Qatayef or Atayef

Qatayef are traditional dessert that is usually served during the holy month of Ramadan. They are similar to pancakes but are cooked on one side only and then folded. They are usually stuffed with unsalted cheese, a combination of (walnuts, sugar and cinnamon) or  fresh Kashta which is usually made from heating the milk on very low heat for long period of time. Usually Fresh Kashta is sold at Middle Eastern Bakery shops and unfortunately is not found in the states.There are several ways to make home Kashta and it also can be substituted with Ricotta cheese they kind of have similar taste. Here I’ll be  posting the Cheese Qatayef , I’ll be making and posting the walnut and Kashta  Qatayef  late this month. If you never had Qatayef before you will get addicted to this dessert . It is a little bit crusty on the  outside with a gooey melted cheese on the inside topped with sugar syrup. I’m actually drooling now. Qatayef can be  deep fried or cooked in the oven either way is good but I prefer the oven method.

Ingredients: Makes about 17 Qatayefs

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Semolina Flour
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 1/3 cups warm water
  • 6 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 51/2 tbsp butter
  • Sugar Syrup Recipe follows


To make the stuffing:

Soak Cheese in water for at least 4 hours. Changing water every hour. Drain Cheese until no water comes out when pressed. Before stuffing Qatayefs you want to make sure that the cheese has no water in it and it has no trace of salt in it. Now the cheese is ready for stuffing.

To make the Qatayefs:

  • Combine  sugar and yeast in 1 cup warm water. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Combine the rest of the dry ingredients flour, semolina flour,salt and baking powder.
  • Add the yeast mixture along with 2 cups of warm water to the dry ingredients. Mix well until all big lumps disappear , you might want to use and electric mixer.
  • Let the batter rest for  30 minutes.
  • Add the remaining 1/3 cup warm water to the batter and mix.Let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Heat a non stick  skillet over medium heat, when the skillet is heated. Use a 1/4 measure cup to scoop batter  and pour in heated skillet.
  • Cook Qatayef until it is dry on the top and golden brown on the bottom.
  • Repeat  until all batter used.Batter makes about 17 Qatayefs.
  • Let Qatayefs cool completely  before stuffing.
  • Put about 2 -3 Tbsp of the cheese stuffing on one side of the Qatayef don’t let the cheese touch the sides , fold and press the sides together.

To cook Qatayef:

  • Place the rack of an oven in the middle , Place Qatayefs on a baking  sheet , top each Qatayef with 1/2 tbs of butter cut in 2 squares.
  • Broil for 3 mins on each side.
  • Top with Sugar syrup and enjoy warm.
  • If not serving all the Qatayefs at once you can store in refrigerator until ready to be cooked and served.

Qater (Sugar Syrup) Recipe: Yields about 2 cups

  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon jucie
  • splash of orange blossom water
  • splash of rose water
  • Combine all ingredients except lemon juice in a pot over medium  heat. Bring to boil and reduce to medium heat. Add the lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Let the Sugar syrup cool completely before topping Qatayefs.
  • If you have any remaining Qater you can store it in airtight container for 1 month or even more.

Tips for making sugar syrup:  If after the sugar syrup cooled, you found out it is too thick you can add alittle bit of water and warm again on stove top. And if it was too thin put back on heat for couple more minutes.


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