The preparation ma'moul sweet in Daraa

As Eid Al-Fitr approaches, housewives in Daraa are busy preparing various varieties of sweets, especially the Eid sweet, which you can consider as a  tradition for most families in most of the Syrian governorate, especially with the high prices of ready-made sweets.

Ma'moul is made in different ways and stuffed with walnuts or dates, according to Umm Bayan Hussein, who said that in the last ten days of each Ramadan, Daraa women buy what the ma'moul needs from ingredients: ghee, oil, cinnamon, yeast, sugar, anise, sesame. Plus the filling.

Classic Syrian Qatayef with Nuts

They are called the pancakes of Syria. The qatayef or Atayef  sit on all tables during the holiday season of Ramadan.

Qatayef is a pastry that is widely popular in the Middle East. The origin of this word(qatayef) comes from the Arabic word qataf which means “pick up”.

They come in the form of a thick crepe made from flour and fine semolina that is cooked only on one side, which turns golden.

The other side of the Qatayef has many holes on the surface and is very sticky. During cooking, small bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes and give them this lace texture.

These small pancakes with holes are filled with cream of milk or a mixture of nuts. Then, qatayef is generously imbibed with thick sugar syrup perfumed with rose water or orange blossom typical of oriental pastries.

Then, qatayef are abundantly drizzled with a sugar syrup perfumed with rose water or orange blossom water.  On the other hand, it is the sugar syrup which will subtly soften this pastry by infiltrating through the holes of the pancake and which will perfume the qatayef homogeneously.

Syrian Roast Chicken and Potatoes

Chicken is roasted with potato slices and lots of garlic.  It is one of the most popular ever chicken dishes in Syria. Serve with Flatbread and lemon garlic dip (IT’S A MUST!). The punchy garlic and hot pepper alongside lemon and olive oil work just as well with potatoes as they do with chicken.

If you’re a vegetarian you can still enjoy this dish and easily replace the chicken with some different veggies such as squash, carrot, aubergine and courgette.

Syrian cuisine is a mixture of the cultures and civilisations that settled in Syria, of which are the Arabs, Persians and Turks. It is very similar to other Levantine cuisines, mainly Lebanese, Palestinian, Jordanian and Iraqi.

Every Friday in Syria you'll find a traditional Syrian feast that includes everything from shakriyeh, a lamb yogurt stew, to this traditional roast chicken, where the crispy meat rests on a bed of potatoes and onions before being brushed with lemon and garlic.

Pistachio Mafroukeh (Syrian dessert)

A traditional Middle Eastern delicacy sweet with a new twist! It is a semolina-based pistachio concoction, with an ashta cream.

Mafroukeh is basically a semolina-pistachio concoction, with a paste like texture, which is both creamy and crunchy, with floral notes from orange blossom and rose water.  Topping (or stuffing) it with a creamy layer of ashta cream, and an optional drizzle of sugar syrup..

Pistachios are part and parcel of the region’s food, and we can’t help but sit back and enjoy its excessive use.

Mafroukeh is known also as Fosdoe’ya (Arabic for Pistachio), it is second choice after Atayef on our Iftar menu treat

 

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE MAFROUKEH DOUGH:

1 cup unsalted pistachios, shelled, lightly toasted & cooled*

3/4 cup  sugar, divided

1/4 cup unsalted butter

Zardeh

Zardeh is a sort of sweet pudding from rice that is characterized by the flavor of saffron. In the past, this sweet was served on special occasions in Aleppo, specifically at wedding. The Aleppo proverb says “No more Zardeh after the wedding” “من بع دالعرس مافي زردة”, because it has good amount of sugar. It is also popular in Iran and Iraq.

 

1. Put 125 g Egyptian short grain rice in a bowl.

2. Wash and rinse rice in three changes of water.