Namoura is a Lebanese dessert which is also known as Basbousa or Harissa in different countries in the Middle East.
Namoura is a semolina cake soaked in sugar syrup and topped with Almonds. This dessert is widely popular throughout the Middle East and some countries of South Africa.
An interesting fact about this dessert is that you can make it with a very simple few ingredients that are already available in your kitchen pantry.
Origin of Namoura
The origin of Namoura can traced back to the Levant region which includes some countries like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. It is difficult to tell the right origin of this dessert because it is not well documented.
In Lebanon and Syria, it is known as Namoura but throughout the Middle East, it is known by its different name.
We can say that Namoura origin is intertwined with Basbousa origin, both desserts are the same in preparation but known differently in different countries. It is believed that during the Ottoman Empire Basbousa is originated and popularised in different countries.
What is Namoura Made of
Namoura is made with Semolina, Yogurt, Butter, and Sugar. Namoura is very easy to make with few readily available ingredients.
Semolina is the main ingredient of Namoura. It is used as a base to make namoura. Semolina gives a crumbly taste and allows it to soak flavor.
Yogurt is like a helper in the Namoura desert. It gives a little sour taste and makes the semolina base soft and yummy. This mix of yogurt and semolina creates a delicious texture.
Butter makes Namoura extra tasty and soft. The semolina mixture becomes tender almost like it melts in your mouth. It’s like a special touch that makes the dessert feel luxurious.
Sugar is the sweetening agent of Namoura which plays an important role in creating its irresistible sweetness and forming a perfect balance with the semolina and other ingredients.
Namoura Easy Recipe
You can make namoura in very little time and with a few ingredients that are already available in your kitchen. Start by preheating your oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine semolina, yogurt, sugar, melted butter, grated coconut, fine semolina, baking powder, milk, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Let the mixture rest for 10-15 minutes.
Then, pour it into the prepared dish and cut it into diamond or square shapes. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
Meanwhile, prepare the sugar syrup by boiling sugar, water, and lemon juice until slightly thickened. Add rose water if desired, and let it cool.
Once the Namoura is done baking, pour the syrup over it, allowing it to soak and cool for a few hours. Optionally, top with chopped nuts like almonds or pistachios.
Cut along the scored lines to separate the pieces, and serve at room temperature.
- 1 cup of semolina
- 1 cup of plain yogurt
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of melted butter
- 1 cup of coconut (grated)
- 1 cup of fine semolina or semolina flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
For the Sugar Syrup:
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of rose water (Optional)
- Heat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a baking dish (about 9×13 inches) with butter or cooking spray.
- In a big bowl, mix semolina, yogurt, sugar, melted butter, grated coconut, fine semolina, baking powder, milk, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Stir well until everything is mixed.
- Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. This gives time for the semolina to soak up the liquids.
- After resting, pour the mix into the prepared baking dish, spreading it evenly.
- Use a knife to cut the mix into diamond or square shapes. This helps the Namoura soak up the syrup later.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick put in the middle comes out clean.
For the Sugar Syrup:
- While the Namoura is baking, make the sugar syrup. In a pot, mix sugar, water, and lemon juice.
- Bring it to a boil on medium heat, stirring sometimes. Once it boils, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes until it slightly thickens.
- Take it off the heat, and if you have it, add the rose water. Let it cool.
- When the Namoura is done baking, take it out of the oven and pour the cooled sugar syrup over it.
- Let the Namoura soak up the syrup and cool for a couple of hours before cutting and serving.
- Optionally, you can put chopped nuts like almonds or pistachios on top.
- Enjoy your homemade Namoura!
Tips For Making Perfect Namoura
- Use high-quality ingredients for the best result.
- You can adjust the amount of sugar according to your preference but make sure that it complements the dessert.
- Add a hint of citrus to enhance the flavor like lemon or orange zest.
- Prepare a syrup with the right consistency, neither too thick nor too thin. It helps to maintain namoura crispiness.
- Distribute the batter evenly in the baking train to ensure proper cooking.
How to Make Vegan Namoura
We can substitute animal-driven ingredients with vegan ingredients like Vegan certified butter or vegetable oil can be used instead of normal butter.
Instead of Yogurt, you can use vegan-certified yogurts like coconut yogurt and Almond yogurt.
How to Make Gluten-Free Namoura
Gluten-free Namoura is very difficult to make because semolina contains gluten.
However, there are alternative flours that you can use to make a gluten-free version of this delicious dessert.
Almond flour or coconut flour can be used as gluten-free flour.
How to Serve Namoura
Traditionally Namoura is served in a baking tray but you can also use other ways to serve it.
Firstly, cut the Namoura into small diamond shapes and place them on the center of the dessert plates.
Drizzle some honey or syrup on top and add finely chopped pistachios or almonds to make it taste and look better.
Enjoy it with a warm cup of mint tea for a delicious experience that your friends will love.
How to Store Namoura
You can refrigerate Namoura for up to one week but for longer storage freezing is best.
To freeze Namoura, wrap each piece separately and place them in a freezer-safe bag remove as much air as possible.
Thaw Namoura in the refrigerator before serving for optimal taste and texture.
To refrigerate Namoura ensure it is completely cooled before preservation. Cut it into a diamond or square shape to ease serving later.
Wrap the Namoura tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent moisture and air exposure.
Place the wrapped Namoura in an airtight container or a sealable plastic bag for protection.
Store it in the refrigerator to extend freshness and maintain its texture.
2 cups semolina
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup blanched almonds or pine nuts for garnish
- For the Sugar Syrup:
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a 9×13-inch (23×33 cm) baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the semolina, sugar, yogurt, melted butter, baking powder, and desiccated coconut (if using). Mix well until all the ingredients are well combined and you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
- Use a knife to score the batter into diamond or square shapes. Place a blanched almond or pine nut in the center of each piece.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Making of Sugar Syrup
- While the namoura is baking, prepare the sugar syrup. In a saucepan, combine sugar, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
- Reduce the heat and let the syrup simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until it slightly thickens. Add the orange blossom water if using and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool.
- Once the namoura is out of the oven and still hot, pour the cooled sugar syrup evenly over the entire surface. Make sure to cover all the scored pieces.
- Allow the namoura to absorb the syrup and cool for at least a couple of hours before serving.
- Cut along the scored lines to separate the pieces, and serve at room temperature.