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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Mango Basbousa ~ Arabic Style Baked Semolina Dessert

Mango Basbousa ~ Arabic Style Baked Semolina Dessert

Mango Basbousa ~ Arabic Style Baked Semolina Dessert
Mango Basbousa 

This recipe post of Mango Basbousa is a part of this month's Muslim Food Blogger's Challenge with the theme as 'Trying a bookmarked recipe from a food blogger' . I was totally lost when I glanced at the theme and I had a tough time selecting the blogger as I have so many favorites and had bookmarked so many recipes from their blogs. I decided to select the blogger with the most number of bookmarked recipes and that is none other than Famidha Ashraf. 

Famidha blogs at MyLifeInYanbu with the most practical recipes. By practical I mean those kind of dishes which we would like to have on our daily menu. Her write ups are totally enthralling and mesmerizing at the same time. I know her since the last couple of years, when she would give her most supportive and genuine comments on my recipes. We started developing a much closer bond with each other through our Instagram chats though we haven't met each other yet. Her Instagram stories are worth watching as most of the dishes she prepares match my taste buds. Other than the practical and easy recipes, she also posts recipes from around the world called Globe Cooking Mad where she virtually selects and visits a country and prepares the specialty of that place. Other than her food and recipes, she has a very unique style of photography where she presents the food in the most natural and intriguing way with a turquoise colored towel and a dark brown table which goes as her signature style.    

Mango Basbousa ~ Arabic Style Baked Semolina Dessert
Mango Basbousa 
Basbousa is a Traditional Middle Eastern dessert also known as 'Namoura', 'Harissa', 'Revani' depending on the country in which it is made. According to the various countries, the method of preparing basbousa differs and even the ingredients are altered such that coconut is added in some of the versions. This is the first time I had attempted a basbousa and I was totally satisfied with the results I got. Apart from the crispy crust, the inside portion is very soft and buttery and if you follow the exact recipe, the sugar syrup is also not too sweet. I also found that the method is very easy to follow with less mess to clean up. All I could think while preparing this dessert is that this can be a quick fix solution for any unexpected guests.

Recipe Tips
I decided to select the mango version of basbousa because I had some frozen cubes of mango pulp which I had preserved in my freezer a month ago. In case if you want to prepare it without mangoes you can follow this recipe Basbousa. I would suggest that before adding the yogurt to the batter, just place it into a sieve so that all the excess liquid or whey is removed and you are left with thick and dry form of yogurt. You can either use both rose water and orange blossom water or any one of them, the choice is yours. Make sure that the dessert is warm before serving it as it tends to become dry and hard as it cools down and extra warm sugar syrup if you like it more sweet. You can also make your own tahini by dry roasting 1 cup sesame seeds and grinding to a smooth paste along with salt and 2 or 3 tablespoon olive oil. You can preserve this paste in a refrigerator for up to a month by using a dry spoon. Tahini can also be used in making Hummus, Mutabbal and Shawarma Sauce.
Mango Basbousa ~ Arabic Style Baked Semolina Dessert
Mango Basbousa 
Recipe adapted from: Mango Basbousa  by Famidha Ashraf

Mango Basbousa ~ Arabic Style Baked Semolina Dessert

A Middle Eastern cake made with semolina and soaked in sugar syrup infused with saffron and rose water.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
1 cup = 250 ml capacity
Serves 6


For Basbousa
1 cup fine semolina
3 tablespoon mango pulp
3 tablespoon yogurt (dry)
4 tablespoon clarified butter (ghee)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
1 teaspoon baking powder

For Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon rose water
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
2 whole green cardamom (slightly crushed)
Pinch of saffron

1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste for greasing the baking dish)
Baking dish (7 by 7 inches)
5 or 6 almonds for garnishing (soaked and peeled)


1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (gas mark 4).
2. Grease the baking dish with 1 tablespoon tahini or as needed such that it covers all the sides and base.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together semolina, mango pulp, yogurt, clarified butter (ghee), lemon juice, sugar, baking powder and tahini to a smooth batter. The batter will be thick and not runny.
4. Pour the semolina mixture into the baking dish and spread it evenly.
5. With help of a wet knife, draw lines and make cuts of desired size for serving each person. Place an almond on each piece.
6. Bake in oven for 40 to 45 minutes or till the crust turns golden.
7. Turn off the oven and let the basbousa be in it to keep it warm and till you prepare the sugar syrup.
8. For Sugar Syrup: Heat sugar and water till it starts to boil. There is no need of stirring. As soon as it starts to boil add cardamom, lemon juice, rose water, saffron and orange blossom water. Reduce the heat and cook on low flame for 5 minutes.
9. As the syrup turns thicker, turn off the gas and pour the hot syrup over the hot basbousa.
10. While adding syrup to the cake, both basbousa as well as the syrup should be hot.

Step by step pictures

Mango Basbousa, namoura

Mango Basbousa

Mango Basbousa

Mango Basbousa

Mango Basbousa

Mango Basbousa

Mango Basbousa

Mango Basbousa


  1. Wooow that looks so perfect Shanaz!Love all your recipes and videos,keep going!Fam that's lovely to hear about you😍

  2. Awww... totally agree on what you tell about Fami... and I love you have gone into so much detail about her photography style too! :D What a choice of recipe... I tried Basbousa only once and it was a flop, I did understand my mistake. I spread it out in a smaller pan so it turned out too thick.. hehe... Loving the clicks..

  3. Love you. Thank you for recreating this recipe which is my most favourite sweet because it has semolina and all the arabic sweet flavours. I am so tempted to make them again but I really wish I had an oven so I can make all these again without much time! Also, I have never tried hot syrup on hot cake... I read and was told the syrup has to be room temp and cake hot. But looks it works just fine either ways! Beautiful pics as usual!

  4. Looks delicious dear...Good selection of the recipe and the source...I too have noticed Famidha's towel and the table she uses for her photography :)

  5. I remember drooling over this at Famidha's space, looks yummy

  6. Beautiful photos Shanaz! And I love this tropical spin on a classic Basbousa!

  7. beautiful and delicious pics...even i have bookmarked this recipe from famidha's place...lovely share

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