Easy Kunafeh Nabulsieh/Cheese Kunafeh
Kunafeh, also known as Kadayif in Turkey, is one of the most favored desserts of the Levant. It can come in several forms, including: Nabulsi Kunafeh (with cheese), Madlouaa kunafeh (with cream) and mabroumeh (rolled).
The name of the cheese “Nabulsi”, derives from the city famous for producing it – Nablus in Palestine. Hence it is thought that the origins of this dessert is from Palestine. This cheese is famous in all of the Middle East and it is loved for its melting characteristics and flavor which makes it ideal for sweet and savory baked desserts and pastries alike. The kunafeh pastry used resembles strands of soft wheat vermicelli and is available globally to buy.
Despite it not being the healthiest dessert in the world, I can firmly say that it is absolutely delicious and brings happiness to my soul – which is something we all need! My son adores it to bits and he never tires of it – I shall make sure that when he is off to university he has mastered the art of making it. In fact, visiting foreigners and departing expats of the Middle East fall in love with this scrumptious, easy to make dessert. It must be the scent of the orange blossom water in the syrup that casts its spell.
This recipe demonstrates easy to follow steps on how to make your own Kunafeh wherever and whenever you crave it.
- 500 grams kunafeh vermicelli
- 400 grams Nabulsi cheese
- 100 grams ghee, animal or vegetable
- 1 recipe Arabic style syrup
- 1/4 cup pistachio nut, ground
* Preheat oven 200 C
* Cut the kunafeh vermicelli strands with a knife or simply place in a food processor and pulse to cut it into 2 cm long strands.
* If the Nabulsi cheese is salty make sure to soak it in water for a few hours changing it every half hour. This will get rid of the salt.
* Place the cheese in a processor and pulse to crumbs.
* Melt the Ghee in a pot and slightly toss the kunafeh strands stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. The ghee should be totally absorbed and all the strands coated.
* Grease a 28 cm round cheese cake tin with ghee and press half the kunafeh with the hand to level it, then scatter the cheese on top making sure you leave a 2 cm gap from the edged and press to level it.
* Cover the cheese with the remaining kunafeh and again press with a round plate to level it.
* Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
* Remove from the oven and pour cold Arabic style syrup over it to your liking of sweetness then transfer to the serving dish and decorate with ground pistachio.
* For a healthier alternative drizzle some honey or agave syrup instead of the Arabic style syrup.
* In the event Nabulsi cheese is not available where you live use a cheese that is young and melts, like shredded mozzarella.
Per Serving (excluding syrup): 411 Calories; 28g Fat (59.6% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 77mg Cholesterol; 221mg Sodium.