Basbousa is a popular Middle Eastern sweet made from Semolina. It has it’s origins in Egypt but is very commonly prepared is homes as well as sold in local bakeries across the Middle East.
Basbousa is cooked in a pan traditionally but these days most versions are baked. This coconut flavoured dessert is similar to a cake that is drenched in a sweet rose flavoured syrup after being cooked.
Basbousa tastes best few hours or a day later after the syrup and sweet flavours have mingled well. This according to me is the best part especially when you want to serve it for Eid gathering. This is something you can make beforehand and need not worry about being prepared fresh.
The recipe is fairly simple and steps even simpler. Using handy ingredients the Basbousa is ready under and hour (including baking time).
Semolina or rawa (granulated refined wheat) is the main ingredient of the dish. Ensure you use the fine, unroasted variety.
My recipe uses an egg but you can even make it without one. The beauty of this sweet is that it has to be moist and flavorful we are not really looking at a fluffy cake so the raising ingredients can be played around with.
Start by following my basic recipe below and then once you are comfortable with it variations can follow.
Basbousa – Egyptian Sweet
1 + 1/3 cup fine semolina / rawa
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
1 beaten egg or 1/2 cup whisked curd
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon rose or vanilla essence
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon rose water
Step 1 – Mix semolina and sugar in a mixing bowl.
Step 2 – Add in melted butter and mix till you get breadcrumb texture. Using fingertips to mix is a good idea.
Step 3 – Add coconut and egg. Mix well.
Step 4 – Add in milk, essence and give a good mix.
Step 5 – Lastly mix in Baking powder.
Step 6 – Pour the batter in a baking dish that has been greased well with butter. Sprinkle some semolina over it and then add the batter.
Step 7 – Place dish in a preheated oven and bake the Basbousa at 180 C for a good 30 to 40 minutes.
Step 8 – While the Basbousa bakes, prepare the syrup. Mix sugar and water in a pan over medium heat, stir till sugar melts.
Step 9 – Add in the lemon juice and rose water. Boil for a minute and take off flame. Do not thicken syrup.
Step 10 – Once the Basbousa is out of the oven pour half of the syrup (ensure it is at room temperature) and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Step 11 – Cut and serve the Basbousa. Pour remaining syrup at time of serving.