Pistachio Basboussa Recipe produces an Egyptian dessert that has been made for a long time and is well loved throughout the Arab world, varying slightly from country to country. Its origins are unclear but likely date as far back as the Romans.
It is known in neighboring countries as hareesa/hareeseh or namoura and in Greece and Turkey as revani.
Growing up in Morocco, I was introduced to it first through the media which was greatly dominated by the Egyptians then through my family who baked it occasionally.
I previously mentioned in my dukka recipe and messaka recipe posts that my cousin’s wife was Egyptian and has tutored us on many of her country’s recipes.
I have a basboussa recipe in my book that is made the traditional way with semolina and coconut. This one is a slightly different, lighter version that is not drenched in sugar syrup but rather sweetened with honey and uses half the amount of butter.
It is still delightfully gooey and sticky though and remains true to its origins. I used cornmeal in this recipe instead of semolina but either one will work fine.
P.S. Thanks, Rebecca, for making and posting my sumac chicken recipe.
Pistachio Basboussa Recipe
About 8 servings
- ½ cup yogurt
- ½ cup honey
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon rose water (or orange blossom water)
- ¾ cup shelled pistachios (or other nut)
- 1 cup cornmeal (substitute semolina or cream of wheat—non GF)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup chopped almonds
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios
- Some honey for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-inch baking pan.
Grind the pistachios to a powder (or almost) in a food processor.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey, melted butter and rosewater. Whisk the dry ingredients together and stir them into the yogurt, honey and butter mixture.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Top the basboussa with the chopped almonds and pistachios and return to the oven. Bake for another 10 minutes.
Cut the basboussa into lozenges and drizzle it with honey. Let cool. Serve at room temperature.