Basbousa is a middle eastern dessert that originated in Egypt. It also features in different cuisines with different names. It is primarily made from Semolina with either orange, rose or cinnamon flavored syrup. Here, I have mostly followed the traditional recipe, but I have added a slight twist of my own. The sticky dessert is mouthwatering. The texture, the aroma and the taste of the dessert is simply perfect. It is also a very easy recipe to follow.
My inspiration for Basbousa
I had Basbousa while flying on international Emirates flight. One bite of the dessert left me wanting for more. The small portions they serve on the flights was not enough. So, on reaching home my first mission was searching for the way to make Basbousa.
There are so many semolina desserts out there, but Basbousa really left it’s mark on me. The first time I made this recipe, my husband loved it a lot. But till date he complains about the 80-20 distribution of Basbousa (any guess who got the 20)
The traditional element
One of the things I love about Basbousa is that it is a traditional dessert. I believe the old traditional desserts are pure gold. The simplicity of the dessert, the old ways of making them, and the human touch makes these desserts simply amazing. So try out the Basbousa and let me know if it was your tummy to heart moment.
Ingredients for Basbousa
1 1/2 cup Semolina (Rava)
1/2 cup Almonds (85g), coarsely powdered
38g Caster sugar
1/4 cup Ghee (clarified butter)
1 tbsp Baking powder
A pinch of salt
100g Paneer (fresh cottage cheese)
Ingredients for fresh paneer
2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp caster sugar for creaming
Ingredients for syrup
1 1/2 cup Caster sugar
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp Rose water
1/2 tsp lemon juice
- For Garnishing
100g Pistachio coarsely grained
Dried rose petals
- Preparation – Making fresh Paneer
- 2 hours before making the dessert, in a small bowl pour ½ tsp of vinegar and add 1 tbsp of water to it.
- In a cooking pot pour 2 cups of whole milk in it. Boil it on medium-high flame.
Note – 2 cups of whole cream milk make about 100 g of paneer
- Once the milk starts to boil pour the vinegar and water mix in the milk slowly while constantly stirring the milk. Immediately you will find that milk has started to curdle. Keep boiling the milk till water and paneer has separated completely
- Once the paneer is separated from water strain it. Keep it aside in a strainer till water is completely drained from the paneer.
Note – If the milk does not curdle, add additional 1/4 tsp vinegar with 1/2 tbsp water.
- Just before mixing the ingredients for the dessert, in a small mixer grinder add paneer and 1 tbsp of castor sugar. Cream the paneer in it. Once the paneer is creamed keep it aside for further use.
- Making the Syrup
- In a saucepan add 1 1/2 cup of caster sugar and 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Bring the mix to a boiling point on high flame.
- Once the syrup starts to boil reduce the heat to medium flame and boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the syrup aside for cooling.
- Making the Basbousa
- In a large bowl combine 1 ½ cup semolina, ½ cup coarsely powdered almonds, 38 g castor sugar, ¼ cup ghee (clarified butter), 6 oz yogurt (170 g), 1 tbsp baking powder, a pinch of salt
- Take 100 g freshly prepared paneer.
- Mix it well and knead it for a minute.
- In a non-stick or silicon muffin baking tray of 12 cups divide the dough equally. Set the dough tightly in the cups of the tray with the spoon. Refrigerate the tray for 15 minutes.
- While the dough is resting in the refrigerator preheat the oven at 400o Fahrenheit (200o Celsius).
- After 15 minutes of refrigeration put the muffin tray in the preheated oven and bake for 22-25 minutes
- Immediately after removing the tray from the oven pour the syrup on the cupcakes evenly, while the cakes are still in the molds. Syrup will get soaked by the cakes.
- Once all the syrup is soaked by the cake remove the cakes from the muffin tray. Garnish the cakes with coarsely grounded pistachios and dried rose petals.
- Your Basbousa is ready to be served.
You can also set the Basbousa as a cake in a 8*8 inch square or round tray. In such case before baking pre-cut the cake in for syrup to be infused.
You can also use orange flavor instead of rose.
The raw taste of the pistachios is much tastier and more flavorful than roasted pistachios.
Always use fresh home made paneer for this recipe.