Basbousa - Semolina Sweet Cake ~ Mediterranean Recipes

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Babousa is a Semolina Sweet Cake made with routine ingredients like Sooji Rava, Coconut Powder etc, but gets soaked in rosy sugary syrup to stand out as Unique Dish both in texture and taste. This sweet is very soft, little flaky, not too sweet but melts in mouth. The ingredients used this recipe are also very light makes it little healthy compare to other traditional cakes. As name states it is not truly a Cake and not truly a Sweet, it is definitely mixture of both hence the 'Sweet Cake' name is apt, and this is very tasty and light.



Basbousa is a pretty popular in Egyptian Cuisines and famous in Middle Eastern Countries.  There are several variations in this cake as it can be made differently in several regions from Egypt to Middle Eastern to Turkey. It's known with several  names as well, Basbousa, Basboosa, Revani. This is also pretty popular in Arabic Countries and known as Traditional Arabic Sweet called as Revani.

As this cake is not too sweet and light this will be good to serve as afternoon snack along with Tea or Coffee or this will be a Special Supper Snack after dinner. When ever you serve, once you taste you will be hooked on to this and you won't stop eating with just one ;-). Usually the Arabic Sweets are very delicious but most of the recipes are very complicated and hard to make. But on the contrast, this recipe is simple and easy to make with limited handy ingredients.  What are you waiting for, Here is the recipe, Go For It! :-)


Ingredients:
Sooji Rava / Semolina - 1 1/2 cup
Coconut Powder - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Butter - 1/2 cup ( 1 stick)
Milk - 1 cup
Egg - 1
Almond Extract - 1 tsp ( or you can use Vanilla Extract)
Almonds - for decoration ( optional) ( or you can use flakes)

For Syrup:
Sugar - 1 Cup
Water - 1 Cup
Lemon Juice - 2 Tbsp
Rose Water - 1 Tbsp

Syrup Preparation:

  1. Combine 1 cup of sugar and water in a stock pot. Wait for 5 min, until some sugar dissolves into water. 
  2. Now start boiling ( on medium heat) the water with sugar for 10 min, until the syrup consistency comes. You should get slight stickiness, that's the indication for right consistency. 
  3. Add 2 Tbsp of lemon juice and reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. 
  4. Finally add 1 Tbsp Rose Water and simmer for another 1 minute and take it off from the heat and let is cool down completely.

Cake Preparation:

  1. Mix all Dry ingredients, Semolina, Coconut Powder, Sugar, Baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a bowl, add beaten egg and milk, vanilla extract and mix it very well. Now pour this mixture into Dry ingredients bowl and mix well together. 
  3. Brush the 8*11 Baking Pan with some oil and pour the mixture into Bakign Dish. Bake this at 350 F for 20 minutes.
  4. Take it out and make diamond slits with a knife and place the almond on each piece. Now keep this back in the Oven and bale for another 20 minutes ( or until the edges turn to brown).
  5. After the second time baking is done take the Baking Pan out and let it cool on the counter top.
Putting it Together:
  1. Once the Cake and Syrup ready, pour the cool down syrup onto the warm cake. And let is sit for at least 3 to 4 hours ( or for 12 hours for best results). The more the cake soak in syrup the softer it becomes. 
  2. After 4 hours, cut along those lines and take out the pieces and they are ready to be served!
Notes:

  • If you want Eggless Version you can replace 1 Cup milk + 1 Egg  with 1 Cup Yogurt.
  • If you want golden color on top, after second time baking you can broil for 2 to 3 minutes, that turns the top to golden color which gives roasted effect.
  • Once the Cake is baking in the Oven, start making sugar syrup that saves some time.
  • Lemon Juice and Rose Water will give nice aroma to the syrup, giving a nice taste to this cake. You can replace Lemon Juice with Orange Juice or Extract as a variation. 
  • These lasted for 5 days at room temperature ( outside on the counter top), store up to 10 days when stored in refrigerator. 
  • Today as I don't have Whole Almonds, I have decorated with Almond flakes!


Hope you liked this Soft and Sweet Cake for Today!

Will be back with another great International Recipe, Until then take care!
-Mythreyi

CocoZia Coconut Water ~ Product Review

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I am super excited today to write a post about CoCoZia Coconut Water Product Review. When Epicurex approached me to try this product and write a review about it, I am very happy to accept the offer for 2 reasons, this is my first experience to write a review on Product that is sent to me, and two it is Coconut Water, my all time favorite natural electrolyte. So Win-Win, right!

