Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Suvir Saran

Middle Eastern Desserts/Sweets

Recommended Posts

Have some pics of some pastries from a little pastry shop in the oasis town of Wadi Musa (next to Petra) during a recent trip to Jordan and Egypt.

Apart from baklava (the first picture), I'm not sure what the rest are called. We just pointed excitedly at what we wanted. Can somebody please help me identify them?

Some of my favourites were these filo pastry casings with a cream cheese filling (sweet ones and savoury ones) and also crescent-shaped shortbread like ones, either plain or with a date filling. Yumm! Would anyone possibly have recipes for these (:biggrin: hopeful)?

gallery_3270_329_1099655282.jpg

gallery_3270_329_1099655301.jpg

gallery_3270_329_1099655318.jpg

gallery_3270_329_1099655257.jpg

gallery_3270_329_1099655237.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely gorgeous mouthwatering photos, Shiewie! They're making me hungry!!! :raz: Though I've had some of them, not too familiar with their names, I'm sure someone here will be able to identify and provide recipes for the pastries!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just have to thank you for posting these wonderfull pics. I will take some time to look at them and hopefully have some identification for you.

Elie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're all called different things in different Middle Eastern countries. The ones with the shredded wheat birds-nesty type things are usually called Kataifi. Everything else is usually some variant of baklava using a honey syrup sauce with different kinds of nuts as a filling or topping. Theres probably a least a dozen different variants. In turkey they are called Baklava generically, theres one particular pistachio round one they call "Bulbul Yuvasi" that looks kind of similar to one of the pistachio ones above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

are the red/green/yellow jellied things with nuts in them called Halva, or is that my fevered toddler imagination?

(not that there's any pictures of those anywhere here, but i've been trying to locate those particular sweets here, and i was introduced to them in Saudi Arabia)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree with Jason, the names I might give them might vary wildly from the ones used in Egypt, Israel or Turkey. The generic name for pretty much all of them in Lebanon is Baklawa.

gallery_3270_329_1099655282.jpg

Thi si what is classically called Baklawa (Baklava)

gallery_3270_329_1099655301.jpg

That very first one with cream I think is called "Ithmaliya with Ashta(cream)". I cannot really tell what the ones in the background are.

gallery_3270_329_1099655318.jpg

The closest one is "Barma bil Fustuk Halabi" (Barama with Pistachios). This could also be fille dwith pine nuts and will then be called..you guessed it Barama with Pinenuts.

The one right behind it is made with shredded phyllo soaked in rosewater and orange blossom water and filled with pistachios. This is called "Bullawriya", roughly translated as "crystal" due to it's color. I am not too crazy about this one and it is a little too sweet and chewy for my taste.

gallery_3270_329_1099655257.jpg

I am not too sure but I think the top tray all the way in the front is called "Mamduda bil Fustuk Halabi" Semolina, sugar dough filled with pistachios and topped with another layer of dough.

gallery_3270_329_1099655237.jpg

I do not know what the very first tray is, but the second one goes byt either "Namourra" or "Herissa"

I'll update the names if I learn anything else.

Elie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That last one could be the gummy thing with pistachios. I have no idea what its called.

Oh, its not cream cheese BTW, I think the filling is more like clotted cream. I really miss two things I can't seem to get anywhere: "Znoud el sit", a sort of clotted cream-filled pastry cigar, and "ktaif" (I think?) which are little pancakes usually eaten with the cream and sugar syrup. Are those just a Tripoli thing? Man are those good.

I have some candied orange blossoms my folks sent to me. Also some ktaifi dough. What should I make....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks folks for all your help, especially FoodMan for painstakingly looking at all the pastries in each picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That last one could be the gummy thing with pistachios. I have no idea what its called.

Oh, its not cream cheese BTW, I think the filling is more like clotted cream. I really miss two things I can't seem to get anywhere: "Znoud el sit", a sort of clotted cream-filled pastry cigar, and "ktaif" (I think?) which are little pancakes usually eaten with the cream and sugar syrup. Are those just a Tripoli thing? Man are those good.

I have some candied orange blossoms my folks sent to me. Also some ktaifi dough. What should I make....

