Guide to cheesy, stove-top Palestinian kunafa


Guide to cheesy, stove-top Palestinian kunafa

You can't beat this glorious crunchy, melty, traditional dish when it comes to dessert



Video Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

This is the best sweet ever in Palestine, loved by just about everyone. 

All you require is five ingredients to prepare the Palestinian kunafa, finished on the stove, no baking required at all. While food colouring is often used to give this dish its distinct orange hue, I prefer to go without it. The right ghee can make or break a kunafa, so invest in a good quality one for the softest taste.

Guide to maqlubeh
Chef Salam Dakkak, Chef at Bait Maryam Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Prep time 20 mins

Cooking time 15 mins

Makes 1 kunafa

Ingredients

Kunafa ingredients
Kunafa ingredients Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

2 cups kunafa dough (available in most supermarkets, look in the frozen section)

2 tbsp ghee

1 cup Nabulsi cheese (available in major supermarkets)

2 tbsp pistachio

1/4 cup sugar syrup

Method

1. Stretch out the kunafa dough. Pat some ghee on.

Kunafa step 1
Kunafa step 1 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

2. Knead dough with your hands to let the ghee seep into the dough.

Kunafa step 2
Kunafa step 2 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

3. Use an aluminium non-stick kunafa tray.

Kunafa step 3
Kunafa step 3 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

4. Apply ghee all over.

Kunafa step 4
Kunafa step 4 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

5. Then add the kunafa dough to the tray in concentric circles – make sure to close all holes in the dough.

Kunafa step 5
Kunafa step 5 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

6. Let a few strips of the dough hang out the plate, to cover the cheese that’s about to be added.

Kunafa step 6
Kunafa step 6 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

7. Place another tray on the dough.

Kunafa step 7
Kunafa step 7 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

8. Press down on the dough as hard as you can.

Kunafa step 8
Kunafa step 8 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

9. Add some pistachio.

Kunafa step 9
Kunafa step 9 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

10. Add the cheese, covering up the dough.

Kunafa step 10a
Kunafa step 10a Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
Kunafa step 10b
Kunafa step 10b Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

11. Cover the cheese over with the strands of dough hanging out, making sure to cover all the cheese.

Kunafa step 11
Kunafa step 11 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

12. Press hard with the tray again.

Kunafa step 12
Kunafa step 12 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

13. Add more ghee on the top.

Kunafa step 13
Kunafa step 13 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

14. Place over the stove and cook a few minutes, turning with tongs to cook all sides.

Kunafa step 14
Kunafa step 14 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

15. To check if done, lift one side of the kunafa – it should be brown in colour under.

Kunafa step 15
Kunafa step 15 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

16. To cook and colour the other side of the kunafa, place a tray of the same size over the kunafa and turn upside down.

Kunafa step 16a
Kunafa step 16a Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
Kunafa step 16b
Kunafa step 16b Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

17. Place over the stove again, turn the tray with tongs to cook evenly, and add the sugar syrup.

Kunafa step 17
Kunafa step 17 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

18. Cook until the other side is brown too.

Kunafa step 18
Kunafa step 18 Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

19. Decorate with rose jam and pistachio.

Kunafa
Kunafa ready to cut into! Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

20. Cut in when still piping hot and serve!

Kunafa
Crunchy exterior, melty interior Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Tell us about your favourite dishes or recipes at food@gulfnews.com

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