syrup is flavoured with orange blossom water or rose water.


it is also called sweet semolina cake,a very easy dessert and can be prepared in many ways. this is very common cake in Egypt.

There are many varieties of Arabic sweets that are truly delicious. It is a dessert can be served after meal or this can be taken as a cake with a evening cup of tea.


Basbousa can be prepared in different ways. Some prepare this with eggs or some add coconut. It can be prepared with  curd , some adds milk. There are many variation. But its always easy and worth making. Its very flavourable and yummy.


Semolina – 1 1/4th cup

All purpose flour – 1/4th cup

Thick curd – ½ cup

Castor Sugar – ½ cup

Desiccated coconut – 1/4th cup

Milk – 2-3 tbsp (optional )

Rose water – 2 tsp

Orange reduction – 2 tbsp

Oil- ½ cup

Blanched almonds – a handful

For sugar syrup ::

Sugar – ½ cup

Water – ½ cup

Baking powder – ¾ th tsp

Orange reduction – 2 tbsp

Rose water – 1 tsp


In a bowl mix semolina, all purpose flour, desiccated coconut,keep aside.

Take curd in another bowl and add baking powder in it.

Mix it and Leave it for few minute, it will be foamy now.

Add oil, sugar ,rose water and orange reduction to the curd.

Mix with a spatula.

Now add dry ingredients and mix well.

It will be like a dough.

You can add 2-3 tbsp of milk if its seems very dry.

But the mixture should be fairly stiff.

Grease a baking tin and spread the  mixture evenly.

Use your hand or a spatula and pat the mixture evenly.

And refrigerate it for an hour.

In between blanch the almonds.

After 1 hour preheat the oven at 190c for 10 minutes.

Now with a  butter knife draw diamond cuts on the dough. Remember you don’t need to cut it ,just press hard and make mark on it.

And  place the almonds on every square.

Bake it at 190c for 30-40 minutes.

In the mean time add sugar and water in a pan ,prepare the sugar syrup.

when the syrup starts boiling add rose water and orange reduction.

Boil for 4-5 minutes and switch off the flame.

When there will  10 minutes left in baking time,remove the basbousa from oven.

(basbousa seems like baked or top will turn  nice golden brown in colour )

Now cut the basbousa as you marked it before.

Carefully pour the sugar syrup on the baked basboussa,and again bake it for 10 minutes.

After baking remove from oven and cool it for 4-5 hours.

Cut it on the marked portion and serve.



Originally basbousa is incomplete without orange blossom water.

In my area its very difficult to find it. I got an idea when I saw garima using orange syrup with rose water .Here is her recipe.

so I  have used orange reduction instead of orange syrup .

recipe of orange reduction ::

take 3/4th cup of fresh orange juice and 4 tbsp of sugar in a pot.

 simmer it for 4-5 minutes till 4tbsp left. cool it and use it.




Cooking is my passion.i love to play with myriad tastes of spices . I belong to a odiya family by birth but marriade to a bengoli person.the crash of cultures between two families induced me to cook innovatively so as to make everyone happy.

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