Qataif, Arabic folded pancake filled with walnuts, syrup
Recipe: One of the most popular Arabian sweet dishes is Qataif (Atayef, Qatayef) which is made with a pancake shell folded over a filling of crushed walnuts, brown sugar and syrup). Who can say “no” to Qataif?
By Ray Hanania
One of the most popular Arabian sweet dishes is Qataif which is made with a pancake shell folded over a filling of crushed walnuts, brown sugar and syrup). Who can say “no” to Qataif?
Qataif has many spellings — Atayef, Qatayef, Kataif — and many recipe ingredients. It’s basically a pancake that is folded over a filling of walnuts and sugar. Many who make this popular Middle Eastern delicacy also use cheese.
You can make Qataif the easy, tasty way or the difficult Arabian way. In the end, they both taste the same.
Basically, you grill smaller sized pancakes, about 6 inches in diameter. But, instead of flipping the pancake to cook both sides, you only cook one.
The dark side remains on the bottom and the light mixture side remains inside. Make enough pancake mix for 35 small pancakes.
There are several filling options.
The most popular is crushed, roasted almonds, or crushed, roasted walnuts. Add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (for every 2 cups of crushed nuts). You can even add a 1/4 cup of crushed pistachio to add an extra flavor.
Fold the pancake shell over slightly in your hand and squeeze the bottom to start the seal. Then, add the mix in the center, closing the rest of the pancake shell around it until you have a perfect, bulging semi-circle of exciting tastes.
In addition to the nuts, you can use Nabulsi cheese either as an alternative or as an addition to the nuts.
Once you make the folded pancakes, lay them out on a baking pan and brush them with warm butter. Then, place the baking pan in the oven and cook them at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes to give them a light gold crust.
Cover them in syrup and serve. You can sprinkle crushed pistachios or crushed nuts and white powered sugar on the finished dessert to your tastes.
I used to watch my mother make Qataif every Sunday, especially on holidays like Easter. It’s the perfect after meal treat to enjoy with the family.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. He began writing in 1975 publishing The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues as Special US Correspondent for the Arab News ArabNews.com, at TheArabDailyNews.com, and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel, Houston Chronical, and Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
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