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Suvir Saran

Middle Eastern Desserts/Sweets

111 posts in this topic

A friend is having a dinner for some of our friends. She is most famous for her Middle Eastern/Lebanese dinner parties.

I asked her what I could bring and she said some dessert that would go with Middle Eastern food.

Any ideas?

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Oh, please, don't get me started! :biggrin: I love having sweets to nibble, instead of a rich or gooey, syrupy pastry. Besides, these are easy and travel well. And they are conducive to talking talking talking after the meal.

Apricots (fresh or dried) stuffed with chopped pistachios and whipped cream.

"Gazelle horns" -- basically an almond sablé in a crescent shape

Dates, pitted and stuffed with almond paste or whole almonds.

Roasted figs with yogurt and honey.

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Oh, please, don't get me started!  :biggrin:  I love having sweets to nibble, instead of a rich or gooey, syrupy pastry.  Besides, these are easy and travel well.  And they are conducive to talking talking talking after the meal.

Apricots (fresh or dried) stuffed with chopped pistachios and whipped cream.

"Gazelle horns" -- basically an almond sablé in a crescent shape

Dates, pitted and stuffed with almond paste or whole almonds.

Roasted figs with yogurt and honey.

May I plead for recipes?

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There's the filo pastries -- baklava or galaktoboureko. Baklava can be tricky sometimes; galaktoboureko is much easier to prepare. If it's a casual dinner, just prepare the galaktoboureko in layers in a pan. If you want to get more fancy, make them into little purses and serve with poached fruit or a fruit sauce.

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I think a home made Indian kulfi with lots of pistachio would go very well, actually. Pistachio is a core theme of middle eastern desserts.

Baklava is very, very labor intensive to make... its one of those things better made commercially.

theres another type of dessert which is essentially a gigantic fig newton, but much more dense... a big fig bar which you cut into small cubes.. I forget what it is called but I like the one served at Bennies in Englewood. Goes great with a spiced tea.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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I think a home made Indian kulfi with lots of pistachio would go very well, actually.

I think it would be perfect... But this friend asked me categorically to make something Middle Eastern. :shock:

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I think a home made Indian kulfi with lots of pistachio would go very well, actually.

Are you able to eat Kulfi Jason? Are you not allergic to dairy?

DO you make Kulfi at home?

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galaktoboureko is much easier to prepare. If it's a casual dinner, just prepare the galaktoboureko in layers in a pan. If you want to get more fancy, make them into little purses and serve with poached fruit or a fruit sauce.

What is Galaktoboureko?

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No, I'm not supposed to eat Kulfi but that doesnt mean I dont make exceptions sometimes. You pay to play.

Its not possible to make kulfi with yogurt is it?

Nah... never heard of anyone making it...

I also wonder how one would...

Maybe Steve Klc can help us with that.... He certainly would know if something such as that is even a possibility.

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Have you ever had Shrikhand?

It is a mousse like Indian pudding that is made with hung yogurt.

It is traditionally prepared plain and served with nuts on top.

Or you can often find it in some restaurant menus as Amrakhand. Amrakhand is simply hung yogurt that has been flavored with mango (aam) pulp.

This is a great dessert. I love the texture and would eat a lot of this in Bombay.

They often chill it really well and so it is almost like eating frozen yogurt.

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Hmm.. frozen mango lassi.. now we are getting somewhere...

well maybe you could make it from frozen lassi.

But you would first have to drain the lassi for any extra liquid that might be in the yogurt.

Think more Labni with mango.

Labni being the thick middle eastern yogurt like dairy product.

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I would make "kataiif", a Lebanese dessert . My mom used to make those all the time and they are pretty simple. They are small pancakes stuffed with sweet cream. they look like empanadas and are served with orange blossom jam and rose petal flavored syrup. Let me know if you need the recipe and I will dig it up when I get home. I'm pretty sure Claudia Roden has it in her "Middle Eastern Cooking" book.

FM


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I would make "kataiif", a Lebanese dessert . My mom used to make those all the time and they are pretty simple. They are small pancakes stuffed with sweet cream. they look like empanadas and are served with orange blossom jam and rose petal flavored syrup. Let me know if you need the recipe and I will dig it up when I get home. I'm pretty sure Claudia Roden has it in her "Middle Eastern Cooking" book.

FM

I have had Kataifi with coconut...

I would love t he recipe.

Thanks! :smile:

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I have a recipe for pistachio (flavored with cardamom) cake that's light and moist and can be cut into little squares perfect for nibbling. I can send it over if you like.


There's a yummy in my tummy.

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I have a recipe for pistachio (flavored with cardamom) cake that's light and moist and can be cut into little squares perfect for nibbling. I can send it over if you like.

That would be lovely... Please do send me the recipe.

