11 Delectable Middle Eastern Desserts | ExpatWomanFood.com

11 Middle Eastern Desserts That Will Refine Your Sweet Tooth

Where there's no count on calories.

Posted on

22 April 2017

 Middle Eastern Desserts

Anyone new to or living in the region MUST experience the many delicious Arabic desserts and Middle Eastern dishes on offer here.

If you don't believe us... Stop everything and close your eyes — think of the most heavenly melt-in-your-mouth delicious dessert you’ve ever eaten? Got it? Now forget that. Because we promise you, these Middle Eastern desserts will take spot no.1 on your list.

These exotic Middles Eastern treats are not your regular, overpowering and sweet puddings or cakes. These are the kinds that melt in your mouth with bursting flavours, buttery smooth texture and crispy nutty toppings.

Before you scroll down, take a deep breath because you’re about to enter a sweet sugary land made of the Middle East’s most palatable desserts. Soft spongy cakes, crisp sweet pastries, fragrant creamy custards — yes, we've never thought of a better reason to be excited for Iftar during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

1. Kanafeh

Sweet, rich, crunchy and creamy — Kanafeh is Middle East's answer to cheesecake. It's soft cheese inside a crisp sweet pastry — no wonder it's on top of every Arabic sweet list.

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2. Qatayef

A not-too-sweet doughnut filled with nuts and cheese soaked in syrup — do we hear hunger pangs somewhere?

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3. Muhallebi

This Turkish dessert is a rice pudding that’s as diverse and flavourful as any cake. Mostly served in shot glasses and topped with cinnamon, pomegranate pearls, pistachios and a mint leaf each – the contrasting flavours in this recipe are a treat to the eyes first and then to the taste buds.

4. Aish El Saraya

This dessert has no problem in the self-esteem department cause it literally translates to the bread of the palace. And well, we agree.

Aish El Saraya is made with toasted bread slices or rusk sweetened with orange blossom scented syrup and topped with rich creamy custard — baked to perfection.

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5. Bamiyeh

The exotic cousin of pretzels, bamiyeh are crispy, golden sweets that are deep-fried and bathed in fragrant syrup.

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6. Umm Ali

This one takes the crown as the sweetest of all Middle Eaters delicacies. It's a heavenly mix of puff pastry, condensed milk, cream, a generous dose of crunchy nuts and a scented pinch of cinnamon — all baked together to give you instant gratification in the form of a rich pudding.

7. Makhroud

It's semolina-based dough rolled out and filled with fresh date paste, fried or baked before being cut into divine little bites.

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8. Sahlab

Smooth and silky — this milk and cornstarch pudding is SO good that you don't eat but drink it. You can serve this dessert chilled or hot depending on your mood but never without its desiccated coconut, mixed nuts and honey topping.

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9. Chebakia

A delicious treat from Morocco, chebakia are flower-shaped sesame cookies made with dough. But that's just the beginning — once baked, these yummy treats are then fried and dipped in hot honey and orange syrup. Eat them, but just don't tell your gym instructor.

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10. Basbousa

It's a sponge cake of the sweetest kind. This popular Egyptian dessert is made with semolina batter and topped with almond, nuts or coconut flakes.

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11. Baklava

This dessert is what brought the Middle Eastern taste to the world stage. It's layers of crispy puff pastry and crunchy nuts soaked in delicious sticky sweet sugar syrup, baked and cut into squares – drooling, already?

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