Hareesa Recipe or Basbousa

Dessert, Recipe
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Hareesa or Basbousa is a sweet cake that is made of semolina or farina that is soaked in a delicious tasty syrup. In the Levant countries of the Middle East, it is referred to as Hareesa, and in Egypt it is called Basbousa. It is also known as Revani in Turkish and Ravani (southern Greece) or Revani (northern Greece) in Greek. In some cultures, this treat is served during special celebrations, funerals or even as a religious offering.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups farina (cream of wheat or semolina)
  • 1 1/4 cups (2.5 sticks) butter
  • 1.5 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup plain yogurt for mixture
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted
  • oil for greasing pan and toasting almonds
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt for smoothing
  • 3 cups of syrup (recipe Below)


How To:

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Mix farina, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, yogurt and melted butter together and blend well.

 

3. Grease baking pan with butter or oil and pour mixture onto pan.

 

4. Smooth the top of the mixture with yogurt.

5. Toast the almonds (place oil in a frying pan and toast almonds in there for about 5 minutes). Remove from oil. Cut mixture into pieces (~20-30) Place a toasted almond on each piece.

 

6. Bake at 400F for ~30 minutes or until brown.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

7. Pour a thin layer of syrup over the surface and allow to penetrate the entire baked dish. (Syrup recipe below)

8. Enjoy!!

Serves: 20-30 pieces

 

Syrup Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups water

How to:

1. Place sugar and water into a small saucepan.

2. Stir well over stovetop until all sugar is dissolved.

3. Go to step 8 above.

Tips:

Can use other nuts such as a walnut in place of the almond. Can top with coconut for a nice addition. Can also add rose water or orange blossom water to the syrup to give a richer flavor.


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36 Responses to “Hareesa Recipe or Basbousa”

  1. Wendy IreneNo Gravatar Says:

    It looks really pretty how you placed an almond in the top of each one. Love that idea! I think I am going to try that in my baking more often for a beautiful decorative look.

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    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    Thanks Wendy!

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  2. thomaNo Gravatar Says:

    i jus don know why your URL doesn open in my blog window..i miss out on your recipes!

    this one is decadent and almond and butter is a perfect comb..semolina is a prime ingredient in Goan cooking too (our next posting in Goa)!!

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    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    wonder why it does not open….glad you still stopped by. love your site !

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  3. Kate@DiethoodNo Gravatar Says:

    In Macedonia we call this Ravanija … I make it all the time because it is my dad’s favorite. Great recipe! I love the addition of almond on top.

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    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    o wow. thanks for sharing!!! my dad loved it too :-)

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  4. MomNo Gravatar Says:

    mine never looks this good but i assure you, it tastes super! i like your almond decoration on top.

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    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    thanks!!

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  5. MicheleNo Gravatar Says:

    Suzy, this looks soo delicious! Hope you are having a great start to your summer! :)

    [Reply]

    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    Thanks Michele!

    [Reply]

  6. The Absurd BakerNo Gravatar Says:

    Love this, I am sure this is as good as it looks. I will try it soon. Middle Eastern food is one of my favorite kind of food. I will try to buy some orange blossom water, as I can feel that it will bring even more awesomeness to the cake.

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    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    yes…it definitely helps make the flavor amazing!

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  7. sophiaNo Gravatar Says:

    This looks simple enough and really really good! I adore semolina, the grittiness and the sweet nuttiness. I wonder if you can turn this into a savory dish by soaking it in…bacon grease? Or a savory buttery sauce…

    [Reply]

    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    would love to know if you do….and would love to see how it turns out.

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  8. Treat and TrickNo Gravatar Says:

    Looks beautiful and yummy, love the way you decorate them…

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    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  9. valNo Gravatar Says:

    What a wonderful recipe….I’d love this for breakfast right now.

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  10. Parsley SageNo Gravatar Says:

    Glorious cake! I really dig the little almonds in each slice. Well done! Buzzed :)

    [Reply]

    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    thanks for the buzz :)

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  11. ClaudieNo Gravatar Says:

    A few weeks ago, I made a Lebanese cake with semolina, lemon, and pistachios. I loved it. And now, I really want to try yours — I’m all about topping cakes with syrups ;)

    [Reply]

    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    wow that cake sounds great.

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  12. KathyNo Gravatar Says:

    This looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I am going to try this very soon.

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  13. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and DessertsNo Gravatar Says:

    This looks moist and delicious! Wonderful job!

    [Reply]

  14. CakewhizNo Gravatar Says:

    That looks so soft and tasty. I agree with everyone else…the almond decoration is just beautiful!

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  15. SandraNo Gravatar Says:

    This looks so good Suzy, perfect sweet time pick me up without alot of fussy frosting.

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  16. Britne @ Shabbott's HabitsNo Gravatar Says:

    I’ve never heard of the dessert before, but it looks fantastic. The almonds are a nice touch.

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  17. Pink KitchenNo Gravatar Says:

    Oh, I LOVE this stuff. I learned to make a similar cake in a Turkish cooking class. Actually I had a request on my site for a vegan version of this…still working on it…hard to replicate without butter.

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  18. CharleneNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi there! Does anyone know how the recipe would turn out if I used salted butter? That’s all I have on hand, and I forgot to pick up the unsalted type on my trip to the store. Thanks!

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    CharleneNo Gravatar Reply:

    FYI, just sitting down to make the cake, and I realized that you left out the measurement of sugar for cake portion. I see 3 cups are used for the syrup, but maybe I’m missing something here….

    [Reply]

    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    Hi Charlene,
    There is no sugar in the actual cae. The sugar is only used in the syrup. Hope that helps!!
    Suzy

    [Reply]

    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    Salted butter would be fine :-) I have used it before.

    [Reply]

  19. cheyNo Gravatar Says:

    What size pan do you use? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    I used a 12×17 pan. You can use any pan size depending upon how thick you want the dessert. :-)

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  20. SandraNo Gravatar Says:

    I think you need to revise the directions… You state “mix farina, sugar, baking soda…” But there’s no sugar in the cake –just the syrup.

    [Reply]

    Suzy EatsNo Gravatar Reply:

    thanks i just added the sugar. it is 1.5 cups.

    [Reply]

  21. ashleyNo Gravatar Says:

    i did it yaaay itcame out the same wish i know how to post a pic <3 <3

    [Reply]

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