How to Make Delectable Qatayef

5 months ago / by Mel Fourie
Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

Qatayef, an Arabian dessert, is a staple of many Arabic banquets and a traditional dessert in the Middle East. Cheese and hazelnuts are often used in the filling of this delicious pancake. Qatayef may also be eaten simple, splashed with syrup, or covered with heavy cream. Ramadan’s most popular sweet, qatyef, may either be baked or deep-fried, although it can also be left raw after being filled. Arabic pancake qatyef, however, is only cooked on one side, leaving the other side soft and bouncy for absorbing the contents. 

For the dessert centres, you can use sweetened churned cream, cheese, as well as pine nuts, hazelnuts, or pistachios.   Pancake batter can be easily concocted using simple ingredients such as salt, water, baking powder, and yeast. Note that older recipes may require semolina flour as well! You will also need to add additional flavoring such as rosewater or orange blossom water to this.  Qatayef is either immersed in syrup or drizzled with it after it has been baked or fried. There are three sizes of qatayef: small, medium, and large. Small, medium, and large qatayef are the most common. In contrast to conventional qatayf, which is baked or fried, the mini-qatayf is not baked or fried, but rather filled with eshta and then dunked in grounded pistachios. With this treat, we have delicious giant  pancakes stacked on top of each other with the filling inside.

For many people, nothing beats getting together with friends and eating qatayef, This sweet treat is sold on street corners or sent to acquaintance as a welcome break from the fasting days of Ramadan. Despite its Fatimid beginnings, the meal is now widely consumed across the Levant and Egypt, where it is prepared in countless homes as moreish comfort food. The following Arabic qatayef recipes will is easy to make, and is sure to impress your guests!

Best Qatayef Recipe Ingredients

Pancake Mixture Ingredients 

  •     1 sachet of yeast     
  •     1 tsp of sugar     
  •     1½ cups of tepid water     
  •     1½ cups of all-purpose flour     
  •     Salt to taste

Ingredients for the Filling   

  • 1 cup of fresh walnuts  
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon    
  • 4 tbsp of refined sugar 

Ingredients for the Syrup

  •     1 ¼ cups of chilled water 
  •    1/3 cup of butter     
  •     1/2 tsp of lemon juice     
  •     1 tbsp of rosewater or orange blossom water

How to Make Qatayef

  • To begin, prepare the maple syrup. 
  • Stirring periodically, boil the sugar and water in a saucepan. 
  • Add lemon juice after the syrup is boiling and continue to cook it for 12 minutes on medium-low heat. 
  • Once the syrup reaches a boil, it is critical that you never stir it, since this will make the syrup murky.
  • Boil the orange blossom or rosewater for half a minute, after the first 11 minutes. 
  • Remove the pan from the stove, and let it cool fully. 
  • Sift the flour into a large bowl after dissolving the yeast and sugar in a 1/4 cup of tepid water.
  •  Add salt and the rest of the water, followed by the yeast mixture. 
  • The batter should be smooth and free of any lumps. To help the batter rise, cover the container with a hand towel and keep it in a warm location for an hour
  • Heat a frying pan with a thin layer of cooking oil. During this time, whirl the batter to reunite all of the separated components. It’s possible you’ll need to add a few more tbsp of water to the mixture if it’s too thick.
  • To make pancakes, pour a quarter cup of batter onto the pan, then distribute it out in a ring, making sure you obtain pancakes that are 10cm in diameter. 
  • As it cooks, bubbles will emerge on the top, but the crepe is done when it has lost its shine. A clean towel should be used to handle the pancakes while the remainder of the batter is being cooked. 
  • Cooking numerous pancakes at once is also possible.
  • Make the filling by combining all of the ingredients. First, arrange the pancake on a flat surface and spoon roughly 1 tbsp of filling into the middle of the pancake. 
  • Squeeze the edges to secure the pancake as you fold it in half. 
  • Take another pancake and repeat this process. Place the crepes on a baking sheet and cover with a clean towel until you’re ready to serve them. This may be many hours later though.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 180°C and spray both sides of the pancakes with warmed ghee.
  • In order to make the crepe softer, bake it for 15 minutes in the oven. 
  • To make your qatayef a little crunchier, bake them for an additional 10 minutes after turning them over.
  • Dip each qatayef into the syrup while it is still hot. Serve the qatayef pancakes hot off the griddle, accompanied by more syrup if you prefer.

