Basboosa (Arabian Semolina Based Baked Dessert)

11:41 AM

This Semolina based, curd soaked, coconut sprinkled, syrup drenched, rose flavoured dessert belongs to the land of saffron and mystery called Arabia. The best part of this cake is its light texture which when combined with the true Mediterranean flavour of rose syrup surely will transport to the era of Arabian Nights.

This baked semolina dessert is available throughout the Mediterranean countries in different names. In Greece they call it ‘Ravani’ where as in North it is known as ‘Revani’. In levantine Arabic countries this is also called as ‘Hareesa’. In Ezypt they call it Basbousa.

I first tasted this dessert at the ‘Mezze’ counter in the Polynation food court. They serve some amazing Middle Eastern dishes and we love to eat at their place after our weekend veggie shopping. One such day after stuffing ourseleves with their amazing array of pita bread, Baba ganoush, kebbeh, falafel and tzatziki  we still wanted some dessert. They had only two desserts at that time, Baklava and this Basboosa. Hubby is not very fond of Baklava so thought of giving it a try. The first spoonful was enough to make us crave some more and finally we ended up eating two plates of this divine dessert. Recently when we were again there we wanted to have this dessert but to our utter dismay it was so bad that after having a single bite we wanted to throw it to the bin. Though the other dishes are still very good but don’t know why the dessert became that bad.

Now, the kind of food-o-holic I am, it meant I had to try it myself. Then on the day of ID when a childhood friend of mine planned to visit us for evening tea I knew the time had arrived. So, After some googling and youtube videos I finalized on this recipe from Yasmeen’s. She didn’t use any nuts in the batter but I wanted to recreate it exactly the way I loved it so decided to add some roasted almonds to it. The whole preparation, baking and soaking is as easy as 1-2-3 and finally when I served the first piece to Hubby he ate, smiled and patted my back. My friends and another collegue who visited us that day all loved it. And I love it so much that after that I again have baked it yesterday…as this beautifully aromatic dessert is something am going to make again and again.

(Makes 16 squares)

For the cake:
Semolina: 11/2 cups (don’t use the fine variety, little coarse semolina gives it the best texture)
Curd: ¾ cup
Sugar: 6 tbsp (better to use powdered sugar as it dissolves quickly)
Grated coconut: ½ cup
Chopped roasted almonds: 4 tbsp
Ghee/butter: 2 tbsp
Baking powder: ¾ tsp
Rose water or rose essence
Some almonds for decoration
For the syrup:
Sugar: ¼ cup
Lemon: ½
Water: ½ cup
Rose essence

Preheat the oven at 175 C.

In a big bowl beat the yogurt till smooth. Add 1/3-cup water to it. In this add the semolina, coconut, sugar and ghee. If needed add more water. The batter would be very thick. Mix it properly and keep covered for 10 minutes.

Then add the chopped almonds, baking powder and rose essence. Give it a good mix and pour in a greased baking dish. (I used a square bowl).

Spread the thick batter evenly and then decorate with whole almonds.

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

In the mean time make the syrup by mixing all ingredients in a bowl and boiling it for 4-5 minutes or till the syrup is little thick.

When the Basboosa is done and still in the pan, cut the cake in squares. Pour the warm syrup on top and let it soak the flavored syrup at-least for an hour.

Serve with tea, coffee or rose drink.

A Homemaker’s Note:
I first made it with little coarse semolina then second time baked it with fine variety. We liked the first one more than the second.

Though the original recipe does not call for soaking of the semolina but I did to make the grains a little soft. Also added the almonds just before baking to keep the crunch.

You can substitute almond with any other nuts like cashews or pista.


This heavenly dessert is off to AWED: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This month hosted at Kitchen Samraj.

and also to Champa's Bake off event at Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen.

to DMBLGIT this month hosted at Cafe Lynnulu.

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  1. wow! Sayantani the cake looks so spongy and marvellous and tempting and mouth watering.

  2. Hey Sayantani ! This is a complex version on my Mom's shravani cake!! It's so surprising to find similar food across the globe. Will try this one sometime.

  3. Woww thats a beautiful basboosa...looks awesome..

  4. A great recipe and I love it even more as it has very less oil/ghee content. It feels really good when our loved ones appreciate what we make or bake :-)

    Have a beautiful weekend!

  5. Darun recipe....dekhe besh tempting lagchhe...chhobi gulo khub bhalo hoechhe...egulo ki notun camera te tulechhish??/ki camera kinechhish??

    mahalaya te tor jonmodin sheta amar mone achhe..but 24th ta o amar mathete chhilo..shampa r kachh theke confirm o korechhilam..jaihok..11th e abar wish korbo....Shampa r shathe tin-chardin agei kotha hoechhe..o school join korechhe oi haat e pluster niyei...khub oshubidha hochhe but kichhu korar nei....Doc dekhano chhilo ei goto ami janina...27th e abar phn korbo...bhalo thakish...

