Qatayef (stuffed and fried pancakes)

It’s the month of Ramadan and an ifter without qatayef is not complete. Qatayef or katayef is an Arabic dessert commonly served during the month of Ramadan, a sort of sweet pancake filled with cream or nuts. It can be described as a fried and folded stuffed pancake.

Different kinds of Qatayef

 Qatayef is usually made out of all purpose flour, baking powder, water, yeast, and sometimes sugar is added. The result of the batter being poured into a round hot plate appears similar to pancakes, except only one side is cooked, then stuffed and folded. The pastry is filled with either unsalted sweet cheese a mixture of any of hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, raisins, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, roses extract and cinnamon. It is then deep-fried or, less commonly, baked and served with a hot sweet syrup or sometimes honey. Another way of serving qatayef is by filling it with whipped cream or  clotted cream, folded half way and served with scented syrup without any frying or baking. This way of serving is called assafiri qatayef .

Recipe

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Servings: 25 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup fine semolina
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon  vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cooking oil to fry
  • Some crushed pistachios to garnish

Ingredients for Sugar syrup

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoonfresh lemon juice

Ingredients for stuffing

  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup hung curd
  • 2 teaspoon milk powder
  • 2 tablespoon sugar powder

Method

To make sugar syrup

In a medium saucepan, combine together the sugar, water and  lemon juice. 

Set on the stovetop over high heat and bring to boil. 

Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 10 minutes to make a thick sugar syrup. I also added a small piece of lemon for the flavour. You can use a small piece of orange also.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool down. The consistency of syrup sholuld be thick like honey. Discard the lemon piece.

Method to make qatayef

Place all of the dry ingredients of qatayef in a mixer jar and pulse 2-3 times to mix nicely.

Now add in warm water and milk to the jar and blend to make a smooth thick mixture.

Leave the mixture covered  for 30-40 minutes to ferment.

After resting time, you can notice that the mixture will expand in volume and a lot of bubbles will apear on them top.

Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat, then pour the batter from the jar or using a spoon to create little thin circles . Note that pan should be non stick and you don’t have to use oil or butter to make qatayef. I used a pan cake pan to make the pancakes.

As the qatayef cooks, lots of bubbles will appear. Cover and keep cooking (do not flip) until these bubbles dry out (about 1 minute). If no bubbles are appearing, you might need to add a little bit of more water as your batter is probably too thick.

When the bubbles dry out completely and are no longer shiny, it means that the qatayef are done.Remove them from pan immediately and place to a kitchen towel. The back of the pancake should be light golden brown.

Repeat the process until you finish up the batter.

Cover the qatayef very well with a damp cloth so that they don’t dry out .

Now make the stuffings.

Take a bowl and add in all the stuffing ingredients and mix well. You can also stuff the qatayef with nuts mixed with sugar or a mixture of coconut and nuts.

Stuffing

Take 1 qatayef and place 1/2 teaspoon with the filling at the center.

Then fold the qatayef just like gujiya and seal the edge . The moisture in the pancake will help to seal nicely. If the edge is not sealing properly, use warm water to seal. The shape of each qatayef will be like half moon.

Frying the qatayef

Heat 1 cup of cooking oil to a deep pan and fry each qatayef on both side for few seconds of until golden brown. Place them in a kitchen towel to remove any excess oil.

Dip into sugar syrup

Now dip warm qatayef into thick sugar syrup for 30-40 seconds and then place to a serving dish.

Sprinkle some crushed pistachios and serve warm or at room temperature.

Note:

For best results, soak warm qatayef in cold syrup.

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