Being an Indian, I always crave for good quality coconut water esp in Summer. In our stay in Bangalore (2012), I have fully enjoyed fresh coconut water through out the year. With that ethnic interest, I am always in search for some good quality Coconut Water in States.  I am glad to get the opportunity to do the Product Review for the CoCoZia Coconut Water.

Previously I have tried CoCoVita and some other Coconut water products, but disappointed with their artificial taste. But Unlike those CoCoZia is Organic product and it has authentic coconut water taste and it's refreshing. Coconut Water is a Natural Electrolyte  with full of minerals, Actually it can be considered as Natural Sports Drink.  I have used CoCoZia after my workouts to get hydrated naturally. I have shared this with my family members and some friends, all of them are really happy with this product and they expressed the same feeling that 'It's tasted great and natural!'.

This size is also little big than normal cans ( 16 Fl Oz) and easily serves two people. My only concern is the Price, I felt like it is little expensive compared to other CoConut Water products, it might be because it is Organic. 12 Pack costed 36 USD, each is pricing at 3 USD per unit. My suggestion is If Epicurex can sell 12 pack for 20 USD, it will be reachable for common man, and will be a super hit in the Beverage Industry.

Here are the links to find CoCoZia at Amazon Store:
16 FlOz CoCoZia 12 Pack

12 Fl oz CocoZia Water for 16 USD.

I am waiting for this to come to stores, it would be even better if we can find it in Costco, that would be awesome!

Check out the Nutrient Facts: 
Calories - 40
Total Fat - 0g
Sugars - 10g
USDA Organic Certified, Natural Coconut Water
NON GMO Verified, Gluten Free, Vegan
Kosher Coconut Water




Hope this review will be helpful for you!
will come with an interesting recipe next, take care until then!
-Mythreyi

Sorakaya Pulusu ~ Bottle Gourd Stew

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Actually I haven't experimented much with Bottle Gourd so far. I always make Sorakaya Palakura, as it turns out to be less spicy and little creamy that is hit at home and suitable for kids too. But this year I have planted Bottle Gourd in my garden, and there is no dearth for Sorakaya in my kitchen. I have stopped buying this vegetable from Grocery Store, Now I am reaching to a point where getting tired of distributing this vegetable with in community, friends and at work . Thanks to my in-laws who took good care of it and now it is yielding too much produce. So that means it's time to experiment more with this vegetable than routine curries. Today I have tried the Stew variety with Sorakaya, where it is simmered in tamarind gravy along with spices until it becomes tender and finally toped with some jaggery that softens all the spices and enhances the flavor for this stew. It tasted fantastic with white rice. As now it's tested and tasted in my kitchen, it's time for you to try it on with no hesitation, Here is the Recipe!



Ingredients:
Sorakaya - 1 small ( or 1/2 medium)
Onion - 1 medium
Salt - 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - 1 Tbsp
Jaggery - 2 Tbsp
Oil - 2 Tbsp

For Tempering:
Red Chili, Chana Dal, Urad Dal, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Turmeric Powder, Curry Leaves

Preparatory Steps:

  • Trim the edges of bottle gourd, peel and de-seed it. Cut it into big pieces.
  • Chop Onions also into 4 quarters or big pieces.
  • Add Tamarind in a small bowl along with 1/2 cup of water and microwave for 1 min. Let it cool and squeeze the Tamarind Juice and throw way the pulp. 

Method:

  1. Heat Oil in a heavy bottomed vessel ( i have used my pressure cooker pan). Once the oil is hot add Red Chili, followed by Chana Dal, Urad Dal, Cumin Seeds and Mustard Seeds. Once the lentils starts browning, add turmeric powder followed by curry leaves. that completes the tempering process.
  2. Add Onion pieces to the pan and let them saute. Add Sorakaya pieces and mix with sauteed onions. Close the lid loose and saute for 3 min. 
  3. Add Tamarind water and mix it well with vegetables and simmer for 5 min. 
  4. Now add salt, Red Chili powder, Coriander Powder and mix everything well. Now close the lid tight and cook for 15 min ( or until bottle gourd becomes tender). As I have used pressure cooker, I have closed the lid and waited for one whistle and then switched off the stove.
  5. Now open the lid and mix every thing well, taste and adjust seasonings. Mostly you may need to add some salt. Now add 2 Tbsp of Jaggery and mix it well and simmer until jaggery melts in the stew.
  6. Now you see stew comes together now top with some cilantro and switch off the stove.
  7. Spicy Sorakaya Stew is ready now, transfer this to a serving bowl and enjoy with hot white rice!



Here are some more related recipes:

Stew Recipes

Sorakaya Recipes


will be back with another family cherished recipe
until then take care
-Mythreyi