Those gummy pistachio things are called "Herissa Bil Fustuk" or Pistachio Herissa.

Kataiif or Ataiif as well as Znood El Sit are wonderful things. Here are some pics I took of Kataiif I made a while back. The holes in the "pancakes" were a little too big which means I need to make the batter a little firmer next time. Boy am I craving those now.

gallery_5404_94_1100840256.jpg

gallery_5404_94_1100841186.jpg

Elie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Elie,

I had some homemade Kataiif a few weeks ago. They were wonderful. Just sweet enough. The clotted cream filling was not very sweet, which I prefer because the sugar syrup makes up for the unsweetened cream. What do you fill yours with?

It was a party I went to before Ramadan and Hisham, the chef, also makes the most amazing cheese rolls with whole zatar leaves that he picks on the hills near his home.

He also makes amazing Maklooba, but that is another thread all together.

Take care,

Michelle


Edited by Swisskaese (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always fill mine with the cream you are talking about. Walnuts is another popular filling but the cream is my favorite.

Elie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
are the red/green/yellow jellied things with nuts in them called Halva, or is that my fevered toddler imagination?

Halvah, halivah, is sesame seed candy isn't it??? When I was in Toronto's Kensington Market I bought it marbled and plain (vanilla?) as I recall - huge chunks of it that you bought by the pound or gram or whatever.

Man that stuff was good. They probably do make it in colors but I don't believe I've ever seen it. And I didn't see any of what I recall as halvah in the pictures. It was kina like fudge density but the texture was more crumbly in shards like, not creamy like fudge.


Edited by K8memphis (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We went to Jaffo today for a festival and couldn't resist stopping in a pastry shop. We also went to Abulafia's (a famous Jaffo institution for pita, pizza, burekas, etc.), but the picture didn't turn out. :sad:

gallery_8006_298_1100987182.jpg

This is Knaffe. It is shredded pastry filled with cheese and covered in sugar syrup. It is served warm. It is gooey and yummy.

gallery_8006_298_1100981277.jpg

These are various types of baklawa.

gallery_8006_298_1100983551.jpg

And so are these. We shared a piece of walnut baklawa and a pistachio baklawa in the front of the second picture. We washed it down with fresh mango-pomegranate juice. We selected the combination of fruit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shiewie, here we go again! :laugh:(And you said that your trip wasn't culinary! :wink: )

Perhaps, Elie the FoodMan or Michelle could help with these pastries that I got from a lovely shop run by an Iranian gentleman. I asked for kataif, but he said that they only made it for Ramadhan.

gallery_11814_353_1101079063.jpg

I really couldn't catch the names, sorry, although one sounded like asmalia. They are very sweet but oh so fragrant - rose or orange water?


Edited by spaghetttti (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We went to Jaffo today for a festival and couldn't resist stopping in a pastry shop. We also went to Abulafia's (a famous Jaffo institution for pita, pizza, burekas, etc.), but the picture didn't turn out.  :sad:

gallery_8006_298_1100987182.jpg

This is Knaffe. It is shredded pastry filled with cheese and covered in sugar syrup. It is served warm. It is gooey and yummy.

gallery_8006_298_1100981277.jpg

These are various types of baklawa.

gallery_8006_298_1100983551.jpg

And so are these. We shared a piece of walnut baklawa and a pistachio baklawa in the front of the second picture. We washed it down with fresh mango-pomegranate juice. We selected the combination of fruit.

Thnaks for these mouthwatering pics. This thread is going straight to my waist :smile:, since I want to make a bunch of stuff now!

A note about Kenafi: If you wander to any Lebanese joint and order Kenafe, whether in Beirut or in Tripoli (the sweet capital of the middle east) you will not get cream filled shredded phyllo. Instead of the phyllo shreds the cream is topped with a buttery crumbly semolina "dough". The one in the picture will be called "Basma" in Lebanon, never Kenafi. However, if you look in Roden's book or in Sonia Uvuzian's book they both have the shredded Phylo rendition not the semolina one. Probably because it is easier to make? the only book that has the Kenafi recipe I am talking about is a Lebanese book written in Arabic. The recipe is tricky to make and I am still trying to get it right. Don't get me worng, I love the crispy crunchy Basma, but to me it just is not Kenafi.

