Basbousa (Hareesa)
This delicious cake, also known as hareesa or revani, is made from semolina soaked in syrup. This lower-fat version is perfect for Iftar!


Click here to watch the video
  Serves:  24       Print   


  • 225 g (8 oz) semolina
  • 225 g (8 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 340 g (12 fl oz) thick or Greek yoghurt
  • 50 g (2 oz or 4 tbsp) melted butter
  • 24 blanched almonds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
For the syrup
  • 225 g (8 oz) sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp rose water or orange water (optional)
  1. Begin by making the syrup. Put 350 ml (12 fl oz) of water in a pan and add the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to the boil with stirring.
  2. Boil the sugar solution vigorously with stirring for 8-10 minutes until the solution starts to look a little syrupy (110°C or 230°F on a candy thermometer). Turn off the heat, carefully stir in the rose water, then leave to cool.
  3. Put the sugar, semolina and baking soda in a large bowl. Mix well.
  4. Beat the yoghurt into the mixture, followed by the melted butter.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased 12″ x 8″ (30 cm x 20 cm) baking tray and bake at 180°C for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and press the almonds into the sponge so that when you come to cut the cake each piece will have a single almond at the centre. Return to the oven and bake at 180° for a further 20-25 minutes.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out (it’s best to use two chopping boards for this) and cut the cake into 24 pieces. Return the cake to the baking tray.
  8. Drizzle the syrup over the cake in three batches, allowing each batch to soak into the cake before adding the next. Leave for 2-4 hours to allow the syrup to infuse evenly throughout the cake.
Titli's Tips
You can, of course, use other nuts as decoration. Pistachio or walnuts are common. You can also add in a few tbsp of dessicated coconut if you wish.

If your cake starts to burn simply place a sheet of baking foil on the top.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving       % Daily Value
Calories 148 7%
Calories from Fat 34
Total Fat 3.8g 5%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 7%
Unsaturated Fat 2.1g
Amount Per Serving       % Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate 26.8g 8%
Dietary Fibre 0.7g 2%
Sugars 19.5g
Protein 2.3g 4%
Cholesterol 6.3mgs 2%
Percent Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet.