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Basbousa topped with walnuts
Alternative names Basbuusa
Type Dessert
Place of origin Egypt
Region or state Arab world (Levant, Middle East, North Africa), Horn of Africa, the Balkans, Pakistan
Main ingredients Semolina or farina, syrup
Cookbook: Basbousa  Media: Basbousa

Basbousa (Arabic: بسبوسة‎), is a traditional Middle Eastern sweet cake.[1] It is made from cooked semolina or farina soaked in simple syrup[2]; coconut is also a popular option to add into this pastry. Orange flower water or rose water is also an optional addition to the simple syrup used in the basbousa.


Basbousa topped with almonds

Basbousa has many regional and dialect names (Arabic: بسبوسة basbūsah, هريسة harīsa, and nammoura (in Lebanon[3]), Armenian: Շամալի shamali, Turkish: revani or ravani (from Persian[4]), French: gabelouze, kalbelouz, and qualb-el-louz (in Tunisian French), Greek: ραβανί and ρεβανί).

It is found in the cuisines of the Middle East, the Balkans and the Horn of Africa under a variety of names. In southern Greece, it is called ravani, while in the north, it is called revani. Basbousa is often called "hareesa" in Jordan, the Maghreb, and the Egyptian city of Alexandria.[citation needed] Basbousa is a particularly popular dessert among the Egyptian Coptic Christians for fasts, such as Great Lent and the Nativity Fast as it can be made vegan.[citation needed]


Pastūsha (sometimes stylized as Pastūçha) is a variant of basbousa that originated in Kuwait in the 2010s. Like basbousa, it is made from semolina soaked in sweet syrup. It is characterized by the addition of finely ground pistachios and orange flower water.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Recipes of Africa. p. 241. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  2. ^ "Arabic Dessert". 
  3. ^ "Taste of Beirut: Citrus muffins (Nammoura)". Archived from the original on 2014-07-21. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  4. ^ "Nishanyan - Turkish etymological dictionary: Revani (in Turkish)". Retrieved 2014-07-18. 

Works cited

  • Davidson, Alan (2014). Oxford companion to food. [S.l.]: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199677337. 

External links[edit]