Elie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shiewie, here we go again!  :laugh:  (And you said that your trip wasn't culinary!  :wink:  )

Perhaps, Elie the FoodMan or Michelle could  help with these pastries that I got from a lovely shop run by an Iranian gentleman.  I asked for kataif, but he said that they only made it for Ramadhan. 

gallery_11814_353_1101079063.jpg

I really couldn't catch the names, sorry, although one sounded like asmalia.  They are very sweet but oh so fragrant - rose or orange water?

Yeap, the one on the left is Asmaliya, phylo layers stuffed with cream and soaked with syrup.

The ones in the center is I believe Basma or some might call it Kenafi, the shredded phylo stuffed with cream. I am not sure about the white one on the far right, but is could be "Halawit El Jibin", a sort of cheese dessert.

Elie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
are the red/green/yellow jellied things with nuts in them called Halva, or is that my fevered toddler imagination?

Halvah, halivah, is sesame seed candy isn't it??? When I was in Toronto's Kensington Market I bought it marbled and plain (vanilla?) as I recall - huge chunks of it that you bought by the pound or gram or whatever.

Man that stuff was good. They probably do make it in colors but I don't believe I've ever seen it. And I didn't see any of what I recall as halvah in the pictures. It was kina like fudge density but the texture was more crumbly in shards like, not creamy like fudge.

i found it. turns out it's actually a Pakistani sweet called karachi halva. here's a link to an orange colored kind, but there's also red, green and yellow - sort of riffs on turkish delight it looks like, but with fruits and nuts added to it.

i remember picking it up in Saudi grocery stores, in containers that are reminisent to the kind we get fruit cakes or dried dates in:

http://www.chhappanbhog.com/karachi-halwa.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Yettty,

I recognised everything but the white thing in the right-hand corner and they are called the same thing here. I would agree that the middle one is some type of Knaffe.

Elie,

I have heard of the semolina version of Knaffe, but have never had it. I would be interested in seeing the recipe.

Here is the third picture I took. I am not sure what happened to it in the previous reply.

gallery_8006_298_1100983551.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the explanations Elie (and others)!

I, too, sometimes confuse the names of the pastries and just point as my mouth waters. There are so many different types, and the names vary from region to region.

Let me just add a few things from my limited experience. First, baklava is a generic term, and can take many forms. This includes the diamond, rose, and finger (my favorite) shapes, and the birds nest (with little filo edges) and crown (taj al malik- circular and filled with whole nuts). You can often choose pistachio, pinenut, walnut, or cashew varieties of baklava.

Borma is often displayed in long spiralled cylinders said to resemble a lady's arm. As pictured below when sliced, the outside is shredded phyllo and the inside are nuts.

gallery_3270_329_1099655318.jpg

The white squares in the middle are ballourie, shredded phyllo dough and pistachio filling.

Namoura, the semolina sweet, is also called basbousa and harisa (another favorite).

Bassma has a knafee dough top mixed with butter and pistachios to make a chewy square somewhat like a nutty namoura.

You often see little golden pound cake squares called sfouf.

The round little cakes filled with date pasta are mamoul.

Mamoul can also come filled with pistachios and it can come in a flat shape, called mamoul madd.

The confectioners sugar and butter cookies are called ghourabiya. The can come in crescent or ring shapes and can be filled with pistachios. I love the way the plain ones melt in your mouth.

gallery_8006_298_1100983551.jpg

In the above picture the middle spiral sweets are called mushabak, or jellabi and they are fried dough soaked in sugar syrup. They are popular in Iran and India and can also come in a round form (looks like a canelle) that I have heard refered to as awameh or marakoun.

Ashta is indeed clotted cream. Ashta is often used to top halawet wa jibna (the white wrapped cheese thing) also. There is another topping sometimes put on top of bassma that is dead ringer for marshmallow fluff.

Kataif make the best breakfast, it was what I would get in Lebanon when I missed American pancakes.

They now make diet baklava and chocolate mamoul!

