Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley’s knafeh nabulseyeh

sami tamimi and tara wigleys knafeh nabulseyeh

Knafeh is a Palestinian institution, made and served all over the Middle East, and no celebration is complete without it. It’s particularly associated with Nablus, where the shredded filo pastry is filled with the city’s trademark firm, white, salty nabulsi cheese. A filling of just nuts and cinnamon is called knafeh Arabiyeh – Arab knafeh. Nabulsi cheese is not widely available, so we’ve used a combination of firm mozzarella and ricotta.

Kaitaifi is a vermicelli-like pastry that loves being drenched in melted butter, oil or sugar syrup and develops a wonderfully light crunch when cooked. It’s the not the easiest of ingredients to find but it should be stocked in the frozen section of a good Greek, Arab or Turkish grocer.

These are best eaten the day they are drizzled with sugar syrup. They can be made up to two days in advance, though, if you want to get ahead. If you do this, just skip the step where the syrup is poured over and then, when ready to serve, reheat the knafeh in the oven at 180C fan/gas mark 6. Once they are warmed through, pour over the syrup and serve while still warm. The sugar syrup can be made well ahead of using: it keeps in the fridge for weeks…

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