BASBOUSA (Famous Middle Eastern Dessert)

BASBOUSA (Famous Middle Eastern Dessert)

I am a big fan of Middle Eastern food, especially desserts. They are very rich, aromatic, and full of flavor. I have tried so many Arabian, Turkish, and Lebanese desserts and almost addicted to them. I love the way these desserts are served, mostly hot with sugar syrup drizzled upon them. It is very satisfying to prepare and eat them. You can try my delicious Arabian dessert Knafeh recipe. This time I tried a very famous Middle Eastern dessert called basbousa. It is semolina cake with coconut and yogurt in it, very unique in texture and flavor, very easy to make, and very different from ordinary cakes.

Basbousa has different names in different countries. In Lebanese it is called “Namoura”, in Egypt it is called “Basbousa”, in Turkey “Revani”, and in Jordan “Harissa”.  This dessert was originated in Egypt and now found in Ethiopian, Turkish, Yemeni, and Greek cuisines. In English basbousa means “very sweet semolina”. There are so many reasons to love this dessert:

  • First reason is that it is so simple to make but very impressive in look and taste. You just need a bowl, mix all ingredients together, dump, bake, and ready.
  • Secondly, its ingredients are very simple and inexpensive. Semolina, yogurt, sugar, coconut are things mostly available in kitchen all the time.
  • Thirdly, if you are fed up of eating same kind of cakes, this cake refreshes your taste buds with its totally different texture and taste.

Basbousa recipe has semolina as its main ingredient but some people make it with farina. Both semolina and farina come from wheat but semolina is finer compared to farina. If you want cake like texture then use semolina. Some people even use flour with semolina for more cakey texture. But in my opinion only semolina is best for this recipe. Egg is also an ingredient which is used in basbousa for giving dense texture. It all depends on our preference but original basbousa is fluffy and grainy and I don’t think egg is needed in it.

Try these desserts also:

Dalgona coffee cake

Homemade mango kulfi

Chocolate caramel fudge

Strawberry cheesecake heaven


Few tips which make your basbousa an outstanding dish are:

  • Ghee (clarified butter) is a real game changer. Instead of using oil or butter, ghee gives richer flavor to your dessert. I have also added ghee in my sugar syrup to make it more aromatic. You can add vanilla or rose water also.
  • When you pour sugar syrup on baked basbousa, let it cool down on room temperature completely and soak all the syrup. This makes your dessert soft and fluffy but don’t over drench it with sugar syrup.
  • It is also important that when you set basbosa batter in baking tray, let it rest for at least an hour and allow semolina to swell. This also makes it easy to give marks with knife.

What is best to serve with basbousa?

Basbousa is a tea time dessert and mostly eaten with Turkish tea, herbal tea (qehwa), or black coffee. We can also serve cream with it, scoop up cream on piece of basbousa and enjoy.

BASBOUSA (Famous Middle Eastern Dessert)

Basbousa is semolina cake with coconut and yogurt in it, very unique in texture and flavor, very easy to make, and very different from ordinary cakes. Its ingredients are very simple and inexpensive. Semolina,yogurt, sugar, coconut are things mostly available in kitchen all the time.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Keyword basbousa, basbousa cake, basbousa in arabic, basbousa meaning, basbousa meaning english, basbousa recipe, basbousa recipes, basbousa resturant, basbousa with cream, harissa, harissa recipe, how to make basbousa, how to make harissa, what does basbousa mean, what is basbousa
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 people


  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking tray


for basbousa batter

  • 2 cups(250gm) samolina
  • 1 cup(100gm) shredded coconut
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 cup(150gm) Yogurt

for sugar syrup

  • 200 gm sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)


  • Mix samolina, coconut, sugar, and baking powder in bowl.
  • Add ghee and yogurt in it and mix.
  • Grease baking tray and transfer basbousa batter in it. Set batter evenly in tray. Cover tray and let it rest for an hour.
  • Soak almonds overnight and peel them.
  • After an hour uncover tray and make marks with knife in square shape. Add an almond in the center of each square.
  • Bake at 180 centigrade for 30-35 minutes until golden color appears on top.
  • For making sugar syrup add sugar and water in pan and switch on flame.
  • When water starts boiling and sugar is dissolved, add lemon juice and ghee in it and turn off fire.
  • Add hot sugar syrup on baked basbousa and let it cool down completely on room temperature before eating.

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