Kunafa: Dessert from the Desert

20141103_182128

Last weekend, my dad took us all out for dinner to a Lebanese restaurant. Lebanese cuisine is mostly flavored with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, fresh herbs and the food is mostly grilled, baked or sauteed in olive oil. One dessert which really caught my attention and my taste buds was ‘Kunafa

Kunafa also known as Kanafeh like most desserts has many variations. It is generally made with kataifi shredded dough and stuffed with Nabulsi cheese/ mozzarella and ricotta or cream cheese, walnuts and topped with crushed pistachios and sugar syrup.Another variation is to make it with semolina dough.

I wanted to make Kunafa at home but my husband wanted me to cut down on the calories. So I came up with this version of Kunafa, which was equally tasty. Crunchy crust and  softly delicious inside. Plus, it is very easy to make.You can experiment with the fillings.

20141103_182055

                           

                           Recipe: Kunafa

For the crust:

  • 500 g Kataifi ( can be found in Arab/ Middle Eastern Grocery stores)/Vermicelli
  • 150 g butter melted ( I used only 100 g)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon powder

Take a large bowl and gently loosen the kataifi. Pour in the butter and mix well.Sprinkle sugar and the cinnamon and mix again. Keep aside.

Kunafa pastry/vermicelli
Kunafa pastry/vermicelli
after adding butter, sugar and cinnamon powder to the kunafa pastry
After adding butter, sugar and cinnamon powder to the kunafa pastry

For the filling:

  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 tbsp. corn starch ( diluted in half a cup of milk )
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp Rose water or Orange blossom water

Heat milk and sugar in a thick bottomed pan/vessel. Gently add diluted corn starch to the milk and stir. make sure there are no lumps. When the milk becomes thick take off heat and add rose water or orange blossom water.

Here, you can experiment with the filling. You can add cream or some condensed milk to make it richer.

Alternative filling:You can crumble ricotta cheese (750 g)or you can use half and half of mozzarella and ricotta.

Filling made with milk and corn starch
Filling made with milk and corn starch

For the sugar syrup:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 a tsp. lemon juice

Make sugar syrup with 1 cup of water and 1 1/2 cup of sugar along with lemon juice. Bring to boil, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until it forms a syrupy consistency. Take off heat and leave it to cool.Add a tsp. of Rose water.

 

How to assemble:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F or 180º C .
  2. Take a 12 inch cake pan. Add some orange food color to a tablespoon butter and grease the pan well. I suggest you use a spring form pan if available, because it will be easy to unmold.
  3. Spread half of the kunafa pastry on the pan and press well.
  4. Spread the filling gently over it.
  5. Cover it with the remaining pastry
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes till golden in color.
  7. Take out of the oven and pour the sugar syrup while still hot.
  8. Let it cool. Invert it on a serving plate.
  9. Decorate with chopped nuts or pistachios.
  10. Serve warm.
buttering the pan
buttering the pan
layering the pastry
layering the pastry

20141103_161226

20141103_161533

20141103_182126

If you have made this dessert in advance, warm it up in the microwave before serving.

This is my contribution to Angie’s super party FF 42 at The Novice Gardener which she is co hosting with  Tracy @Scratch It and Stephanie @The Cozy Cook, Come on every one. Join the fun

20141103_182128

20141103_181959

20141103_182055

20141103_182128

I have to add, that I was inspired by my blogger friend Raya Najjar who posted the Cheese Kunafa recipe. My recipe is different from hers but she inspired and encouraged me to try making Kunafa.

 

   

Advertisements

40 Comments Add yours

  1. andy1076 says:

    Looks so good…! :O :9

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rana Darvesh says:

    Wow a low calorie Kunafa! didn’t know that could be done, can’t wait to try it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      Thank you for the nice words 🙂 You made my day!!!

      Like

  3. Sandhya says:

    This is my favorite dessert! Thanks for posting it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      Most welcome Sandhya 🙂 Thank you for liking it.

      Like

    1. skd says:

      Thank you 🙂

      Like

  4. acasadisimi says:

    looks very good!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      Thank you Simi 🙂 tastes delicious too..

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mouth watering yummy 😃

    Like

    1. skd says:

      Thanks a lot for liking it 🙂

      Like

  6. This recipe is fascinating to me. Did you use a springform pan? I have no idea where I would find Kataifi here in the states.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comment 🙂 . I did not use a spring form pan. I used the regular one. I realised at the time of unmolding that a springform pan would have been a lot easier .
      .You can find Kataifi in Middle Eastern or Greek markets.There are many stores all across US which stock kataifi. This link will be helpful to locate a store near you:
      http://www.athensfoods.com/where-to-buy/#.VGST9jSUd1Y
      It is a Shredded phyllo (filo) dough used to make specialty pastries
      Substitute for Kataifi
      You can make your own: Use thawed phyllo dough. Roll into a log and using a sharp knife cut 1/8″ strips (will be thicker than kataifi.

      Like

  7. MMU says:

    Great job! I didn’t know the fillings can be substituted c: I’ll try this next time inshaallah! Thanks for the mention!

    Like

    1. skd says:

      Thank You for the inspiration 🙂 Yours is the classic Original version of Kunafa.Of course, how can I not give you the credit for it. You deserve it dear 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this dessert, very popular here in Dubai and on sale everywhere, SKD. Your Kunafa looks very tasty and delicious 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      Thanks Linda 🙂 You are so familiar with the original version. So a compliment coming from you made my day.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Kanafa reminds me of the lebanese restaurants in dearborn. thanks for sharing 🙂 I’d love to make it sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      Most welcome 🙂 Thank you for the nice words..

      Like

    1. skd says:

      Thanks Nell 🙂 It was delicious too..

      Like

  10. This is certainly a new dessert for me – it looks yummy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      Thank you 🙂

      Like

  11. Wow, I love learning new desserts and this one looks so yum!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      Thank you 🙂 It is an easy to make dessert .

      Like

  12. Hilda says:

    I must try this dessert. It looks so good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      Thank you so much 🙂 It tastes delicious too

      Like

  13. andy says:

    bookmarked !! I am going for this asap ! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      Thanks Andy 🙂 Ideal dessert for the winters

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Looks like a perfect dessert to me! Crusty on the outside and a soft filling on the inside! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      It is Indu 🙂 We can make so many variations with the filling as rich or as light as it can get 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      Thank you ☺

      Like

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mouthwatering! 🙂

    Like

    1. skd says:

      Thank you 🙂 Is this Lubna ???

      Like

  16. dishdessert says:

    looks delicious, good recipe, I liked your website,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. skd says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words. Please do keep visiting ☺ 👍

      Like

Hey! Do let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s