Qatayef is a staple dessert prepared traditionally during the month of Ramadan. The pancake-like dough gets stuffed with a variety of fillings. I’m including here my favorite three, for the cooked version. The same dough can be used to make Qatayef Asaferi. Another mini form of Qatayef that gets stuffed with Ashta (middle Eastern fresh cream) , sprinkled with pistachios then drizzled with cold orange blossom water and enjoyed fresh. Whatever version you pick, they are deliciously addictive, I guarantee you will be having more than one.
Recipe courtesy of Nadia Tommalieh
Qatayef (Atayef) by Nadia Tommalieh
NOTE: You can use one or a combination of these fillings. Each kind listed here is enough for about 15 pieces.
Walnut filling: Combine together 1 cup crushed walnuts, 2 tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoon coconut flakes, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, a hint of ground cloves and 1 teaspoon orange blossom water. Optional, you can add some chopped dates or raisins to this mixture.
Cheese filling: One cup shredded sweet Akawi cheese or fresh mozzarella cheese, make sure to pat dry the cheese before shredding it. Mix the cheese with 1 teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
Ashta filling: 1 cup homemade Ashta, infused with mastic or orange blossom water
Using a blender, and starting with the water combine all the dough ingredients, except for the vegetable frying oil.
Blend for 2-3 minutes until you have a smooth batter. Make sure to open the blender and scrape the sides and blend again.
Let the batter rest for at least 15 minutes
Heat a nonstick skillet, over medium low heat
In batches, fill a ¼ cup with the batter then pour it into the heated skillet and watch closely.
As soon as the Qatayef dough is heated, the entire surface will start forming bubbles. You know they are done, when the bubbles pop, and the bottom is turned into light golden color. Do not flip them over.
Transfer the Qatayef to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel. Repeat the process with the rest of the batter.
Let the Qatayef dough cool down, then start stuffing them by placing each Qatayef into your palm, add about 2 teaspoon of your favorite filling in the middle (make sure not over fill them), then fold it in half to make a crescent shape. Pinch the top firmly to close it out. Set aside and cover with clean towel until you are done with the rest of the dough.
The Qatayef now can be frozen for a later use. If you are frying them fresh, make sure to keep them covered with the towel and fry them within an hour of filling them. Before you drop them in the hot oil, pinch them again firmly to reseal them.
Deep fry them in batches for 2-3 minutes or until you see the golden crispy color. Remove from the oil and set them over paper towels to take out any excess oil.
Then give them a quick dip in the warm orange blossom syrup. Serve them warm.
Orange Blossom Syrup
Dissolve the sugar in the water and cook over medium heat until the syrup thickens a bit about 10-12 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and orange blossom water and cook for another 3 minutes
This step is optional, I add few leaves of attar of rose geranium, to enhance the flavor a bit more