5 Arab Desserts to Make at Home
By: Sophia Segal/Arab America Contributing Writer
We all love desserts. It’s common to eat them after dinner or when you feel the need to have some sweets in your life. Most of our go-to desserts usually are ice cream, cookies, cakes, and other common sweets. But who doesn’t love eating foods from different places in the world? It’s exciting to try new desserts that can expand your taste palette.
Below are some of the best Arab desserts you can make at home. While these are not all the desserts of the Arab world, there are enough receipts and ideas below to start your journey.
Maamoul is Lebanese shortbread. They are usually stuffed with dates, but it can be replaced with pistachios, almonds, and walnuts. Making the Arab pastry is a work of art. They can be very difficult at first if you’re not used to it, but patience is a virtue and practice is key. Making the sculpted cakes requires the use of a special maamoul mold, which is usually a wooden or plastic spoon.
Atayef (Middle East Pancakes)
These delicious pancakes are filled with white cheese or nuts – then soaked in rose syrup. They are usually made during the holy month of Ramadan. Although these are usually only made during the month of Ramadan, I wanted to include them because of how good they are and they’re so pretty to look at.
This baklava has crisp layers of phyllo with lots of pistachios, and a combination of a rich taste that makes you think you picked it up right out of a Turkish bakery. But the best thing about baklava is that it can be baked in so many different ways. This recipe includes 30 layers of buttery, crispy phyllo and vibrantly green pistachios.
Homemade Ashta Cream
Ashta is the whipped cream of the Arab world. It’s great to put on any kind of dessert you enjoy. They call it the “creme de la creme” of pastries in this region. It’s rich and creamy and the thick clotted cream is
Rose Mehalabya (Milk Pudding)
This Arab-style milk pudding is infused with a touch of rose and orange blossom waters, adorned with rose syrup topping and garnished with caramelized pistachios. Mehalabya is a traditional Arab milk pudding in which there are similar variations in Greece and Turkey. It’s made with milk and sugar and thickened with rice flour or cornstarch to get that creamy and slightly jiggly texture. In Eygpt, mehalabya is the most common dessert that is served. You will be able to find it in any restaurant or coffee shop. It has gotten so popular that it’s used to describe women who are beautiful and have a voluptuous figure.
Again there are so many desserts from the Arab world that you can make. Some are easier than others, but they’re all amazing nonetheless. If you’re new to making foods from other cultures, the ones listed above are a good way to start your journey to learn and make different sweets. All the recipes for the sweets are linked within the article. Don’t be afraid to experiment with all sorts of different foods. Even if you don’t get it right the first time, you’ll have so many tries to make it perfect.
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