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Semolina and Yoghurt cake

28 February 2014 / 08:02:02  GRReporter
4273 reads

Danielle Lachana


This cake goes by various names according to the country it is made in: 'Harisi' or 'Harisa' in Syria and Jordan, 'Namoura' in Lebanon, 'Basbousa' in Egypt, 'Ravani or Revani' in Greece and Turkey, etc., and the ingredients may vary slightly. Some omit the yoghurt and add milk or cream, others use flour (and even eggs - Greece and Turkey), some omit the coconut, some use tahini (ground sesame seed paste)  band more. Even the syrup itself can vary - sometimes it is honey based. My recipe here is similar to those from our current area (Syria and Lebanon), soft and fragrant, light but rich, and surprisingly simple to make.





Cream the butter and sugar together (preferably with an electric mixer). Beat in the yoghurt.  Mix together the semolina, baking powder and coconut and add to the creamed mixture. Mix to combine. At this stage the mixture will be quite thick and sticky. Spread out in a 20 cm by 30 cm baking tin and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180o C (350o F, Gas mark 4) for about 20 minutes until lightly brown. Mark into diamonds by cutting a little way into the cake and place a nut (almond, pistachio, pine nut etc.) in the centre of each, if liked.

Bake  for a further 10 to 15 minutes until a little more browned and done in the centre.

Meanwhile make the syrup:

Heat the water and sugar in a small pan until boiling. When the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has just started to thicken add the lemon juice. Continue boiling for about 5 minutes until slightly thickened then remove from the heat. Add the rose water or orange flower water  and leave to cool a little.

Pour the cool syrup gently and uniformly over the still hot cake and leave until the cake has absorbed it. When completely cool cut right through into diamonds and serve.


Next week, our new destination, Israel!

Tags: harisi harisa namoura ravani revani basbousa syrian recipes lebanese recipes egyptian recipes semolina yoghurt cake
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