What is Nammoura / Basbousa / Hareesa?
It is a sweet, spongy, semi-soft semolina cake garnished with almonds or coconuts.
Nammoura [nam-mou-rah]. A sweet semi-soft semolina cake garnished with almonds
Sugar, semolina, butter ghee, almonds, shredded coconut, shredded pistachios, baking powder, yeast.
Nammoura is your best choice when you are ready for an extra sweet treat. It is probably the sweetest cake you can get.
The yeast gives it its spongy texture, and the sugar syrup gives it its distinctive extra sweet taste.
It is relatively easy to prepare, and it is thus often homemade.
Meaning and Pronunciation
The sweet with multiple names. This piece is called differently in different Middle Eastern cultures. Nammoura, pronounced (nam-mou-rah), is also called “Basbousa” (bas-bu-ssa)in Egypt and “Harissa” or “Hareesa” (Ha-ree-ssa) in Syria.
The word “Basbousa” comes from the Arabic word that means “soaked” and it is named as such because it is soaked in sugar syrup.
How is Nammoura / Basbousa / Hareesa Made?
It is relatively easy to make and is thus often made at home. To make Basbousa, first the semolina dough and the sugar syrup are prepared. After baking, sugar syrup in added in large amounts.
Preparation of the Dough
To form the dough, semolina, water, and small amounts of butter ghee and yeast are mixed. If desired, grounded coconut flakes can be added to the dough mix.
Preparation of Sugar Syrup
To prepare sugar syrup, generous amounts of sugar are added to water and heated at very high temperature to dissolve the sugar in the water. The mix is brought to a boiling point after which a hint of lemon is added and the resulting sugar syrup is then left to cool.
After the dough is prepared, it is placed on a flat baking sheet. Garnish such as almonds or coconut flakes is added on top of the dough which is then baked for 30 minutes on medium temperature.
After baking, a generous amount of sugar syrup is added and the Nammoura cake is cut into squares.
Basbousa (Nammoura) is served as a desert. It is a very sweet dessert, so make sure you are ready for an extra sweet treat.
Basbousa is popular in the entire Arabic world. It is called Nammoura in Lebanon, Basbousa in Egypt, and Harissa in Syria. It is also popular in Turkey where is is called “Revani” and in Greece where it is called “Revani” and “Ravani”.
Basbousa or Nammoura is a sweet semolina cake.