Al-Kunafa Annabulsia; Arabic dessert recipe

If there’s one dessert that rules as the Queen of Arabic sweets, I would nominate Kunafe Nabulsia [كُنَافَة نَابُلْسِيَّة], the sticky pastry made of gooey sweet cheese sandwiched between layers of shredded kunafe pastry. In different variations of this dish, the cream is replaced by mozzarella. The exact ingredients differ depending on which Arabic region it comes from. This specialty from the Palestinian city of Nablus is prepared in enormous round trays, saturated with rose-scented syrup, cut into slabs and garnished with chopped pistachios.

The story of Kunafa begins when:”it was introduced by a physician who saw how some princes had a hard time fasting (in Ramadan) because of their appetite. He created the dish and instructed the princes to eat a great amount of it just before dawn, and as a result they were never hungry during the day” (Al-Ahram, 2004).

How to make Kunafa (source wikihow)
For the dough:
1 lb of shredded Phyllo Dough; thin sheets of unleavened flour dough.
½ lb of butter
2 teaspoons of oil
2 cups of any chopped mixed nuts

For the syrup:
1 ½ cup of sugar
1 cup of water
½ of a lemon

To make the syrup:
(1) Put 1 ½ cup of water in a deep pan
(2) Add ½ of a squeezed lemon
(3) 1 ½ cup of sugar
(4) Put the liquid on the stove; on medium heat
(5) Stir for 10 minutes
(6) Let it simmer until thickened
To Make the Dough:
(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
(2) Put the Kunafa Dough in a mixing bowl
(3) Melt the butter in the microwave, then pour it on the dough. Mix the butter and the dough well until it is all absorbed.
(4) Take a baking pan and add a few oil drops on the bottom so the dough does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
(5) Take half the dough that you mixed the butter with and place it in pan.
(6) Using both hands, pat down the dough well until you can't see the bottom of the pan. Place mixed nuts on top of the Kunafa dough; cheese can also be
(7) Cover the nuts with the other half of the dough.
(8) Pat down very well.
(9) Place into oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the Kunafa becomes a golden color.
(10) Remove the Kunafa from the oven and pour the syrup on top of it evenly
(11) Set aside for 10 minutes to cool
(12) Serve it warm.

Watch this lovely lady making Kunafa:

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