recipe for Bastichoo, an Arabic sweet treat:


- 2 cups semolina

- 1 cup sugar

- 1 cup vegetable oil

- 1 cup plain yogurt

- 1 teaspoon baking powder

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 1/4 cup blanched almonds or pistachios, chopped (optional)

- Syrup:

  - 2 cups sugar

  - 1 cup water

  - 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  - 1 teaspoon rose water (optional)


1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a baking dish with some oil or butter.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine semolina, sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt, baking powder, and vanilla extract. Mix well until all the ingredients are fully incorporated and you have a smooth batter.

3. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and spread it evenly using a spatula or the back of a spoon.

4. If desired, sprinkle the chopped almonds or pistachios on top of the batter, pressing them lightly into the surface.

5. Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown.

6. While the bastichoo is baking, prepare the syrup. In a saucepan, combine sugar, water, and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes until the syrup slightly thickens. Remove from heat and add the rose water if desired.

7. Once the bastichoo is baked, remove it from the oven and immediately pour the hot syrup evenly over the top.

8. Allow the bastichoo to cool completely in the baking dish, allowing it to absorb the syrup.

9. Once cooled, cut the bastichoo into small squares or diamond shapes.

10. Serve the bastichoo at room temperature or chilled. It can be stored in an airtight container for several days.

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