Saturday, March 8, 2014

Basbousa(eggless) ~ A Middle-Eastern Sweet Semolina Cake

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    Basbousa is a popular Middle Eastern dish, made of semolina(suji) and coconut, soaked with simple sugar syrup which is flavoured with lemon and rose water.
   This baked semolina dessert is known in different names in different region of Middle East and Egypt, like Basbousa/hareesa in Arabic, Revani in Turkish or Ravani and Revani in Greek. In Egypt, it is known as basbousa/basboosa. I have found this recipe on my friend's blog, "A Homemaker's Diary". This was on my to-try list for long time. I wanted to try it as it sounded very delicious, something diffrent but very familiar flavor for us Indians.
     Finally, on the occassion of my parent's anniversary, which was yesterday, I baked for them. Not any traditional cake, but they enjoyed this unusual cake on their special day. I also want to dedicate this sweet semolian dessert on the occassion of International Women's day to all special women(my grandmom, my mom, my mother-in-law) in my life who have inspired me, supported me, loved me unconditionally and taught me the most important life lessions each and every day.


     Basbousa is very easy-to-prepare cake. This version I tried in eggless, if you want to bake it with eggs, then replace the yoghurt in this recipe with 2 eggs. I also added some roasted almonds and cashews to teh extra crunch, as my recipe source suggested, but its completely optional. Traditionally, an almond is topped on each basbousa piece, but I added chopped pistachio, as I love the flavor of pistachios. There is another variant of Basbousa available by the name of Pastusha, which is originated in Kuwait, which is similarly made but topped with ground almonds and flavoured with orange flower water.
     There are many versions available on the web, where little bit of flour is also added with semolina, I'll give it a try next time but this time I followed my friend's recipe to the T, Check out her recipe here. As this dessert dish comes from the land of saffron, I added few strands of saffron to the sugar syrup for the awesoem flavor of saffron.

You need :
Semolina(suji) : 1 1/2 cup
Curd/yoghurt(dahi) : 3/4 cup
Grated Coconut : 1/2 cup
Butter/Ghee : 4 tblsp.
Sugar : 2/3 cup[ use powdered sugar for easy mixing]
Roasted almonds/cashews : 1/2 cup(chopped)
Baking powder : 1/4 tsp.
Rose essence : 1 tsp.
halved pistachios/almonds for decoration
For sugar Syrup :
Water : 1/2 cup
Sugar : 1/4 cup
Lemon : 1
Rose essence : 1 tsp.
Saffron : few strands(my addition)


How To :
  • Preheat oven to 175-180 degree C. Grease a baking dish with butter/ghee.
  • In a big bowl, beat yoghurt till smooth, add 1/3 cup water, coconut, sugar and ghee/butter. Beat some more and mix. To this add semolina. Mix everything nicely and make a lump free batter. if needed, add more water, but be careful the batter should be thick, not runny. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
  • Then add chopped roasted almond/cashews, baking powder and rose essence. Mix well and transfer the whole batter to the prepared baking pan. Spread the batter evenly and decorate with your choice of nuts, like almonds, cashews or pistachios{I used pistachios}. 
  • Put the baking dish in the pre-heated oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or till the top turns brown. 
  • Preparing the sugar syrup : while the cake is baking, prepare the sugar syrup. In a saucepan, take water and sugar and let it boil. Add lemon juice and rose essence. Boil till sugar syrup turns thick but still in pouring consistency. Add saffron strands finally and remove from heat.
  • While the cake is cooling, cut into squares or diamond shapes, pour the sugar syrup allover the cake and let it cool and soak the syrup before serving.

 Serve with tea or coffee or serve as a dessert. 




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4 comments:

  1. lovely basbousa ...Very tempting .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely eggless basbousa. Must try the recipe. Pictures look very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Super like, love this basbousa very much.. That too eggless,loving it.

    ReplyDelete

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