Qatāyef - Middle Eastern dessert

11:45 am on 19 January 2019

Qatāyef Photo: Supplied

A Middle Eastern dessert popular during the Holy month of Ramadan. Sweet, crunchy and delicious!


To make the sugar syrup:

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp vanilla flavored essence


  • 2 cups warm milk

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 tsp instant yeast

  • 1 tbs powdered milk

  • 2 cups flour

  • Pinch of salt

  • Oil for frying


  • 1 cup crushed nuts
  • 1 cup raisins or sultanas
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp cinnamon


1. Start with making the sugar syrup. In a saucepan on medium heat, combine all ingredients making sure there are no sugar crystals on the sides of the saucepan.

2. Bring to boil, and let the mixture simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge.

Now for the Qatayef pancakes...

1. Combine all ingredients for batter in a blender or food processor

2. Cover and let the mixture rise in a warm place for 1 hour

3. Uncover and lightly stir to get rid of the bubbles

4. Place non-stick pan on medium-high heat

5. Transfer batter to a batter dispenser or use a ladle to pour the batter in the pan, making approx. 6cm round pancakes. As soon as bubbles form and the batter turns dry, remove from pan. Do not turn over. These pancakes are cooked on one side only.

6. Keep cooked cakes covered with a tea towel until you finish all the batter.

9. Heat about 1 inch of vegetable oil in a frying pan and start frying your filled qatayef until golden.

10. As soon as they are drained from the oil and while still hot, dip in the cold sugar syrup for at least 10 seconds or until nicely coated, then place in sieve to drain extra syrup.

Note: you can replace nuts filling with cream cheese, dried fruits, or even dates. The nuts filling is the traditional version.


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