Iftar Recipe | Syrian Qatayef Asafiri
Syrian Qatayef Asafiri
For the pancake mix:
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
For the walnut filling:
2/3 cups ground walnuts
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
For the cream filling:
3/4 cup Arabic clotted cream
1) Put the sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and let bubble for 3 minutes. Stir in the rose and orange blossom waters, let bubble for a few seconds more then remove from the heat. Let cool.
2) Dilute the yeast in 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons water and let rest for 10 minutes. Add the flour and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave for 1 hour or until the batter has risen and its surface is bubbly.
3) Combine the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and orange blossom water. Set aside.
4) Shortly before the batter is ready, grease a shallow frying pan with a little vegetable oil and place over a medium heat. When the pan is very hot, measure a heaped tablespoon of batter and pour it into the pan, to have a disk about 2 3/4 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. It is best to spread the batter as you are pouring it into the pan as it will be too thick to spread by tilting the pan. Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes or until the bottom is barely coloured and the top is bubbly and dry. Remove to a plate and finish frying the rest of the batter in the same way. Let the pancakes cool.
5) One at a time, lay the pancakes in your hand, smooth side down. Spread 1 tablespoon of walnut or cream filling in a line down the middle, leaving the edges clear. Fold the pancake, aligning the edges; and with your fingers, pinch tightly shut together — you do not want them to open during frying. Place each filled pancake on a platter and continue filling the rest.
6) Pour enough vegetable oil in a large frying pan to deep fry the filled pancakes and place over a medium heat. Test the oil by dipping the corner of a pancake in it; if bubbles surround it, the oil is ready. Slide in as many pancakes as will fit comfortably in the pan and fry for about 2-3 minutes on one side and again on the other or until golden all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drop in the sugar syrup. Turn into the syrup until well-coated and remove to a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature the same day. They are really best eaten soon after they are made as they quickly become soggy.