Joudie has shared her recipe of Qatayef, soft pillowy pancakes that are simply gorgeous. They are freshly made and stuffed with all sorts of fillings – cream, pistachios, walnuts, cheeses. They are sometimes eaten soft and sometimes fried, the choice is yours – the method of preparing them and putting them together is the same. Joudie makes these for special occasions such as Eid and birthdays, as they are such a treat and also look beautiful. Their texture is so unctuous that you just want to eat more than one. Every family has their own was of making them, and this is the way Joudie’s family make them at home.
‘I love making this dish as it always reminds me of my mum and aunties. These recipes are all passed down from my grandmothers who taught them about traditions and history and culture. Dishes like this are very representative of celebrations and coming together as a family. The best moments are watching them and being involved in the making of dishes like that and pass them on to our future generations.’.
For the pancakes
500ml warm milk
500ml warm water
1 x 7g sachet instant yeast
1⁄2 tsp baking powder
1⁄4 tsp salt
3 tbsp caster sugar
300g plain our
170g fine semolina
1 x quantity Sweetened Cream or variation
Sunflower oil, for deep- frying (optional)
1 x quantity Sugar Syrup, mixed with 2 tsp orange blossom water
Crushed pistachios, to scatter
Dried, crushed rose petals, to scatter
Combine all the pancake ingredients in a bowl, then set aside for 30 minutes to allow to rise.
When the mixture has rested and the gluten has grown, place a pan on the hob over a low heat and grease it with a little oil. Place a small ladleful of the mixture into the pan and let it cook. You should star to see small air bubbles on the top. When it is golden on the bottom and cooked through, with bubbles visible on top, remove from the pan, set aside and repeat with the remaining mixture.
Once you have made all of them, you can start stuffing them. Use the sweetened cream filling or feel free to add your own chosen filling. Place a dollop of stuffing in the centre of one pancake. If you are serving straight away, begin pressing the edges of the pancake together on one side, butstop halfway, so you have a semicircle that is open on one side, exposing some of the filling. Repeat with the rest.
If you are deep-frying, seal the pancakes all the way. Half-fill a deep pan with oil, heat it to 180C, and fry the pancakes until slightly golden and a little crisp. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towel for a few minutes.
To serve either version, drizzle with the orange blossom syrup, scatter over the pistachios and rose petals and serve.