  6. awesomely delicious !new to me but this semolina cake looks gorgeous !

  7. Ki darun dekhte hoyeche..Dekhei khide peye gelo.Ami ekbar baniyechilam Ravani..Tomar recipe ta ekbar korte hobe..

    Best Regards

  8. Basboosa looks delicious. I love them Buy them when i visit middle eastern stores.

  9. Saving it for later, looks mouthewateringly delicious!! Neat pics n rocking presentation Sayantani:)

    US Masala

  10. Dear Sayantani
    I feel good to see this sweet. It was my staple sweet in Kuwait days ( The Baklavas were very expensive).
    I think I will try this one soon. Cant wait to eat these.
    Ya coarse semolina is always used, the fine ones are no good for this dish...
    Have a nice weekend

  11. loved all the ingredients used in it and you have done it so perfectly & it def is a must try so yum..

  12. Fantastic presentation and Basboosa looks absolutely tempting....melt-in-mouth kinds.Ajkeyi banachi...!! Thanks for posting!!

  13. Looks delicious and the hibiscus also looks lovely at the background

  14. looks yummy! Perfect and moist. Bookmarked to try.

  15. Semolina diye cake! Extraordinary delights to be seen by you. It looks stunning, and with the joba peeping in, no one could have asked for a better treat from so far away.

  16. Marvelous cake, moist and delicious..

  17. the cake looks just perfect...simply scrumptious

  18. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for the entry.

  19. Too good a presentation!!Thx for dropping by n for ur lovely comments in my space..Do keep visiting...I know i will!!!

  20. Looks absolutely delish, and in fact am going to try it today for a friend coming over for dinner. Have mentioned your link to this dessert on my blog....hope thats OK! Yum!

  21. Hey girl! why do you bring out such inviting stuff...makes me feel like making and tasting some immediately.
    Sayantani, suji diye cake, jantam na.ekta ekta kore notun khabar dekhachcho...hahaha:) the presentation.

  22. Very tempting dessert, well presented and it's yummy...

  23. Lovely dessert and a nice click. I can imagine the taste. Yummy...

  24. looks mindblowing dear........deliciously yum n mouthwatering...craving for some now..

  25. Yumm yumm! definitely going to try it out soon!

  26. This looks delicious...can't wait to try.

  27. woww..never thought of this dish...loved ur snaps...came to your blog from a buddy have so many good food photos.. :)

  28. It looks super duper moist..sluuurrrrppp

  29. nice clicks..looks so perfect and yummy!!

  30. nice clicks..looks so perfect and yummy!!

  31. Wow, I love any baked good, and one with Middle Esatern flavors takes the hat. Good job! (P.S. is the coarse semolina the same as "sooji", like what you would use to make uppama?)

  32. Cake looks so good. I have never heard of this one

  33. Awesome..wish I could grab a slice :-)
    Lovely hibiscus flowers...they always make me nostalgic

  34. Wow...I am book marking this page! Absolutely loved this recipe. Thanks a ton!

  35. This dessert looks really delicious and eggless too! I would like to try making it sometime.

  36. Thanks everyone for your support, am overwhelmed to see your response.

    @Anjali, very true dear.

    @Rachna, yes it is very healthy. I saw another version with eggs. will try that too.

    @Kamalika, hanre notun cameray tola. Nikon D 5000. amar pujor bazar bolte paris.

    @Ushnishda, yes I found the finer semolina kind of clumps together and gives a heavy texture.

    @thanks Kamini. hope you like it.

    @Ann, if am not wrong then semolina is sooji. but in India you get many varities of it. dont use the very coarse or very fine variety. if you get the coarse variety (like the Rava idli type) just grind it in a mixie to make it finer.

  37. awesome clicks and drool-worthy results..sure to try..

  38. Very tempting! Will try out surely!

  39. Wow I love this Basboosa.. My recipe is little bit different. I have bookmarked this now and few tips regarding adding almond and soaking for 10 minutes, i have noted down. Sure I am going to follow this for next time...

  40. Hi Sayantani,
    Hope you are doing well. Tried your Basboosa last evening & it came out fantastic. My husband can't take anything touched by egg due to severe allergen, so this dish is absolutely a delight for him. Actually I do not like to bake eggless cake alternatively with condensed milk. So this dish is perfect for me too. All the credit goes to you!

  41. missed this post somehow.awesome cake. heard about Baboosa, never tasted it. Bookmarked it.Have to hunt for rose essence now :)


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