Tips for Using Qatayef Recipe

  • Remember while making the syrup is that it must be swirled just enough to breakdown the sugar.
  •  If you continue to stir after the syrup has boiled and you have added the lemon juice, it will become murky. 
  • After the cooking process, additional flavorings such as rosewater and rose orange blossom water is used. 
  • The syrup must be made and let to cool before using, so it is better to prepare it first.
  • Keep the syrup cold and only use it for brief periods of time to avoid sogginess. 
  • In order to keep the syrup fresh, it may be produced several weeks ahead of time and stored in a sealed container.
  • The mixture for qatayef pancakes may be made in a variety of ways. Activating the yeast before adding it to the flour is the most typical method. In order to get the best results, the liquid must be added towards the end and whisked constantly. 
  • Meld the dry and wet components separately before combining them. 
  • A warm, dry space should always be available to let the covered batter to rise, whatever technique you choose. 
  • In addition, before cooking the pancakes, give the batter one more stir to deflate it.
  • Some aspects might go awry if the pancake does not have bubbles on the surface while it cooks. You either need to dilute the mixture with water or add a teaspoon of new baking powder if the powder has reduced effectiveness. 
  • So that the batter does not become too thin, you must add water in tiny amounts.
  • In order to prevent the pancakes from drying out and breaking when they’re loaded, the pan should be heated to moderate heat. 
  • In addition, it’s critical that you cover the pancakes you’ve already baked while you continue to cook the others. Until you’re ready to fill them, this will ensure that they remain soft, fresh, and malleable. 
  • The pancakes will cling together if they are stacked on top of each other. The completed pancakes should instead be placed on a separate baking sheet.
  •  While still warm, the fried qatayef must be immersed into the syrup. 
  • When the fried qatayef is done, refrain from covering  it since the steam will make it mushy.
  • When it comes to the nuts you may utilize, there are no set guidelines. Pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts or any other combination of nuts you can think of.
  • There are several stuffing options for qatyef, but one of the most classic ones is the eshta, or clotted cream from Egypt.

Alternative Qatayef Recipe

Ingredients for Your Syrup

  • A cup of water 
  • 2 cups of sugar     
  • A tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice 

Ingredients for Your Scrumptious Nut Centre

  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts    
  • 1/3 cup of hazelnuts      
  • 1/3 cup of raisons  
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of sugar, preferably powdered   
  •  Frying oil  
  • 1 tbsp of semi-melted butter. 

Ingredients for Your Pancake Batter

  •      1 tbsp of powdered sugar     
  •      1 tbsp of milk in powdered form 
  •      1 tsp of  yeast     
  •      1/2 tsp of baking powder     
  •      Salt to taste   
  •     2 cups of flour
  •      1 3/4 cups of tepid water

Qatayef Recipe Technique

  • In a large bowl, combine yeast, baking powder, salt, flour, and sugar. 
  • Add half the warm water and whisk rapidly until no clumps exist.
  •  Whisk in the excess water gradually, until a loose, liquid batter forms. It should be like a typical pancake batter. If it’s too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water to thin it down.
  • Cover the bowl with bubble wrap and let it sit for 1 hour till bubbly and slightly risen.
  • Pre-heat a big nonstick skillet or griddle. Add  some oil to the griddle and gently grease it with a paper towel.
  • Stir the batter to deflate it. 
  • Use 2 tsp of  batter per skillet, using a tiny spoon or gelato scoop with a trigger mechanism. 3 inch/8 cm diameter pancakes.
  • Without turning, slowly cook one side until plenty of bubbles develop around the surface. 
  • Cook it until the top is dry and the bottom is golden. To make your pancakes lighter or darker, adjust the heat. Repeat with remaining batter.
  •  Lay the bubble-side-up pancakes on a big dish or baking sheet, covered with a dry cloth while you cook the others.
  • Cool fully before filling.
  •  So they don’t dry out, cover with plastic wrap.
  • Combine hazelnuts, pine nuts, and raisins in a small bowl.  
  • Mix in the sugar, then the butter until  the nuts are covered.
  • Stuff each crepe center with plenty of nuts to seal securely without ripping; approximately a heaping spoonful should be enough! 
  • Halve the pancake, and pinch the edges to close. You may now freeze them for up to 30 days. 
  • Fill a 2 inch/ 5 cm high frying pan with oil and heat over medium high until extremely hot. This could be 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Aim for 4 minutes each side for the filled pancakes (Qatayef) to crisp up. You may even take them out early if you want them softer. The crispier they are, the longer and darker the hue.
  • Drain the qatayef on some paper towels. 
  • Immediately dunk the qatayef into the chilled sugar syrup, swirling and flipping to coat thoroughly.
  •  Allow extra syrup to trickle from the qatayef onto a cooling rack or strainer set over some aluminum foil.
  • Present on a serving dish with decadent coconut flakes and  pistachichios. 
  • Consume this warm or cold. 
  • To keep the  dish crispy outside, serve within several hours after cooking. They will soften as they sit.
  • To keep them crunchier for longer, remember to enclose them in foil with holes punched in them.


Can we bake the qatayef instead of frying?

There are several variations of qatayef, with baked being one of them.

For how long can we store qatayef?

This kind of qatayef may be stored for up to an hour, but the clotted-cream variety is best eaten right away, since it will get mushy if it sits for longer.

Can qatayef be prepared before the time?

Yes, qatayef can be prepared in advance. Freeze the qatayef after they’ve been filled to the brim. They can be frozen for up to 3 months and then transferred to a zip-top bag and kept in the freezer. It is best to refreeze your frozen food overnight before using it the next day, then bake or fry it.