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Average: 5 (1 vote)
Serves 10-12

Basbousa (also known as Revani, Hareesa and Nammoura in various places) is a traditional Middle Eastern sweet moist cake, usually made with semolina and soaked in a simple syrup. The word 'basbousa' is Arabic for 'Just a Kiss', and this lovely cake certainly lives up to its' name!

Ingredients for Basbousa
1 3/4 cups
coarse semolina/sooji
1/4 cup
all purpose flour
3/4 cup
1 1/2 tsp
baking powder
1/2 cup
dessicated coconut
1/2 cup
butter, melted
1 cup
plain yoghurt
(or you can mix half yoghurt and half milk)
eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp
vanilla essence
1/4 tsp
1/2 cup
almonds, blanched and peeled
Ingredients for Syrup
1 1/2 cups
1 1/4 cups
1 tsp
lemon juice
1 tsp
vanilla or rosewater
(you can even use any other flavouring that you prefer, like saffron or cardamom)

First, prepare the syrup. Combine the water, sugar and lemon juice in a small pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and gently simmer for about 5-8 minutes.Then turn off the heat, stir in the rosewater or vanilla essence and set the syrup aside to cool down.

In a large bowl, mix together the semolina, flour, baking powder, sugar, coconut and salt. In a small jug, mix the liquid ingredients, yoghurt, melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and then gradually add the liquid ingredients while mixing with a spatula or wooden spoon to form a thick batter. 

Pour and level out the batter in a greased 11x7 inch pan and lightly score the top with diamond or square shaped cuts. Press a whole almond in the middle of each square or diamond. Then cover and set the pan aside for half an hour. This helps the semolina to absorb the liquids. In the meantime, preheat the oven at 180 C.

Uncover the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Then remove from the oven and carefully cut all the way through the marks you had made earlier. Pour the cooled syrup as evenly as possible all over the hot basbousa. Then place the pan back in the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting out the pieces and serving.

Enjoy! :)


Can i use margarine instead of butter

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes you can although the flavour will not be as good as when you use butter.

asslamo alikum
do u have recipe of( imarti sweet) like a jalebi traditional pakistani sweet.....

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, sorry don't know what imarti sweet means.

ikhlas's picture

I couldnt get coarse semolina i dnt even think they have that in mombasa its just regular semolina what should I do?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

It's ok, you can use the regular one. :)

Made it! Verrrryyyyyyy yummmyyy!!! Thumbs up for Basbousa!!!

Can we use baking soda instead of baking powder?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

No, for this recipe you need baking powder not soda.

Assalamu alaikum. Can I bake the sweet and serve it after 24 hours? Wouldn't the coconut in it get spoiled ?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, no in fact it tastes better the following day. Cooked coconut does not spoil that fast, it will be fine for up to 5 days, longer if refrigerated.

Mashaallah the basbousa was amazingly delicious!!
Jazaakillahu kheyr

I love your blog, may Allah reward you hear in Dunia and akhera.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Thank you and Ameen!

Salaam aleykum Fauzia. What is semolina. I live in Seattle WA and don't know if I can find it. Or what can I substitute with.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, semolina is a coarse ground wheat. It should be very easily available, please check your local supermarkets next to the flours or grains sections or ask someone to assist you in locating it. :)

Assalamu alaykum, can I use sweeten yoghurt instead of plain yoghurt?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, the recipe works best with plain natural yoghurt.

Plain yoghurt is not available in my country can I use curd?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

Yes that should be fine.

Made it yesterday , it was delicious. Jazakallaah khayr

This turned out to be amazing too. Thank u so so much. Can u please make umm e ali and share ur recipe with us. Thank u

Very sweet and lovely! It was my first recipe using sooji.

Does the baking time change if I use only half the quantity of all the ingredients?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

No, the baking time remains the same.

MashaAllah. Tried yr recipe today and it turned out awesome. Jazak Allah e khairun. May God Bless you. Ameen.

AoA fauzia jst 1 question? I used 3/4 cup castor sugar and felt it was a bit low on sweetness, does the recipe call for castor or granulated sugar? If using castor sugar what should be the quantity? Hope you'd reply, jazakallah.

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

I use granulated sugar. You can increase the sugar to 1 cup if you feel that it is less sweet for your taste.

Assalamalaikum Fauzia , can you please give an egg less version of this recipe.
Jazakallah khair

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

W/Salaam, will try inshaAllah.

Asak Fauzia, Can we add condensed milk instead of sugar in this recipe?

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

No, it will not give you the same results as the consistency of the batter will change.

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful recipes with us! Just one question...Can you use Greek yoghurt, or is it too thick? Thanks!

Fauzia's Kitchen Fun's picture

It is a bit too thick for this recipe, but if you have no other option you could use it.