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Basbousa topped with walnuts
Alternative namesBasbuusa, Basbousa[1]
Region or stateEgypt, Middle East, Balkans, North Africa, the Caucasus
Serving temperatureCold or warm
Main ingredientsSemolina or farina, syrup, yogurt
VariationsOrange blossom syrup or rose
Food energy
(per serving)
Calorie rich kcal

Basbousa (also namoura, revani, hareseh and other names) is a traditional Middle Eastern sweet cake that originated in Egypt, although it is also popular in other countries. It is made from a semolina batter and cooked in a pan,[2] then sweetened with orange flower water, rose water or simple syrup, and typically cut into diamond shapes. It is found in most former areas of the Ottoman Empire,[3] and is featured in Middle Eastern cuisines, Greek cuisine, Azerbaijani cuisine, Turkish cuisine, and many others.


Basbousa in the Middle East, the Balkans and North Africa topped with almonds

It is found in the cuisines of the Middle East, the Balkans and the North Africa under a variety of names.[4]

Basbousa is the dessert's Egyptian name and it is called the same in North Africa. It's often called "hareesa" in the Levant, and also the Egyptian city of Alexandria, though in other parts of Egypt hareesa is a different type of dessert. Also note that "haressa" in North Africa is a spicy red sauce. Basbousa is a popular dessert among all Egyptians; it is a main Egyptian dish in Eid and Ramadan, and for Christians when they are fasting, such for the Great Lent and Nativity, as it can be made vegan.


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.

Basbousa bil ashta - a Levantine variation of basbousa filled with ashta cream in the middle.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Καλόν πράμαν ή σιάμαλι". (in Greek). Cyprus Food Virtual Museum. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Arabic Dessert".
  3. ^ Marks, Gil (17 November 2010). Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. HMH. ISBN 978-0-544-18631-6 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Abitbol, Vera (2019-09-25). "Syria: Basbousa". 196 flavors. Retrieved 2020-10-04.

Works cited

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