Tag Archives: Middle Eastern sweets

Pharaoh’s Friday #14: Easy Breakfast Konafa

During Ramadan, the Eastern sweets take over our taste buds!  We love all the delicacies especially since so many of them are prepared using plant-based ingredients.  However, I must admit I have not mastered all of them yet!!!  I promise I’m working on them, but in the meantime, take a stab at this really EASY  EASY recipe using konafa….
As we posted recently, konafa is basically shredded phyllo pastry.  There are all kinds of ways to eat and this has got to be the easiest!!!  We like to have it as a special treat for breakfast sometimes.  It is especially easy during Ramadan when we can find fresh konafa in our corner shop!
Serves 2
125 grams of konafa
1 tablespoon corn oil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1.  Cut or tear the konafa into small, bite size pieces.
2.  Heat the oil and konafa in a pan on low heat until golden brown (about 5 minutes).

3.  Remove from the heat and add the sugar, raisins and cinnamon.

Nutritional Information: 1 of 2 servings (about 85 grams)
304 Calories; 11 g Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 47 g Carbohydrates; 2 g Fiber; 5 g Protein

Serving Suggestions and Variations:

  • Try adding some walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, almonds, or your favorite nut.
  • Would chocolate work?
What’s your favorite Middle Eastern sweet?
Alf Hana!!!

Tuesday Teaser #11: ‘Kentucky’ Konafa with Banana Pudding

Tuesdays are always “Teaser Tuesdays” at Alf Hana.  We try out other people’s recipes and share our impressions and recommendations with you.
I am originally from Kentucky.  Before I became vegan, there were many southern-style foods in which I loved to indulge.  One of them was banana pudding!!!  Have you ever tried it?  It’s so smooth, creamy and sweet!!!
Ramadan started yesterday and if you don’t know, konafa is a very popular sweet consumed during the month.  Konafa is shredded phyllo pastry and is commonly made with cream, nuts, and sugar syrup.  Sometimes, it is made with pudding.
Wait – pudding!!!??? Like, BANANA PUDDING – my favorite?  Yes, so, I hope I won’t offend my Egyptian readers by doing this, but I decided to play with the traditional recipe for konafa with pudding and make it with my dear banana pudding instead.  And of course, all the ingredients are plant-based!!
I changed up this recipe for southern-style banana pudding for the ‘Kentucky’ Konafa.  If you want to try the original banana pudding recipe, it is easy and delicious!!!
But, for all you brave readers out there, here is our ‘Kentucky’ Konafa….
Serves 12
For the banana pudding:
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup sugar (you may want to use less, if you don’t have a sweet tooth)
3 cups nondairy milk (we used soy)
1 banana, mashed
2 teaspoons, vanilla

For layering between the konafa and pudding:
2 bananas, sliced

For the konafa:
¼ kilogram (250 grams) kunafa
¼ tablespoon corn oil, divided

For the sugar syrup:
½ cup water
1 cup sugar
juice of one lime (about 1 tablespoon of juice)

Prepare the banana pudding:
1.  In a medium saucepan, mix the cornstarch, and ½ cup sugar.  Add the nondairy milk and heat on medium heat.  Stir consistently until the mixture is boiling and thickens.  Add the mashed banana and continue stirring for about 2 more minutes.

2.  Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.

3.  Leave to cool.

Prepare the sugar syrup:
4.  Mix the water, sugar, and lime juice in a small saucepan and heat on low heat until the mixture becomes clear.
5.  Set aside and allow to cool.

Put it all together:
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (moderately hot) – 200º C – or 400º F
6.  Cut the konafa into small pieces.
7.  In a large bowl, sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of the corn oil over the konafa and mix it with your hands to be sure it coats the konafa.
8.  Lightly oil a casserole dish.  Place half of the konafa and press it down firmly.

9.  Layer the sliced banana over the konafa.

10.  Spread the pudding over the layer of bananas.

11.  Layer the remaining konafa over the pudding.
12.  Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the top of the konafa.

13.  Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.

14.  Pour the cool syrup over the kunafa.
15.  Turn off the oven and return the kunafa to the oven for 5 minutes.

You can eat it warm – it’s delicious that way!!!

BUT, it will be very sloppy!  If you let it set in the refrigerator overnight, you will find the pudding is firm.

Delicious that way too!!!

Nutritional Information:
252 Calories; 0 mg Cholesterol; 6 g Fat; 47 g Carbohydrates; 2 g Fiber; 3 g Protein

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!!!