The aromatic rose and orange-blossom essence impart the exotic hint of flavor, characteristic to Middle Eastern desserts.Qatayef is one such ambrosial dessert,prepared like pancakes,only richer with the nutty fruity(at times cheesy) stuffing and soaking sweet in orange blossom syrup.These are also referred as "Ramadan pancakes" for it a popular delicacy in the middle east during the fasting season.
I fiddle with the original recipe(as in the book Arab Table) ,to make it suitable for breakfast or brunch or snack with whole grains,flax seed meal and light on sweetness.And baked them instead of frying for the sake of my waistline.
The Orange blossom water is exclusively sold in most middle eastern stores,can also be purchased online.The essence is suitable for flavoring the salads and smoothies. For this recipe if you can't hunt for the Orange blossom water,then the more common rose water can be used instead.
(Makes about 12 medium pancakes)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup fine semolina(sooji rava)
1 tablespoon Flax seed meal(optional)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the Dry Fruit and Nut Filling
1 cup nut (walnuts,roasted almonds,pistachios)coarsely chopped
1 cup dry fruits(figs,dates,cherries ,cranberries or raisins),chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon orange blossom water(or rose water)
For Orange Blossom Syrup
(makes a light syrup)
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon Orange blossom water(or rose water).
Prepare the batter
Combine the yeast, sugar and warm water in a mixing bowl. Add the flours ,semolina, and salt. Mix thoroughly to make a smooth batter.Cover and allow to rise for an hour.
Filling and Syrup
Mix all the ingredients of the filling and set aside.
To make the syrup,bring the water and sugar to a boil.Simmer until reduced to 1 cup,mix in the orange blossom water.Turn off the heat.
Make and bake or fry the pancakes
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.Add a little water in the batter if needed.Grease pan with little oil,using a ladle pour the batter ,spread if need for a nice rounded pancakes. Do not flip the pancakes,allow to cook until the the bubbles have formed and the surface of the pancake is dry.Remove them on to a plate and arrange in a single layer. Finish making pancakes with rest of the batter.
To stuff the pancakes ,hold them bubbled side up,make a pocket(see the images).Place about a tablespoon of filling in each.Just pinch all over the edges to close them.Repeat same with rest of the pancakes.
Preheat oven to 350F(180C).Arrange the stuffed pancakes on a baking sheet.Bake for about 10-15 minutes,until lightly crisp.
Shallow fry(Not preferable ,increases the fat calories in the pancakes)
In a big non-stick pan,add 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil and fry the pancakes ,about a minute on each side.
After baking or frying them,pour the syrup immediately all over the pancakes.Serve warm with fresh fruit,sprinkle with orange zest and grated nuts .
These fragrant pancakes are off to Heart of the Matter,featuring flowers this month,hosted by Lucullian Delights