Hope this helps, and keep sharing the photos!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ashta is indeed clotted cream. Ashta is often used to top halawet wa jibna (the white wrapped cheese thing) also. There is another topping sometimes put on top of bassma that is dead ringer for marshmallow fluff.

The fluff topping you mention is used to top a variety of pastries and is indeed traditionally made from the mallow root. So really it is good old marshmallow fluff.

They now make diet baklava and chocolate mamoul!

ARGHHHHHH!!! The horror, The horror!! :shock:

Thankfully I do not think I encountered those last time I was there, this past May.

Thanks for sharing M. Lucia.

Elie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[
They now make diet baklava and chocolate mamoul!

ARGHHHHHH!!! The horror, The horror!! :shock:

Thankfully I do not think I encountered those last time I was there, this past May.

Yeesh, what next? Using casio keyboards in arabic music? :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*sigh*

i miss middle eastern sweet platters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gallery_11814_353_1102191977.jpg

This afternoon I was in the mood for a little something savory, so I went to The Mediteranean Cafe & Bakery which is down the street from me. These tiny spinach pastries were absolutely delectable! I like their tangy flavor, they're a little like spanakopita, but the pastry is different. The shop was a little busy so I just pointed. What are these called?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gallery_11814_353_1102191977.jpg

This afternoon I was in the mood for a little something savory,  so I went to The Mediteranean Cafe & Bakery which is down the street from me.  These tiny spinach pastries were absolutely delectable!  I like their tangy flavor, they're a little like spanakopita, but the pastry is different.  The shop was a little busy so I just pointed.  What are these called?

They look like some type of Burekas, but they are usually made with puff pastry. They look delicious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Lebanon they are either called "Fatayir bil Sabanikh" (spinach pies) or "Sambusik bil Sabanikh". I make them with walnut pieces in the filling a plenty of pomegranate molasses.

Elie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By thepastryincident
      This recipe is a great starter for people getting used to working with chocolate. I use Abuelita Mexican chocolate to add a bit of spice and crunchy. Super delicious and easy to make. 
       
      http://www.thepastryincident.com/hotcocoatruffles.html
       
      Xoxo
      The Pastry Incident
       

    • By Kasia
      BANOFFE - MY DAUGHTER'S BIRTHDAY CAKE
       
      This year, mischievous nature tried to upset my daughter's birthday plans. Spending your birthday in bed with a thermometer isn't an excellent idea ¬– even for an adult. For a teenager it is a drama comparable to cancelled holidays. My daughter told me that you are thirteen only once. And she was right. Literally and figuratively.

      I wanted to sugar the pill for her on this day and cheer her up for a bit, so I prepared a caramel cake with bananas – banoffee in the form of a small birthday cake. My sweet magic and the dinner from her favourite restaurant worked, and in the end her birthday was quite nice.

      Ingredients (17cm cake tin):
      150g of biscuits
      75g of butter
      200ml of 30% sweet cream
      250g of mascarpone cheese
      2 tablespoons of caster sugar
      2 bananas
      300g of fudge
      1 teaspoon of dark cocoa

      Break the biscuits into very small pieces or blend them. Melt the butter and mix it up with the biscuits until you have dough like wet sand. Put it into a cake tin and form the base. It is worth rolling it flat with a glass. Leave it in the fridge for one hour. Spread the biscuit layer with fudge and arrange the sliced bananas on top. Whisk the chilled sweet cream with the caster sugar. Add the mascarpone cheese and mix it in. Put the mixture onto the bananas and make it even. Sprinkle with the dark cocoa and decorate as you like. Leave it in the fridge for a few hours (best for the whole night).

      Enjoy your meal!

    • By Kasia
      ON THE CHRISTMAS TABLE - CHRISTMAS EVE CRANBERRY KISSEL
       
      One of my friends from Ukraine told me about her traditional Christmas dishes. Except for stuffed cabbage with potatoes (which I have made already) I was surprised about cranberry kissel. I searched the Internet and I saw that in many Polish homes Christmas Eve supper ends with cranberry kissel. In my home we always drink compote with dried fruit, but maybe this year we will try a new dish on our Christmas menu.

      I wonder why cranberries are on the Christmas table. I didn't find any particular information about it (except the fact it is tradition). I think that a few years ago cranberries were treated as a natural cure which aids digestion, and this could be quite useful after a hefty Christmas meal!

