Jordanian Kunafa is sweet pastry dish that is made with very thin strands of filo dough and a cheese filling. Akkawi is the type of cheese used in Jordan, I substituted low fat ricotta with mozzarella. I was able to find the kataifi dough in my local Middle Eastern market but vermicelli can also be used as a substitute. We loved the sweet pastry, the noodle like dough covered in ghee gets golden brown and crispy, the cheese filling is delicious, because it is a cheese filling! Topped with a sweet syrup that was flavored with citrus and rose water and then garnished with nuts and fruit. Divine!
Servings 12 pieces
- 1 pound package Kataifi (can be found in most Middle Eastern stores )
- 1 cup Ghee melted
- For Sugar Syrup
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- Pinch of Saffron
- For Cheese Filling
- 2 cups low fat Ricotta
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella shredded
- For Topping/Garnish
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- Prepare the sugar syrup
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, add water, sugar ,saffron and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Let simmer to a syrupy consistency. Remove from heat, let cool and add rosewater or orange blossom water.
- Prepare Cheese filling
- Mix together ricotta and mozzarella.keep aside
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a 8x8 inch square pan.
- In a large bowl gently loosen kataifi or roasted cooked vermicelli. Mix very well with pure ghee. Cover with half of the kataifi or vermicelli in the baking dish.
- Press down lightly.
- Spread the cheese mixture evenly.cover with remaining kataifi or vermicelli mixture.
- Bake until lightly golden, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- lightly roast all the dried fruits and nut in pure ghee,separately.keep aside
- When baked immediately pour cold sugar syrup evenly over the hot kunafa.
- Let cool completely to room temperature.loosen the edges,invert onto the serving plate.
- Sprinkle the garnish all over.Let cool.Slice in squares and serve.
This looks delicious. Is the Kaitaifi the stuff that looks like coconut??
I love learning about all these countries! Thank you for doing this! 🙂
Darlene at International Cuisine
Hi Sheryle, Yes Kaitaifi is the stuff that looks like coconut. It is found in the freezer section in a box, sort of like very fine noodles made form pastry dough. Very thin vermicelli can be substituted. Just cook in a little water just until soft then use like kaitaifi. So happy you are enjoying the journey!