Tag Archives: dessert

Pharaoh’s Friday #15: Traditional Egyptian Fruit Compote (Khoushaf)

Fridays are “Pharaoh’s Fridays“!  We like to take traditional, Egyptian recipes and adapt them so they are entirely plant-based!

This traditional Egyptian dish is already full of whole foods!  Sweet treats in their natural form!  We usually get to have it during Ramadan when our Muslim friends invite us for ‘iftar’.  Thanks to Maha for this recipe!

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Serves 6
1 liter water
7 dried figs, chopped into quarters

½ cup dried apricot
½ cup dried prunes
½ cup raisins or sultanas
½ cup almonds
1.  Boil the water.
2.  Add the figs to the boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft.
3.  Add the apricot and boil for another 5 minutes.
4.  Add the prunes and raisins or sultanas and boil for about 3 minutes.
5.  Remove from the heat and add the almonds.
6.  Let sit for about 1 hour.
7.  Refrigerate.

Serving Suggestions and Variations:

  • Serve cold.
  • Add dates or other dried fruits.
  • Use different nuts. Some people like pine nuts.
  • Top with coconut?
  • Some people add sugar and lime juice to the water as it boils.

Nutrition Information: 1 of 6 servings
195 Calories; 6 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 35 g Carbohydrates; 5 g Fiber; 4 g Protein

Alf Hana!!!


Tuesday Teaser #9: Deep Dish Cookie Pie

Oh my word!

This deep dish cookie pie is so delicious you won’t be able to resist it!

I couldn’t stop photographing it, either.  It was so yummy!

And it’s not hard to make, either!!!

Not to mention how nutritious it is because of the secret ingredient!  In fact, this recipe is gluten free (doesn’t have wheat) and even is relatively low in fat.

WAIT – I won’t tell you the secret ingredient [Don’t worry you can find it in Egypt]- you’ll have to go to Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog and see the recipe there!   But, you will DEFINITELY not regret trying it!!!!

Thank you so much for your great ideas, Chocolate Covered Katie!  We are loving them!

Nutritional Information: (1 of 12 slices)

308 Calories; 9 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 55 g Carbohydrates; 5 g Fiber; 6 g Protein

(and it’s high in iron, calcium, and vitamin A!)

Alf Hana!!!

“ChocoNutins” (Chocolate Covered Peanuts and Raisins)

Here’s a sweet surprise for you!  Chocolate covered peanuts and raisins also known as:  “ChocoNutins” 🙂
Makes 16 surprises!
1 ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
½ tablespoon vegan butter (or vegetable ‘ghee’) (optional)
½ cup peanuts
½ cup raisins
1.  Melt the chocolate chips and the butter or ghee, if using, in a double-boiler.  (You can also use a microwave, if you like).

2.  While the chips are melting, prepare a cookie sheet by placing wax paper on it.
3.  Remove from the heat and add the peanuts and raisins.
4.  Using your tablespoon, dip the mix onto the cookie sheet in small mounds.
5.  Freeze for at least one hour.  (The longer, the better!)
Store in the fridge.
Serving Suggestions or Variations:
  • Use other kinds of dried fruits (dates, figs, apricots)
  • Use other kinds of nuts (pistachios, cashews, almonds)
  • Leave out the vegan butter for less fat.  (The main reason we add it is to help the chocolate be smoother.)
  • Add rice crispies for a crunchy surprise!

Nutritional Information: (1 of 16 ChocoNutins)
118 Calories; 7 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 15 g Carbohydrates; 2 g Fiber; 2 g Protein

What other things do you like to eat covered in chocolate?  

Alf Hana!!!

Sweet Semolina Cake (Basbousa)

It’s the end of the third week of VeganMoFo! We’ve really been having fun veganizing Egyptian favorites for you.  Here’s a round up of this week’s recipes:

So, let’s top the week off with something sweet!  Basbousa is a favorite dessert among Egyptians.  It’s heavy and full of sugar, but it certainly is a special treat.

