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Middle Eastern Qatayef (Katayef) Recipe

Middle Eastern Qatayef (Katayef) Recipe

Qatayef, also spelled katayef, is a kind of sweet dumpling that is stuffed with cream or nuts (typically a mixture of hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios and raisins). Other ingredients include unsalted cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon.

This Arab delicacy is typically consumed during the month of Ramadan and is most popular in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Some people also define it as a folded pancake. It is usually accompanied by a hot, sweet syrup or, occasionally, honey.

Origin & Cultural Significance

The traditional filling, as mentioned in several medieval Arabic cookbooks, is crushed almonds and sugar, and after the pancake was filled, it would occasionally be fried in walnut oil or baked in the oven.

Some people believe qatayef to be of Fatimid origin. Qatayef was traditionally made by street vendors and in homes in Egypt and the Levant.

It is frequently stuffed with akkawi cheese, crushed walnuts and crushed pistachios. Various other stuffings, like Nutella, are also sometimes used.


Middle Eastern Qatayef (Katayef) Recipe

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


For the dough

  • All-purpose flour - 2 cups
  • Fine semolina - 1 cup
  • Powdered milk - 2 tbsp
  • Water (lukewarm) - 3.5 cups
  • Sugar - 1 tbsp
  • Dry yeast - 1 tsp
  • Baking powder - 1 tbsp
  • Mahlab powder (optional) - ½ tbsp

Fillings and toppings:

  • Ashta
  • Sugar syrup - 1 cup
  • Chopped pistachio (for garnish) - 3 tbsp


  1. Begin by taking a small bowl and adding baking soda with ½ cup of lukewarm water to it. Combine until the baking soda dissolves completely, and then set aside.
  2. Now, take a blender and add three cups of lukewarm water to it. Add the rest of the ingredients. Combine thoroughly, then set aside for at least 15 minutes to rest.
  3. Pour the baking soda mixture after 15 minutes. Beat for about 4-5 seconds to combine.
  4. It’s time to cook the pancakes. Take a large non-stick skillet and heat it over a medium flame.
  5. Take about two tablespoons of batter per pancake, and then add as many as you can. You can alter the amount of batter used depending on how big you prefer the atayef to be.
  6. During cooking, you will observe the pancakes bubbling up, and when the top surface of the pancake seems dry, take it off the heat. You don’t need to flip it or it will dry out.
  7. Once cooked, transfer the qatayef to a plate and cover it with plastic wrap. Meanwhile, you can prepare the rest of the pancakes.
  8. It’s time to stuff the qatayef. Place 1-2 tablespoons of kashta in the centre of each qatayef. Make sure you keep the bubbly side up.
  9. Now, close the qatayef by simply pinching the ends of the pancake together halfway. It will form a cone shape, with the cream becoming visible. You can also add more ashta if desired.
  10. Finally, add some crushed pistachios on top of the exposed cream and drizzle with the syrup, and there you have it. Your qatayef is ready to be served!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 111mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 4g

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