The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…

    …is the largest Arab state in Western Asia and the second-largest in the Arab world after Algeria. It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwait to the northeast, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast, and Yemen in the south. It is the only nation with both a Red Sea coast and a Persian Gulf coast.Wikipedia


The cuisine is heavy with rice, chicken, lamb, as well as fruits and various spices. It was not hard to find several good dishes to make but I finally settled on a traditional Arabic sweet treat.



which is a Sweet Semolina Cake with Lemon and Rosewater. It is quite dense and not that sweet, until you soak it in a Rosewater Lemon Syrup. And by soak, I mean, SUBMERGE…


the cake in the fragrant syrup. My whole kitchen smelled of roses for ages after I made the syrup.

I found several different recipes for Basboosa. Some used yeast, some not. Some used yogurt, some didn’t. Some used flour along with the semolina, some didn’t. It was hard to decide which one use. I finally decided on this one. And then adapted it just a smidgeon. And I made only 1/2 of the recipe in an oval dish.

    3 cups durum semolina
    1 1/2 cups sugar Stevia
    1/4 cup melted butter, plus extra for greasing
    1 1/2 tsp yeast
    1 1/2 tsp rose water
    1 1/4 cups warm water

Preheat the oven to 325.
Mix all the ingredients together until a thick batter forms. {My batter was more like a dough, so I added a little more warm water until it had a more batter-like consistency, but not very loose.} Let the batter rest for at 15-30 minutes. Pour the batter into the baking pan, pat evenly into the pan and score with the tip of a knife in a diamond pattern. You can decorate the tops with small nuts – peanuts, almonds, pistachios or pine nuts, which is what I used.
Bake the cake for 35 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.
Slice the cake along the score lines and set it aside.

For the syrup:

    1/2 cup water
    1 cup sugar
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    1 1/2 tsp rose water

Mix the sugar, lemon juice, rose water, and water in a small saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves. Pour the syrup completely over the sliced cake until it is completely submerged. I didn’t think all the syrup would be soaked up but it was – completely. But make sure you use Durham Semolina. While I made only 1/2 the cake recipe I made the whole batch of syrup.

This traditional Arabic treat is almost tooth-achenly sweet. The flavor of the lemon is very subtle. The fragrance and taste of roses is very strong. If you don’t like the taste, you might want to decrease the amount of Rosewater. OH, so good!

I was going to stop with this treat, but I had some leftover Basmati rice and had seen a recipe for



This is simple dish of rice and sautéed/fried onions. It was perfect, quick, simple side dish. You can find the recipe at FOOD.COM

You can find all the Saudi Arabian recipes at My Kitchen My World later this month.