For the cake:
2 cups semolina

1 ½ cup sugar
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (we used soy)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons non-dairy butter (we used samna nebeti)
¼ to ½ cup roasted almonds, sliced or pistachios, chopped

For the syrup:
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (375 degrees F or 190 degrees C).  Oil a medium size casserole pan.
1.  Mix the semolina, sugar, non-dairy butter and baking powder with your hands.

2.  Combine the non-dairy milk and the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to make a slurry.

3.  Add the non-dairy milk slurry to the mix.  Stir until a dough forms.

4.  Pour the dough into the casserole pan.  Be sure it is spread evenly in the pan.

5.  Roast the almonds or pistachios by heating them on low heat in a skillet until lightly brown.

6.  Place almonds or pistachios on top of the mix.  If you like you can cover the entire cake, only half or leave it plain without any nuts.

Basbousa before cooking

7.  Let the basbousa sit for an hour.  (Make the syrup now, so it has time to cool.)
8.  Put the basbousa in the oven and cook for 30 to 45 minutes.

Basbousa after cooking

9.  When you take the basbousa out of the oven and it is still hot, pour the cooled syrup over the cake, being sure to cover all the sections of the cake.

Pouring the syrup

For the syrup:
1.  Heat the water and sugar on low heat until it boils.
2.  Add the lemon and cook for 2 minutes.
3.  Add the vanilla and cook for 1 more minute.
4.  Remove from heat and cool before putting on the hot basbousa.

Serving Suggestions and Variations:

  • Use pistachios or almonds to top.
  • Cut in diamond shapes to serve.
  • Use coconut in the mix, if you like.

Nutritional Information (for 1 piece of 20):
Calories: 240; Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 50g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 3g

Alf Hana!!!

‘Butter’ Cookies with Date Filling (Kahk)

What’s a feast without something sweet for dessert?  Following up on yesterday’s post about fetta, a traditional savory dish for Egyptian feasts, we’d like to top it off with another tradition: kahk.  This cookie is very special, only eaten at feast times, and, as usual, there are several variations!  You can eat it without any filling, with a date filling, (as the following recipe explains), or with walnuts!  You know you’ve made perfect kahk when the cookie MELTS in your mouth.

Guided by another friend’s recipe, we have developed this vegan version.  My taste testers were very pleased with this adaptation of their traditional favorite.  [Thanks Nevine!!!]  Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Makes about 17 cookies

For the date filling:
63 grams (about 3) dried dates, coarsely chopped
6 grams (about 1/2 tablespoon) of non-dairy butter [*For our Egyptian readers: we used ‘samna nebeti’]
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

For the cookies:
250 grams of flour, sifted (about 2 cups)
188 grams of non-dairy butter (about 2 cups) [*For our Egyptian readers: we used ‘samna nebeti’]
7 grams (about 1 package) of active yeast
10 grams (about 1 tablespoon) powdered sugar plus about 3/4 of a cup reserved for dusting
50 grams (about 2 teaspoons) lukewarm water

Make the date filling:
1.  Heat the dates, butter, and cinnamon on medium heat until melted and sticky.

Melting the filling

2.  Let the mix cool.

Cool the filling

3.  Shape into flat balls.

Date filling for kahk

4.  Set aside.

Make the cookies:
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 (350 degrees F or 180 degrees C).
1.  Heat the non-dairy butter (or samna) until almost boiling.
2.  Add the flour to the melted butter or samna and mix in a food processor for about 2 minutes.

Making the flour mix

3.  In a separate container, mix the yeast with the sugar in lukewarm water.  Leave the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
4.  Combine the water mixture and the flour mixture with your hands until the water is absorbed and the mixture becomes smooth.  (Don’t worry if the flour mix seems watery even before you add the water mixture.  It will work into a ball as you mix with your hands.)
5.  Keep kneading the dough until smooth.

