Ramadan’s famous desserts

Ramadan is known for its irresistible gastronomic sensations that thrill our taste buds. (Photos: Flickr, Envato Elements, Pixabay, and Wikimedia Commons)
Ramadan, a month of worship and almsgiving, is also a month rich in flavor and culinary delights. Beyond its religious duties, Ramadan is also known for its irresistible gastronomic sensations that thrill our taste buds.اضافة اعلان

Here are some of the most famous desserts enjoyed during the holy month:

Qatayef are Arab-style pancakes that originated in the Fatimid Dynasty. Some say their origins may be traced back to the Abbasid Caliphate, which lasted from 750 to 1258 CE.

They are almost exclusively enjoyed during Ramadan and can be made in various ways.

Classic qatayef are stuffed with Akkawi cheese or walnuts and are deep-fried and drenched in syrup. Asafiri are mini qatayef traditionally stuffed with cream and topped with pistachios, also known as qatayef eshta. Ehsta is the Arabic word for clotted cream.

Recently, people have also begun stuffing asafiri qatayef with Nutella and other chocolate spreads, giving it a more contemporary spin.
If Ramadan had a food mascot, it would undoubtedly be qatayef.

Umm Ali, which means “Mother of Ali” in English, is one of Egypt’s most popular desserts. It is a simple and inexpensive dish, most similar to a bread pudding, that dates back to the Ayyubid era.

This traditional dessert is made by dividing palmiers — a sweet, crisp pastry shaped like a palm leaf — into pieces and blending them with pistachios, coconut flakes, raisins, and a lot of sugar.

Milk is then poured over the mixture before baking in the oven until the surface is golden brown. Some recipes also suggest adding eshta to the concoction.

Knafeh is a popular Middle Eastern dessert that some trace back to 15th-century Egypt. Others trace it back to the 10th-century Umayyad Empire.

Currently, the dessert is a token dish for the city of Nablus in Palestine. Knafeh is formed from shredded phyllo pastry layered over cheese — Nabulsi cheese is used in many Middle Eastern countries, while some abroad use a mixture of Ricotta and Mozzarella.

Knafeh is traditionally baked in a tray over an open fire until the buttery dough crisps up, and the cheese melts.

It is then coated in sugar syrup and topped with crushed pistachios. It’s best eaten right after it comes out of the oven.

Halawet el-jibn is a Levantine dessert that originated in Syria. Some trace its exact origin to the city of Hama. However, some dispute that it originated in Homs.

Halawet el-jibn is also widespread in other parts of the Middle East. Syrian immigrants have also introduced this dessert globally. This treat consists of rolls of soft, sweet Akkawi cheese dough packed with eshta and topped with pistachios and rose petal jam.

The finishing touch is a drizzle of syrup perfumed with orange blossom and rose water.

Asabe Zeinab, which translates to “Zeinab’s Fingers” in English, is supposedly based on a century-old tale of a woman named Zeinab who made these sweets that look like fingers and shared them with her village. The villagers loved the dessert, and eventually, Asabe Zeinab became the namesake of this dessert, paying homage to its original creator.

Balah El-Sham (Dates from the Levant), and Luqumat El-Qadi, literally the “Food of the Judges,” are other names for this popular dessert.

Asabe Zeinab are made from semolina flour or regular flour, then deep fried and drenched in honey, powdered sugar, or syrup.

The sweets are shaped into fingers that are crunchy on the exterior and very soft on the inside.

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