Today is a special day, and thus, a special post to celebrate the same!
Many of you might know that I began to blog my recipes and food photos recently, 9 months to be precise…and just like a baby, my Blog too has been carefully nurtured and cultivated, and finally after a lot of struggle, tears, screams, frustrated days, fights, scratches and such made moments, I’ve reached my 100 blog post today. I know it’s not of great consequence to the outside world, but it’s a huge deal for me, and thus, I decided to celebrate the day with a special dish.
I also want to thank my family, and friends who have supported me and pushed me to take the plunge. But most of all, I want to thank those who have demotivated me, tried to break me and hated me; if it weren’t for you and your malevolent hate, I wouldn’t have been pushed far enough to do this. Thanks for the drive guys 😉
My 100th Blog Post meant a special post, and what can be better than something sweet to commemorate this day? Kunafah, Kunefeh, Kunafeh, Kunafa, Konafa, and so on, is a Middle-Eastern/Arabic dessert, made with a special shredded phyllo dough called ‘Kataifi’, that is layered with a creamy mixture, of special cheese. There are of course, many variations of the dish, owing to the availability of ingredients. This one is mine 🙂
Kunafa/Kunafeh (my way)
For the dough:
- Roasted vermicelli/Seviyya – 300 gms
- Ghee – 3 to 4 tbsp, melted
- Orange food colur – few drops
- Honey – 1 tbsp
For the filling:
- Ricotta cheese – 150 gms
- Amul cheese spread – 50 gms
- Mozzarella cheese – 100 gms, grated
- Powdered sugar – 2 to 3 tbsp (depending on how sweet you prefer it)
For the syrup:
- Granulated sugar – 1 cup
- Water – 1/2 cup
- Orange blossom water – 1/2 tsp
For the crust:
- Tip the seviyya/vermicelli in with the melted ghee into a large bowl.
- If the strands are large, break them into smaller bite-sized pieces with your hand.
- Dissolve the orange colour in the ghee, and pour inside the vermicelli bowl, using both hands to toss them through until well-coated with ghee and colour.
- Add the honey, or if you wish, use powdered sugar, and toss again until well-mixed.
- Keep aside.
For the filling:
- Use a large spatula or wire whisk and mix the ricotta with the cheese spread, until smooth and creamy.
- Mix the sugar in.
- Grate the mozzarella and keep in a separate bowl.
For the syrup:
- Pour the sugar and water into a large pot, and put it to boil.
- When the syrup begins boiling fast, add the orange blossom water, and stir.
- Let the syrup reach one-string consistency and switch off flame.
- Grease a 9-inch springform pan with ghee or butter.
- Begin with a layer, about an inch thick, of the seviyan, and use your fingers or the back of a glass/bowl to tap and smooth it out evenly.
- Pour the filling over the seviyya evenly, and then spread the mozzarella on top evenly, covering all sides.
- Repeat the seviyya layer, and cover the top well, pressing down the sides gently.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 to 40 mins, at 160 C, or until top is crusty and golden.
- Once done, and while still hot, quickly pour the syrup on top all over.
- Let it stand, allowing the syrup to soak in for 5 to 10 mins, and then garnish with chopped pistachios, slice, and serve warm.
- This is best eaten on the day, but of course, if you need to store it, just wrap a foil on top loosely and refrigerate.
- Kunafa freezes well; just reheat for 5-6 mins before serving, allowing the cheese to soften and melt.