Where is it from? It sounds perfect. :smile:

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Keep the ideas pouring please.

I will end up taking at least 3 different desserts. :rolleyes:

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I would make "kataiif", a Lebanese dessert . My mom used to make those all the time and they are pretty simple. They are small pancakes stuffed with sweet cream. they look like empanadas and are served with orange blossom jam and rose petal flavored syrup. Let me know if you need the recipe and I will dig it up when I get home. I'm pretty sure Claudia Roden has it in her "Middle Eastern Cooking" book.

FM

I have had Kataifi with coconut...

I would love t he recipe.

Thanks! :smile:

I will try to get you the recipe as soon as I get home. Still stuck at work for another three hours probably.

FM


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I would make "kataiif", a Lebanese dessert . My mom used to make those all the time and they are pretty simple. They are small pancakes stuffed with sweet cream. they look like empanadas and are served with orange blossom jam and rose petal flavored syrup. Let me know if you need the recipe and I will dig it up when I get home. I'm pretty sure Claudia Roden has it in her "Middle Eastern Cooking" book.

FM

I have had Kataifi with coconut...

I would love t he recipe.

Thanks! :smile:

I will try to get you the recipe as soon as I get home. Still stuck at work for another three hours probably.

FM

I need to prepare these desserts for Saturday evening.

I am sure I can wait three hours.

Thanks!

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Suvir, Claudia Roden's book also has a wonderful dessert of macerated dried fruit with nuts. The recipe is online here. It's very simple but really delicious.

The variation with pomegranate seeds, which I haven't tried, looks even better.

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Suvir, Claudia Roden's book also has a wonderful dessert of macerated dried fruit with nuts.  The recipe is online here.  It's very simple but really delicious.

The variation with pomegranate seeds, which I haven't tried, looks even better.

Thanks Cathy! :smile:

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Sorry it took more than 3 hrs but my wife was asking for polenta shortbread cookies and I had to oblige... well actually I was craving them and made me a batch but my wife does love them. So here goes the Ataiif recipe courtesy of Claudia Roden (with some editting on my part) with two options for a stuffing:

For the Batter:

-1.5 tsp. active dry yeast

-1tsp. sugar

-1.5 cups likewarm water

-1.3 cups all-purpose flour

For the Syrup:

-2.5 cups sugar

-1.25 cups water

-1tbs. lemon juice

-1 to 2 tbs. rose water or orange blossom water

-Vegetable oil

Dissolve the yeast with the sugar in half cup of the water. Let it stand in a warm place for 10 minutes until it frothes. Put the flour in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and the remaining water gradually beating vigorously to make a creamy lump free batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for an hour in a warm place. i will rise and become bubbly and a little elastic.

To make the Ataiif. Rub a non stick skillet with oil and heat until very hot. Ladel the batter into the skillet making a small round (about 4 inches in diameter)when the bubbles on top start popping and the pancakes come away easily from the pan and the bottoms are golden brown they are done. DO NOT cook the other side as it needs to be a little sticky so that it can seal on the stuffing. Pile the semi-cooked Ataiif on a platter and stuff them one by one.

To stuff them, put a heaping spoon of stuffing in the center of the pancakes on the uncooked side. Fold the pancakes over in a half moon shape (or Empanada shape :)) Seal the edges by pinching them firmly together.

To make the syrup, bring the water, sugar and lemon juice to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Then stir in the rose water and simmer for few seconds more.

Roden gives two options for stuffing :

1) Mix 2 cups chopped walnuts, 3 to 4 tbs. sugar, and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.

OR

2) Use a mixture of half and half mozzarella and ricotta (total about 3/4 of a pound), blended to a paste in the food processor.

Tha atiif can be either eaten cold or pan fried in some butter (your choice, I prefer cold) . Either way drizzle with the syrup and top with a little orange blossom jam. Divine.

P:S You can make the Ataiif, stuff them, and make the sugar syrup a day in advance and refrigerate.

Let us know how the evening goes.

FM


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Let us know how the evening goes.

FM

Thanks for the recipe.

You are a very kind person to have made this effort.

Will certainly keep you posted.

PS: I have pasted the recipe onto word and will now print it. Where does one get that Orangle Blosson Jam? Or does the recipe have it? Will check it in more detail once it is printed.

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Let us know how the evening goes.

FM

Thanks for the recipe.

You are a very kind person to have made this effort.

Will certainly keep you posted.

PS: I have pasted the recipe onto word and will now print it. Where does one get that Orangle Blosson Jam? Or does the recipe have it? Will check it in more detail once it is printed.

You are welcome.

The orange blossom jam is not part of the recipe and is optional (I think it adds a certain exotic flavor as a garnish). You can find it at any middle eatsern or Lebanese store. The brand that I have is called "Al Rabih".

FM


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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