Knafeh/kunafeh/kunafa (however you like to spell it), happens to be one of my favourite desserts EVER. If you are not familiar with it, it is a Middle Eastern pastry that is stuffed with stringy, gooey cheese and soaked in a sweet sugar syrup! My friend Bintfalastiniya’s mum makes the most amazing Palestinian knafeh you will ever see and I’ve been super jealous for as long as I’ve known her! Since Eid is round the corner, I decided to kick off another round of Eid recipes just like last year… so I got the recipe and finally gave it a go. I have simplified it and put my own twist on it! Be sure to try it out and let me know how you get on!
You can click the video to watch how I made it and scroll down for the recipe card below!
– Ayesha x
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- Handful of dried rose petals / 1 tsp rose water (optional)
- 200g knafeh dough
- 6 tbsp melted ghee (+ more to grease baking dish)
- 1/2 tsp orange powder colouring (optional)
- 75g ricotta cheese
- 125g grated mozzarella
- Crushed pistachios
- Start by making the syrup - add the sugar, water, lemon juice and rose petals/ rose water to a pan over a medium to high heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and leave too cool.
- For the knafeh, take the knafeh dough (katayif pastry) and pull apart/ shred so the strands are separated. I also like to cut the dough so that the strands are shorter (around 5cm long).
- Add in the ghee and mix well using your hands.
- Add about 1/2 tsp of orange food colouring and a little bit of ghee to a round baking dish. Using a pastry brush spread the colouring and ghee all over the pan. This step is optional but I like to do it as it gives the knafeh a beautiful colour.
- Add half the knafeh dough to the pan. Press down firmly with a glass.
- Spread on an even layer of ricotta cheese and be sure to leave about an inch of space around the edge so that the cheese doesn't ooze out.
- Next, top with mozzarella.
- Add on the second half of knafeh dough and press down gently.
- Bake at 200 degrees C for around 20-30mins until the dough is golden.
- Remove the knafeh from the pan and drizzle with sugar syrup and decorate with pistachios.
- Enjoy! :)