Basbousa recipe with its step by step pictures. Learn how to make Babousa at home.
Basbousa is a classic Middle Eastern dessert or in simple language, you can say it’s sweet semolina cake made from semolina and desiccated coconut, soaked in a sugar syrup that is flavored with cinnamon, rose water and lemon juice. You can also adjust its sweetness as per your taste, just half or double the amount of sugar in the syrup.
This cake is very popular all over the Middle East and every country makes it slightly different. For example, In Syria and Palestine they make the recipe with yogurt and coconut while in Egypt it’s called Harissa and only water is used. In southern Greece, it is called Ravani, while in the north, it is called Revani.
This Middle Eastern recipe for sweet semolina cake is incredibly easy to make. It’s soaked in an aromatic and flavored sugar syrup topped with blanched, peeled and halved almonds. A perfect recipe to be made on Easter weekend (though I made it a little late) 😉 😉
Semolina based desserts are very popular throughout the Middle East and many parts of Europe too. There are, quite frankly, too many semolina cake variations out there. Some recipes call for eggs and some are eggless and hence yogurt and baking powder are used in them. Some require honey base and some are made with sugar syrup. Some are flavored with citrus fruits like lemon juice and orange while some use aromatic spices like cinnamon etc along with rose water.
This dense, moist, hot cake when topped with cool, aromatic and flavored sugar syrup creates a magic and is an absolute delight for your eyes and taste buds. Perfect recipe for any festive or celebratory occasion. With Basbousa I am in love with the Middle Eastern cuisine and I will definitely make other recipes of this cuisine too.
So let’s start making Basbousa and here is the step by step recipe with pictures.
Ingredients to make Basbousa:
Semolina- 2.5 cup
Desiccated Coconut- 1.5 cup
All Purpose Flour- 3/4 cup
Powdered Sugar- 1 cup
Baking Powder- 1 teaspoon (optional)
Light Corn Syrup- 1 teaspoon (if not available then simply use equal quantity of Honey)
Thick Yogurt- 1 cup
Unsalted Butter- 1 cup
Vanilla Essence- 1 teaspoon
Milk- 3/4 cup (or more if required)
For Making Sugar Syrup:
Sugar- 1.5 cup
Water- 1 cup
Lemon Juice- 1 teaspoon
Rose Essence- 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon- 1 stick of 2″
Almonds- 10-12 (blanched, peeled and halved)
Method of making Basbousa:
1. Take all the dry ingredients in a big mixing bowl.
2. Add yogurt and vanilla essence in it and mix well.
3. Add melted butter in it and mix well. Meanwhile pre heat the oven to 180 degree C.
4. This will be the texture after adding butter.
5. Gradually add milk in it and keep mixing from other hand. You can also increase he quantity of milk if u need but keep the consistency of the batter thick and fairly stiff.
6. This is how the basbousa batter should be like.
7. Lastly add honey in it and mix well.
8. Now grease a baking tray with some melted butter.
9. Immediately transfer the basbousa batter to the baking tray from the mixing bowl and level it smooth with your hand.
10. Mark impressions with a sharp knife to cut diamonds later.
11. Place the halved almonds over each diamond.
12. Keep the baking tray in oven and bake it at 180 degree C for 35-40 minutes or till nice golden brown in color. You can increase or decrease the baking time according to the size of your oven.
13. Meanwhile let’s make sugar syrup. For this take sugar and water in a pan over high flame and add cinnamon stick in it.
14. Bring it to a boil and keep the flame high till sugar dissolves completely.
15. Simmer the sugar syrup and add lemon juice and rose water in it. Boil the sugar syrup thickens slightly. Turn the flame off and allow the sugar syrup to cool down completely.
16. Take out basbousa from the oven. Insert a tooth pick in a piece and if it comes out clean then its done and if not, then bake it for next 5 minutes and repeat the same process again.
17. Again mark the impressions over the previous ones with a sharp knife. It will help in absorbing the sugar syrup better.
18. Pour the cooled sugar syrup over the freshly baked hot Basbousa. You will hear a nice sizzling sound.
19. Sugar syrup will completely cover the basbousa with some nice bubbles and sizzling sound.
20. Keep it aside so that basbousa completely absorbs the sugar syrup. For best results give it a standing time of atleast 1.5 hour.
21. Basbousa is ready to serve. Take out diamonds in a plate and Enjoy it either hot or warm. It can be enjoyed cool also.
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1. Always keep the oven preheated while making the batter for Basbousa.
2. As soon as the batter is prepared, immediately transfer it to the baking tray and bake it, because if left unattended it will start thickening as it contains semolina that absorbs yogurt and milk very quickly. As a result you will have to add more and more milk, resulting in the disturbed proportions of the ingredients and the taste too.
3. Kindly adjust the baking temperature as per the size and model of your oven, as you know your oven better.
4. If you don’t find the light corn syrup, then don’t panic and add equal quantity of honey instead of it.