Monday, November 9, 2015


kunafa recipe without kunafa dough with thin vermicelli

Kunafa / Kunafe is an Arabic sweet and of course , it can also known as the "'Queen of  Sweets"". It can be layered or filled with cream or cheese  inside and crispy layer of  vermicelli / kunafa dough pastry outside and finally soaked in sugar syrup..
The kunafa pastry ( kunafa dough / katafi ) comes shredded and it looks like vermicelli. It is available in Middle east supermarkets , in the freezer section....

kunafa with vermicelli stove top kunafa


for the outer  crispy crust

Kunafa dough / Kataifi dough    - 350 g( found in Arab grocery freezer section)
 ( in case, if this dough is unavailable ,Roasted thin vermicelli (250g) can also be substituted. Remember, you wont get the exact taste of kunafa with this roasted thin vermicelli )
Butter , unsalted               -  3 tbsp, melted( do not use salted butter)
Pistachios                         - garnishing, chopped

for the inner layering 

Cheese                              -  4 tbsp  ( unsalted only), u can use any branded cheese of your choice. I used puck mozzarella cheese , unsalted ).
Milk                                  - 1 cup
Sugar                                - 3 tbsp
All purpose flour /maida  - 2 tsp
Cornflour                          - 2 tsp

for the sugar syrup

Sugar                                 - half cup (you can use more or less )
Water                                 -  half cup 
Lemon juice                       - few drops
Vanila essence                   - half tsp


  • Loosen the kataifi / kunafa dough in a large bowl and crush it well using a food processor. ( incase if you are using roasted  thin vermicelli, then crush it with your hands and dry roast it again for 2 minutes in a low flame ).
  • Mix the crushed kataifi / vermicelli with the unsalted melted butter until it is well combined. Keep it aside.
  • Now grease a cake tray with butter and layer half of this buttery kataifi/ vermicelli in this cake tray and press down lightly and evenly.
  • Now we have to prepare the cheese layer, for that boil the milk in a deep bottomed pan .
  • Mix the all purpose flour and cornflour in 2 tbsp of water and combine well. When the milk starts to boil, add this mixture to it and stir continuously without any lumps until to form a thick paste. 
  • Then add 3 tbsp of sugar and the cheese and stir well to form a very thick cream. After adding cheese, cook for few seconds and remove from flame.
  • Pour this prepared cheesy mixture over the kataifi / vermicelli base and spread evenly.
  • Cover with remaining half of the kataifi / vermicelli dough and spread evenly and then press gently with your hands.
  • Now either you can bake in oven or can use stove top baking.
  • Bake in a preheated oven 350F/180C for 30 - 45 minutes or until the bottom is light brown. OR  IF IN GAS TOP BAKING REFER NOTES GIVEN BELOW.
  • Prepare the sugar syrup by combining all the ingredients for the syrup and bring to boil. Stir continuously.
  • Take out the kunafa from the oven and pour the sugar syrup immediately over the hot kunafa evenly.
  • Let it cool completely and invert it to a plate after 30 minutes or you can cut and serve in that tray itself.
  • Garnish with chopped pistachios or powdered almonds.  

If you are using gas top baking, keep a steel/ aluminium big mouth cooking pot on stove. Turn on the flame and preheat it for 5 minutes and then place the cake tray with kunafa inside it. Cover the pot with a lid and make the flame very low. And then bake for 30 - 45 minutes.

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