To kick off our Ramadan recipes for the month, I’m going to share a simple dessert recipe.
Qatayef bi jebneh has been a Ramadan staple since as far back as I can remember. It takes barely any time to prepare and there are some really tasty variations if you’re feeling experimental.
The mere smell of qatayef wafting through our kitchen takes me back to childhood iftars at the home of my grandparents. Images of my uncles overindulging in qatayef doused in unhealthy, diabetes-inducing amounts of atter (syrup) play through my mind involuntarily. And then my mouth begins to water and I become impatient as I wait for my katayef to turn a beautiful golden brown.
3c self-raising flour
A pinch of salt
1 sachet of yeast
2 1/2c sugar
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tsp of rose water
1 tsp of orange blossom water
1 tsp of lemon juice
Method – Qatayef
1. Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl. If, upon mixing, you discover that the batter is too runny, slowly add more self-raising flour until it forms the right consistency (like a pancake mix). Alternatively, if you discover the batter is too thick, slowly add some more water.
2. Leave the batter to rest for 2-3 hours.
3. Grease frying pan and set on medium heat.
4. Scoop a small ladel of batter into the frying pan once it’s hot enough. Qatayef should be 8-10cm in diameter.
5. Only fry one side of the pancake. Little bubbles should begin to form on top. The qatayef are ready to be removed from the frying pan when the bubbles have popped and the bottom is a light brown.
6. Leave the qatayef to cool.
Method – Syrup
7. Mix the sugar and water into a small saucepan and place over medium heat.
8. Stir gently until sugar has dissolved.
9. Leave to boil.
10. Add the lemon juice and keep on medium heat for 10 min until the syrup thickens.
11. Add the orange blossom water and rose water to the saucepan.
12. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
To finish up
13. Stuff with mozzarella cheese (unless there’s a different kind of cheese you prefer)*
14. Fold in half to make into small crescent shapes.
15. Fry in vegetable oil until both sides are a deep golden brown. If you’re looking for a healthier, no-fuss, alternative, you can also grill the qatayef till they’re a deep, golden brown on both sides.
16. Serve warm with sugar syrup.
*If you’re feeling adventurous and intend on frying your qatayef, you can add some crushed walnuts to your stuffing.
1. Crush 350g of walnuts
2. Add a 1/4c of rose water and 1/4c of orange blossom water and mix
3. Insert a small spoonful in addition to the cheese and fold qatayef in half to form the crescent shape.
4. Continue with instructions as normal. But remember it is best to fry the walnut variation, NOT grill it.
Sahteyn and Ramadan Kareem.