Few things to keep in mind before starting:
- Basbousa or Nammoura or Hareeseh is a soft, moist and slightly crumbly Mediterranean dessert prepared with semolina & coconut batter and is drenched in orange flavoured sugar syrup.
- It smells and tastes heavenly.
- It can be easily prepared using the ingredients readily available in our kitchens.
- Make sure to measure all your ingredients using measuring cups & spoons levelled to the brim while baking. Also, they should be at room temperature before you start preparing the recipe.
- I usually use desi khand for all my desserts, which is sweet on lighter side as compared to normal sugar.
- I have used salted butter which is readily available in my kitchen. In case you are using unsalted one, do remember to add 1/4 tsp of salt to your batter.
- I have used lemon zester to get orange zest. You may even use a normal grater for that but do keep in mind not to use the white part of orange peel in your zest as it is bitter in taste and will surely spoil your recipe, if used.
- You may soak the almonds overnight or if you are short of time, then soak them in boiling water for few minutes before peeling them.
- You need to cut the batter in diamond shape prior to baking, then again in the middle of baking and then finally 3rd time cutting has to be done while serving the chilled basbousa. This is needed as this recipe is always ready to crumble up, so make markings at various stages to ease out getting fine cuts while serving.
- You need to bake this at a lower temperature of 170 degree C.
- The flavoured sugar syrup needs to be at room temperature and the baked cake needs to be hot while drenching the cake with the syrup. This helps the cake in absorbing the syrup perfectly. So prepare your syrup prior to the cake batter.
- The drenched cake needs to be refrigerated for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving it, to allow it to soak up all the flavoured syrup well.
- It can be easily stored in refrigerator for 1 to 1.5 weeks without loosing its flavour & moistness and can be enjoyed along with a hot cup of tea or coffee!
- Semolina(Sooji) – 2 cups
- Dry Coconut – 1/2 cup(grated)
- Baking Soda – 3/4 tsp
- Curd – 3/4 cup
- Butter(salted) – 2/3 cup
- Almonds – 20
- Desi Khand -1/2 cup(for batter) + 1 cup(for sugar syrup)
- Water – 1 cup(for sugar syrup)
- Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
- Fresh Orange juice – 3 tsp
- Orange zest – 1 tbsp
- Blanch the almonds in boiling water, peel them off after a few minutes and cut them in halves. Keep them aside.
- Now prepare the sugar syrup. Boil 1 cup water, add 1 cup desi khand to it and let it boil for a few minutes till the khand gets dissolved completely. Switch off the flame and add lemon juice, orange juice & orange zest to it. Keep it aside to cool down to room temperature.
- Grease your baking dish and put it in your oven to preheat at 170 degree C.
- Beat curd, butter and sugar together with an electric beater or hand whisk for 5 minutes or till the mixture changes its colour and becomes light & fluffy. Now fold in semolina, coconut and baking soda using cut & fold method to this wet mixture.
- Pour the batter in the greased baking dish, Let it rest for 15-30 mins, make diamond shaped markings in it, place one half of almond in the middle of each diamond and bake it at 170 degree C on middle rack for 25 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven, again make markings in the half baked cake and place it in the hot oven for the second time to bake at 170 degree C on middle rack for another 25 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven, pour the cooled down orange sugar syrup all over the cake while the cake is still hot, let the drenched cake cool down to room temperature and then refrigerate it for 4 hrs to overnight to allow it to absorb the flavoured syrup well.
- Enjoy it either at room temperature or you may even warm it up before serving it with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
‘Cooking for our loved ones with love!’