|Alternative names||kunafeh, kunafah, knafeh|
|Place of origin||Nablus, Palestine|
|Region or state||Arab world, Caucasus, Turkey, Greece|
|Main ingredients||Sugar, cheese, pistachio, rose water, kaymak|
|Cookbook: Kanafeh Media: Kanafeh|
Kanafeh (Arabic: كُنافة, [kūˈnā:fā] ( listen), dialectal: [knāˈfei]) is a traditional Palestinian dessert made with cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup. It is popular throughout the Arab world, especially in the Levant and Egypt, principally in Palestine. In addition in Turkey, the Caucasus and Greece.
Kanafeh is popularly known to have originated in the Palestinian city of Nablus, and is the most representative and iconic Palestinian dessert. Kanafeh Nabulsieh enjoys continued fame, partly due to its use of a white-brine cheese called Nabulsi.
- khishnah (Arabic: خشنة, rough): crust made from long thin noodle threads.
- na'ama (Arabic: ناعمة, fine): semolina dough.
- mhayara (Arabic: محيرة, mixed): a mixture of khishnah and na'ama.
- mbrwma (Arabic: مبرومة, twined): It is prepared with noodle.
The pastry is heated in butter, margarine, palm oil, or traditionally semneh and then spread with soft white cheese, such as Nabulsi cheese, and topped with more pastry. In khishnah kanafeh the cheese is rolled in the pastry. A thick syrup of sugar, water, and a few drops of rose water or orange blossom water is poured on the pastry during the final minutes of cooking. Often the top layer of pastry is tinted with red food coloring (a modern shortcut, instead of baking it for long periods of time). Crushed pistachios are sprinkled on top as a garnish.
Kanafeh was first mentioned in the 10th century.
It is generally believed to have originated in the Palestinian city of Nablus, hence the name Nabulsieh. Nablus is still renowned for its kanafeh, which consists of mild white cheese and shredded wheat surface, which is covered by sugar syrup. In the Levant and Egypt, this variant of kanafeh is the most common. The largest plate of kanafeh was made in Nablus in an attempt to win a Palestinian citation in the Guinness World Records. It measured 75×2 meters and weighed 1,350 kilograms.
Kadayıf and künefe
The Turkish variant of the pastry kanafeh is called künefe and the wiry shreds are called tel kadayıf. A semi-soft cheese such as Urfa peyniri (cheese of Urfa) or Hatay peyniri (cheese of Hatay), made of raw milk, is used in the filling. In making the künefe, the kadayıf is not rolled around the cheese; instead, cheese is put in between two layers of wiry kadayıf. It is cooked in small copper plates, and then served very hot in syrup with clotted cream (kaymak) and topped with pistachios or walnuts. In the Turkish cuisine, there is also yassı kadayıf and ekmek kadayıfı, none of which is made of wiry shreds.
This type of Azerbaijani variant is prepared in Tabriz, Iran. "Riştə Xətayi" consists of meshed shreds, and is typically cooked in Ramadan in the world's biggest covered Bazaar of Tabriz. It is made of chopped walnuts, cinnamon, ginger, powder of rose, sugar, water, rose water and olive oil.
In this variant, called also καταΐφι (kataïfi) or κανταΐφι (kadaïfi) in Greek, the threads are used to make various forms of pastries, such as tubes or birds' nests, often with a filling of chopped nuts as in baklava.
A Bosnian style kadaif pastry is made by putting down a layer of wire kadaif, then a layer of a filling of chopped nuts, then another layer of wire kadaif. The pastries are painted with melted butter, baked until golden brown, then drenched in sugar or honey syrup.
- Ekmek kadayıfı, Turkish bread custard
- List of pastries
- Palestinian cuisine
- Qatayef, a dumpling-like confection involving some of the same ingredients
Kanafeh shop, East Jerusalem,
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