What are you cooking today?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Basbousa / Hareesa

Basbousa or Haressa is a sweet cake made of semolina and coconut soaked in syrup. It is famous dessert in Eastern mediterranean cuisines which has a variety of names. The syrup makes the cake super moist and juicy. Just like the different names, there are a few different recipes to prepare it. Actually it is quite simple to make and really delicious. I first had this dessert at our usual eatery 'Aladdin gyro-cery' here at Seattle. Its a treat for your sweet tooth. Its open on all days until 3 am i guess. We love our late night dinners there, and i mean really late, like 2am after finishing our road trip. Oops! got carried away with my story. And here goes the recipe.
1 1/4 cups Semolina/Rava
1/4 cup All purpose flour/Maida
2 1/4tsp baking powder
1/4 cup +1tsp shredded Coconut (frozen and thawed)
1/4 cup Ghee(melted)
1/4 cup Olive oil
1/2 tsp Almond extract
1/4 cup + 2tbsp plain Yogurt
1/4 cup Sugar
15  raw Almonds
For Syrup:

3/4 Sugar
1/2 cup Water
3/4tsp Rose water

How to:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Grease and flour a baking dish/cake pan and keep it aside.
  • Roast the shredded coconut in a medium flame until dry and keep it aside. (Instead you can use store bought dry coconut flakes.) Also dry roast the almonds.
  • In a bowl, mix together the semolina, flour, baking powder, sugar and the roasted shredded coconut.

  • Then add the wet ingredients; ghee, olive oil, yogurt and almond extract. (The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup butter, but i used 1/4 cup each ghee and olive oil. Its up to you to use whichever you prefer.)

  • Knead into a soft dough and transfer it to the baking pan. 

  • Press and spread the dough with you hands to equal thickness.

  • Sprinkle the roasted 1tsp coconut flakes over the top and place the almonds pressed over it.

  • Bake the cake for 35 mins.

Meanwhile, lets prepare the rose water syrup.
  • In a sauce pan, add sugar and water and bring it to a boil at medium heat.
  • Simmer for 5 more mins, pour the rose water and switch off.
  • Let the syrup cool down.
  • Remove the baked cake from the oven and immediately make squares with a sharp knife.

  • Now pour the syrup all over the hot cake to absorb it.

  • Allow the cake to sit for 2-3 hours to soak up all the goodness before you serve it.


  1. This is a delicious sweet...looks moist...

  2. I have made this one many years ago....it really comes out good.

  3. delicious dessert wonderfully done

  4. Wav,yummy desert..looks so nice.Even i liked those egg plant rolls recipe also..wonderful post.

  5. Havent tried this sweet. looks delicious :)

  6. wow this looks so yummy.........tempting too

  7. Yummy .. nice step by step pictures.
    Following you ..

    Event: Fast food not Fat food

  8. I am dreaming how wonderful the taste would be! Amazing photographs. I love every bit of your blog.

  9. Wow..this is one cool recipe.. I have never heard of it... This is why i love blogosphere. We get to know a lot of new recipes :D Your detailed pics are so helpful.. Thank you Nidhya :)

  10. Awesome cake nithya..love to taste it!

  11. hey welcome bk...wow yummy dessert and ingredients easily available


Thank you for visiting my blog. Please leave a word or line, all your comments are valued and highly appreciated. Keep coming for more recipes.


Related Posts with Thumbnails