I know I said I am a pluviophile, a rain lover and waxed eloquent about the pleasure of watching the drizzle from an open window munching some delicious hot snacks and how it awakens our senses and the calm and peace which follows and all that…yes..yes..I said all of that in my recent post but I never asked for lashing,pounding,hammering,incessant rains. It has been raining cats and dogs(I would rather say cows and horses) continuosly for more than a week. My beautiful city Hyderabad is battered and inundated due to rains which broke a 16 year record and have brought normal life to a standstill. There is a flood-like situation with vehicles floating in the water in several places.A high alert has been sounded by the weathermen.Schools and several shops have been ordered to shut down.People have been asked to stay indoors until water receded to avoid traffic snarls.I will not post pathetic pictures here because that is not how I want you to remember my lovely city.
I still love the rains(light drizzles 😉 to be precise) as long as we stay indoors that is.And when it is raining and we are cooped up at home,the next best thing to do is? …….bake ofcourse….because as I said before the cool breeze carries the delicious aroma from the kitchen to every corner of your home making all it’s inhabitants ravenous and bringing them out of their rooms to see what the lady of the house is baking.
But what I am missing most is the sunshine. Because I need sunlight to click my food pictures. I can never get them right with indoor lighting.While my basbousa was baking in the oven my eyes were constantly shifting from the oven to the balcony(my favorite place to shoot )wishing the rain would stop.Luckily, by the time it came out of the oven it had stopped raining and the sun shone mercifully,though in bits and pieces from amidst the clouds. It refused to shine on my balcony so I had to scout for it on the terrace of my house. God! What we food bloggers do for the love of blogging.So whatever pictures I have for this post are the result of running with the tray and the camera to places where the sun mischeviously chose to shine on the terrace of my home while the hungry family anxiously waited on the lower floor.
My realisation no.1: Nothing in excess is good,not even something you love!
My realisation no.2: I love the rains, but I lovvve the Sun too!!
Coming to the muse, Basbousa is is a native Egyptian and traditional Middle Eastern cake, made from semolina and flavored sugar syrup. It is also known as Revani (Turkish) Ravani(Greek/Persian)Harissa(Arabic)Namoura(Lebanese)and gabelouze(French)
I have found an ultimate recipe which can be made easily at home and is delicious.The internet is full of recipes for this traditional dessert. But if you like the look of it from the pictures,I will assure you of its taste. Don’t think twice. Just try it. It is best eaten warm like most baked goodies are. You can store whatever is left in the fridge after covering it with a plastic cling film. All you have to do is warm it up in your microwave whenever you feel like having a dessert.
Ingredients for the cake:
- 2 cups semolina
- 135g sugar
- 2tsps. baking powder
- 1 cup dessicated coconut
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cups butter melted
- 1 cup yogurt
- 2 tsps. vanilla essence
- 12 blanched almonds vertically sliced in two halves
Ingredients for the syrup:
- 2 cups sugar(a little less if you don’t like it too sweet)
- 2 cups water
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp. orange water/rose water
- Mix all the dry ingredients except sugar and keep separately.
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Add the eggs and mix well.
- Add the yogurt and the essence.
- Add the dry mixture and blend well.
- Butter and dust a baking dish.
- Pour the basbousa batter in it gently and uniformly.
- Keep this dish in the fridge for half an hour.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven at 374ºF/190ºC
- Boil sugar with water for approximately 10 minutes. Take off heat and add lemon juice and orange/rose water.
- Remove the dish from the fridge and run a pizza cutter through the batter which must have firmed a bit by now, in such a way that it is divided into diamond shapes. Diamond shape is the traditional way of serving Basbousa.
- Press an almond half into each diamond piece.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes put the dish under broiler if required for an additional 8 minutes to get a beautiful golden brown hue.
- Remove from oven and pour the sugar syrup all over the cake.
- Enjoy warm with a cup of tea or coffee.