Basboosa – Egyptian Semolina Slice

Basboosa is a rich traditional egyptian dessert. Today we were invited to a lunch in the park, so decided to make some traditional arab dessert. This was a definite crowd pleaser!

You will need:


3 cups semolina (i used coarse semolina, but you should  use fine)

1 cup plain full fat yogurt

1/2 cup full fat milk

2 cups thickened cream

1.5 cup sugar

1.5 cups dessicated coconut

150 gms melted unsalted butter

vanilla flavouring

raw almonds for garnish or crushed pistashios

For sugar syrup:

3 cups water, 3 cups sugar, rose water and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

To make:

Mix semolina, sugar and coconut well together to coat them in the melted butter. Add vanilla flavouring (optional). Add cream/milk/yogurt and mix well for about a minute so it all comes together.

Spread in a greased tray (i used a 30 X 20 cm) and smooth out the surface with wet hands. Allow to reast for about half an hour. You can garnish with raw almonds by pressing them in gently to the dough.

Bake in a preheated oven (180 deg) for about 30 mins on middle shelf until deep golden brown. If cooked but the top hasnt picked up colour, placed under grill for a short period but watch carefully as it will cook rapidly.

While baking prepare the sugar syrup by bringing 3 cups each water and castor sugar to the boil. Add some rose water or any other flavouring as per tast. (I use about 3 tablespoons). once up to a boil, lower heat and allow to simmer on a medium heat. Add about 1 teaspoon of lemon juice so that it does not crystalise.

The syrup is ready when you dip the spoon and it coats the spoon and is sticky once cooled to touch. It is usually ready by the time the basboosa is done.

Pour the syrup whilst hot (do not allow to cool) onto the basboosa after it has come out of the oven and you have cut into desired shapes.

Allow to cool fully before taking out of tray or else pieces may fall apart.

You can arrange in a tray and wrap for a lovely home-made gift!

This is best enjoyed with a nice cup of tea or coffee. Enjoy!

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