This recipe definitely takes me back to my grandmother's house. Every time I make it, I can hear her yelling at us to stop eating it straight from the pan as it cooled and to keep it for the "guests". It was her go-to dessert when she had unexpected guests and would sometimes even make it while her guests were already there!
Basbousa may seem very sweet, but greasing the pan with tahini gives the dish perfect balance since it is a little bitter.
There are a number of variations to this dish that involve either the simple addition of desiccated coconut or the more complicated addition of a layer of thick cream in the middle. Regardless of what version you eat, I am sure you'll enjoy it!
- 3 cups fine semolina
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup melted unsalted butter
- 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- Whole peeled almonds
- 1 tbsp tahini paste
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- ½ lemon
1. Add the baking powder to the yogurt and mix. Put aside for about 10 minutes, or until the yogurt bubbles and doubles in size.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the semolina, sugar, and butter together with a wooden spoon.
3. Add the yogurt and baking powder mixture to the semolina mixture and stir until combined.
4. Grease a baking sheet with the tahini paste and spread the mixture evenly. Leave the pan to rest for 30 minutes then cut into squares and place an almond in the centre of each square.
5. Bake at 180C for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
6. To make the syrup, place the sugar and water in a saucepan and allow it to boil for 10 minutes. Squeeze in the lemon and leave to boil for 2 minutes before taking off the heat.
7. Once the basbousa is out of the oven, douse in cooled syrup. You will probably use half of the syrup, and let it be absorbed. Let it cool, then serve with some mint tea and enjoy!