Kneading the dough

6.  Divide the mix into smooth, round balls.
7.  Make an indentation in the ball to add the filling.  Add the filling and then shape the edges of the ball around the filling again.

Steps for adding filling: Starting top left: Make the ball, make an indentation, add the filling, wrap the edges around the filling again into a ball, make a criss-cross design on top using a fork or tool like the one in the picture

8.  Put the filled cookies on cookie sheets and make lines across the cookies with a fork.  We used a special tool for this kind of cookie available in the local stores (see the above picture).  Doing this just provides some texture for the powdered sugar to cling to when cool.
9.  Let the cookies rest for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours in a warm place.

10.  Bake them in an oven at gas mark 4 (350 degrees F or 180 degrees C) for about 25 minutes. They should be a bit golden, but not brown.

11.  Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the sheets for about 5 minutes.  Then, place them on wire racks to completely cool.
12.  When completely cool, dust with reserved powdered sugar.

Nutritional Information (for 1 cookie):

Calories: 109; Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 15g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 2g

Alf Hana!!

Creamy Butterscotch Buttons

Well, I must confess I love sweets.  It’s very hard for me to resist cookies, cakes, puddings, cobbler, chocolate, … I could go on!

I must admit the recipe I am about to share is not the most nutritious recipe.  It is true that we should avoid processed foods and sweets and focus on whole foods for the majority of our caloric intake.  However, every once in a while, for a special occasion,  it is nice to have something sweet for a treat.  Eat one at a time and share with friends!

This recipe makes approximately 43 cookies.  It is veganized from a recipe from The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook: Biscuits and Slices.


  • 3/4 of a cup of vegetable margarine (ghee or ‘samna’)
  • 1 more tablespoon of vegetable margarine (ghee or ‘samna’)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (or 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla crystals mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of water)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  • 1 and 1/4 cups of self-raising flour, sifted (or 1 and 1/4 cups of flour and 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, sifted)


1.  Preheat oven to gas mark 4 (180 degrees F or 350 degrees C).

2.  Beat vegetable margarine, vanilla, sugar and maple syrup in your mixer long enough for it to be light and fluffy.

3.  Sift the flour (or the flour and baking powder).

4.  Add to the margarine and sugar mix.

5.  Scoop enough batter to fill a teaspoon into your hands.  Roll the batter into a ball.

6.  Place the balls on a cookie sheet a few centimeters apart.  Then, with a fork, flatten each to make the distinctive lined pattern on each cookie.

7.  Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until firm.  Cool them on wire racks.

Apple Cake: A Treat for Any Time

It was hard to choose which of our recipes to feature in our first recipe post on Alf Hana. In the end, this recipe, a favorite of many of our friends, won out. It can be served as a special festive dessert, a quick breakfast and a light snack. In fact, we have prepared it as a whole cake, small mini cakes, and even cupcakes. It’s a very versatile recipe!  Don’t forget to check out the nutrition info at the end of the post!

110 ml tofu (firm) OR 4 tablespoons of corn starch mixed with 4 tablespoons of water
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup cooking oil
3 cups plain flour (or 1 1/2 cups plain flour and 1 1/2 cups brown flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups apples, pealed and chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat the oven to 350° or between gas mark 4 and 5.
2. Oil and flour a tube pan, cup cake tin or mini cake tin.

3. Peel and chop apples.

4. Beat tofu (or mix corn starch and water well). (The corn starch mix is pictured below.)

5. Add sugar and oil. Beat for 3 minutes. (When using corn starch, I do this using a whisk, but when using tofu, it’s best to do this in a food processor).

6. Sift remaining dry ingredients together and add slowly to the creamed mixture.

7. Add apples and vanilla. Stir until well mixed. (It will be a thick mixture.)

8. Bake in the tube pan at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave in the pan until almost cool. (If you are making smaller cakes or cupcakes, bake for about half the time – about 37 minutes.)

Veganized from a recipe by Hilda Wilds

Here is the same recipe as a minicake: