Arabic Cuisine:falafel, hummus & basboosa

I Arabian Cuisine is very popular these days around the world.I got hooked on to Arabic food only after I landed here in Muscat. My all time favourite is falafel and the basboosa (semolina) cake. I would say falafel is the most easiest to make, only thing it needs a little bit planning because of the chickpeas which need to be soaked well in advance . Enjoy cooking these delicious middle eastern food.
  1. ½ cup dried chickpeas, (soak for 6hr)
  2. 3-4 garlic, cloves (finely chopped)1 small onions (finely chopped)
  3. ½ cup coriander leaves (finely chopped)
  4. OR
  5. ½ cup parsley leaves (finely chopped)
  6. 1 tsp cumin powder
  7. salt as per taste
  8. ½ tsp crushed pepper
  9. ½ tsp baking soda
  10. vegetable oil for frying
  1. Place chickpeas in hot boiling water in a bowl. Allow to soak for 6 hr.
  2. Combine the chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander / parsley, cumin, salt and pepper (to taste) in medium bowl. 
  3. Combine ingredients in a food processor into a thick paste. 
  4. form mixture into small balls, slightly flatten & fry them immediately until golden brown
  5. Serve hot.
To make Falafel sandwiches
  1. Apply mayonaise on the pita bread, lettuce leaves, french fries, ketchup and falafel. Roll into a sandwich
  2. Enjoy !

  1. ½ kg chickpeas (boiled)
  2. 5 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  3. ½ cup of olive oil
  4. lemon juice
  5. 1 garlic clove
  6. cumin
  7. red chili powder
  8. salt
  1. Into a blender add the boiled chickpeas with the tahini,juice of half a lemon, garlic clove, cumin powder and the olive oil & salt as per taste. Blend until very smooth consistency.
  2. Add little water if the consistency is too thick.
  3. Sprinkle a bit of red chilli powder on top & Olive oil
  4. Serve immediately

A favorite Arabic sweet, main ingredient of basboosa is semolin which is baked and soaked in rose water syrup. An Omani friend and old colleague was kind enough to share her recipe & I baked it at home. The Arabs enjoy this sweet with a cup of qahwa or tea.
Syrup Ingredients
2¼ cups sugar
1½ cups water
2 tsp rose water
Cake Ingredients
2 cups semolina
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup full fat milk
1½ tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
blanched split almonds
Prepare syrup first. Dissolve sugar in water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the syrup begins to boil. Reduce heat and allow to slowly boil for about 8-10 minutes.Add rose water, Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and flour a baking dish.
Cream together butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add eggs & vanilla essence.
In a separate bowl, combine semolina, baking powder, and baking soda. Slowly add to butter and egg mixture. Stir in milk.
Pour mixture into baking dish.
Take a knife and make diagonal lines to make diamond shapes. Place an almond in the center of each diamond. Bake for 25 minutes
Remove cake from oven and pour syrup over cake. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Different Arabic sweets on display
Best quality Omani Dates for sale for the holy month of Ramadan
Famous Arabian sandwich "Shawarma" place in a restraurant in Muscat.


  1. Rrucha Kale- Bapat21 January, 2011

    I have tried Basaboosa once----It tastes amazing!!!

  2. Sonali Gokhale Thatte21 January, 2011

    yummy Soni!!

  3. Kaajal Shaikh21 January, 2011

    yummmm.. i just love chilled hummus with pita bread

  4. Prajakta Dhavale21 January, 2011

    Baklava !! Yum ! Detroit has the biggest Arabic community in the we used to get a chance to enjoy Arabic food :)

  5. awww.. now you made me miss home (Saudi Arabia) and my mom's gorgeous coking :( but i will recreate it over here in England until i'm back :0 Thanks for the lovely pics!

  6. thanks Zilal....let me know how it goes...

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Please try the recipe above i am sure you will get home made shawarma...thanks
    let me know
    Happy cooking

  10. Musandam Dibba i can say it is nice share where you can enjoy your dinner with friend.

  11. Thanks for the basboosa recipe. Made it yesterday - it's great, delicious, easy to make. That's the rose-soaked Arabian cake I tasted when in Dubai, soooo yummy. Greetings from Poland.

  12. what size is the baking dish for the Basbosa?

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