Busbousa – Middle Eastern Semolina Cake

Hello Readers!

I had been wanting to bake with semolina since a long time when I came across this dessert on a TV show and I knew I wanted to delay no further. 🙂 Hope this leads to a lot more baking with Semolina, more often called Suji or Rava in India. Its a pretty simple and easy dessert flavored mildly with rose water. 🙂 Yes that’s what excited me in the first place. Its amazing how different cultures across the world use everyday simple things in different ways to come up with beautiful dishes. When I sit here and eat this dish I quietly close my eyes and feel I am probably in Egypt or turkey :D. But nothing beats the homeliness of a dish when it comes out of an oven at your house.

This is a middle eastern dessert which is easily veganized. I have used soy curd, other than that coconut cream will also do great in this dish. How to make soy curd ? I am planning to write blog posts on vegan essentials like non dairy milk and curds.. will keep you posted and link them into this blog. Self raising flour is pretty easily available but in case you cant find it you can replace it with 1/2 cup Maida plus 1/4 tsp baking powder. I dint have any rose water so I used gulkand (Rose and sugar
paste) which is easily available. Dilute a tsp of gulkand in 2 tsp of water and you are good to go. This cake doesn’t really rise like normal cakes. It rises just a bit and stays dense. The texture remains much like the milk cake Indian sweet. Its a lovely sweet dish. Hope you too try it and love it 🙂


1 1/4 cup Coarse Semolina (suji)
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Self Raising flour (or 1/2 cup Maida + 1/4 tsp baking pwd)
1/2 cup Soy Curd / coconut cream (or any other non diary curd)
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla extract
10-15 Blanched Almonds
Rose Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs rose water


1. In a large bowl mix together semolina, desiccated coconut, sugar, flour, curd, vanilla extract and vegetable oil with a spoon.
2. Once the solids and liquids have combined well get your hands dirty and mix well into a pasty course mixture.
3. In a mildly greased baking vessel put this mixture and press down into an even layer. Let it sit for around 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile preheat your Oven to 180 C.
5. Prepare the rose sugar syrup. Place the sugar and water in a bowl and bring it to a boil, stirring only till sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Add lemon juice and rose water into the syrup and remove from heat. Allow to cool completely.
7. Cut the set Busbousa mixture into squares or diamonds with a knife. Decorate with almonds.

8. Bake this mixture for 25-30 minutes at 180 or until the top is slightly golden.
9. Pour cool syrup on top of hot Busbousa. Let it seep in.. 🙂
10. Enjoy this fragrant dessert hot or cold :).


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