      At my Ukrainian friends' home Christmas kissel is runny like a drink, but you can prepare it like a dessert with a more dense texture. I made the drink version, but you should choose which is better for you.

      Ingredients:
      500g of cranberries
      a piece of cinnamon and a couple of cloves
      6-8 tablespoons of sugar
      2-3 tablespoons of potato flour

      Wash the cranberries and put them with the cinnamon and cloves in a pan. Pour in 500ml of water and boil until the fruit is soft. Remove the cinnamon and cloves and blend the rest. Add the sugar and mix it until it has dissolved. Sieve the cranberry mousse to make a smooth texture. Mix the potato flour with a bit of cold water. Boil the cranberry mousse and add the mixed potato flour, stirring constantly so it is not lumpy. Boil for a while. Pour the kissel into some glasses.

      Enjoy your meal!

    • By Kasia
      COURGETTE MUFFINS WITH LEMON
       
      Since I found the recipe for courgette muffins with lemon on the Polish blog gotujzcukiereczkiem I decided to prepare them. My children looked at the ingredients with surprise. Courgette and cakes don't go together well. The argument that they add caster sugar to the courgette pancakes didn't convince them. The muffins reminded my husband of the lemon cake his grandma used to prepare many years ago. I just liked them. They were short lived, because they disappeared in no time, slightly lemony, moist and not too sweet. They were perfect.

      If I didn't know they had courgette in them, I would never believe it. Try it, because it is worth it.

      Ingredients (for 12 muffins)
      muffins
      200g of flour
      a pinch of salt
      half a teaspoon of baking soda
      half a teaspoon of baking powder
      150g of sugar
      peel from one lemon
      a tablespoon of lemon juice
      2 eggs
      150ml of oil
      a teaspoon of vanilla essence
      a teaspoon of lemon essence
      210g of grated courgette
      icing:
      3 tablespoons of milk
      10 tablespoons of caster sugar
      1 teaspoon of lemon essence

      Heat the oven up to 170C. Put some paper muffin moulds into the "dimples" of a baking pan for muffins.
      Mix together the dry ingredients of the muffins: flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix together the sugar and lemon peel in a separate bowl. Add the eggs, oil, lemon juice and both essences. Mix them in. Add the dry ingredients and mix them in. Grate the unpeeled courgette, don't squeeze and don't pour away the liquid. Add the courgette to the dough and mix it in. Put the dough into some paper muffin moulds. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Now prepare the icing. Mix the milk with the caster sugar and lemon essence. Decorate the muffins with the lemon icing.

      Enjoy your meal!


    • By Kasia
      MILLET GROATS CHOCOLATE CREME WITH CRANBERRY MOUSSE
       
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for the best chocolate crème I have ever eaten. It is thick, smooth and very chocolaty in flavour and colour. Despite the chocolate, the dessert isn't too sweet. But if somebody thinks that it is, I recommend serving it with slightly sour fruit mousse. You can use cherries, currants or cranberries. You will make an unusually yummy arrangement and your dessert will look beautiful.

      My children were delighted with this dessert. I told them about the fact it had been made with millet groats after they had eaten it, and ... they didn't believe me. Next time I will prepare the millet groats crème with a double portion of ingredients.

      Ingredients (for 4 people)
      chocolate crème
      100g of millet groats
      200g of dark chocolate
      1 tablespoon of dark cocoa
      250ml of almond milk
      fruit mousse
      250g of fresh cranberries
      juice and peel of one orange
      half a teaspoon of grated ginger
      4 tablespoons of brown sugar

      Boil the millet groats in salty water and drain them. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Blend the millet groats, chocolate, cocoa and milk very thoroughly until you have very smooth crème. Pour the milk in gradually to make the right consistency of your desert. Prepare the fruit mousse. Put the washed cranberries, ginger, juice orange peel and sugar into a pot. Boil until the fruits are soft. Blend. Put the chocolate crème into some small bowls. Put the fruit mousse on top. Decorate with peppermint leaves. Serve at once or chilled.

      Enjoy your meal!


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×