While I was on a recipe hunt for the festivals across the globe theme, I wanted to include Ramadaan as now it is the month of Ramadaan and my neighbours fast for the whole month. I love Arabian sweets. With cheese and flaky pastries they are so delicious and whenever I try a recipe, it used to be a super hit at home. So when I found the atayef recipe, I didn’t hesitate. There are so many varieties of atayef available in the blog world. There are cheese fillings and nut fillings. They are baked or deep fried or just served as it is with a drizzle of sugar syrup. I put together two or three recipes together to come to this recipe.
It is a small lacy pancake which has yeast in it filled with cottage cheese coconut mixture and drizzled with sugar syrup. I didn’t bake or fry the atayef. So they are quite soft. They are then sprinkled with powdered pistachios. When I took a bite of the soft kateyef, I was in heaven. The soft pancake with the soft cottage cheese and paneer filling are match made in heaven. I made 8 atayef, and I shared half the batch with a friend of mine. The remaining my hubby and myself gobbled and we really wanted some more. The trick of getting a perfect atayef is in the cooking of the pancake. Only one side is cooked on tawa. The other side is left to remain soft. Only then it will be easier to seal the atayef with the filling. Care must be taken to retain the softness of the pancakes. So keep them covered with a cloth while you cook the remaining pancakes. But if you could get a help, then one should work with the pancakes and the other should work with the fillings simultaneously. The pancakes are also available ready made across the middle east. You just need to buy them, fill them and fry or bake and enjoy. But home made is always best, right?
Makes14 -15 Ateyef
For The Pancake:
All Purpose Flour / MAida-1 cup
Semolina/ Sooji – 1/2 cup
Water-1 1/2 cups
Instant Yeast-1/2 tsp
Baking Powder-1/2 tsp
Baking Soad- a pinch
For The Filling:
Cottage Cheese/ Crumbled Paneer-2 cups
Grated Coconut-1 cup
Rose Essence-1/4 tsp
For The Sugar Syrup:
For The Pancakes:
In a bowl mix together flour, semolina, salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and yeast.
Add in water and milk and mix to form a lump free batter.
Cover and set aside for 1/2 hour. By the time the batter is fermenting, prepare the filling and syrup.
Once the batter is bubbly, mix well.
Heat a tawa and pour a small ladle full of batter on the hot tawa.
Keep flame at medium and cook the pan cake. there will be lots of bubbles on the surface of the pancake. Theses are what makes them super soft.
Make sure that the top cooks completely by the time the base of the pancake turns golden.
Assemble the finished pancakes on a plate. Cover with a towel so that they don’t dry out.
For The Filling:
Mix together paneers, coconut, sugar and essence in a bowl.
Keep it covered until ready with the pancakes.
For The Syrup:
In a sauce pan mix together water and sugar.
Keep on medium flame and keep on stirring until sugar melts.
Set flame to high and allow it to boil.
Take some syrup and touch it between thumb and forefinger.
If it feels sticky, remove from flame and cool.
Assembling the Atayef:
Take one pancake and place some filling in the centre.
Fold the pancake to crescent shape.
Press the edges of the pancake together to seal the filling.
Arrange on a plate.
Drizzle the atayef with the sugar syrup. As they are soft, they will absorb all the syrup.
Garnish with powdered pistachios and serve.