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Hala Lebanese Organic's Cheese Kunafa Recipe

You Can Never Have Enough Kunafa

Hala Lebanese Organic is the new Dubai café giving people a taste of the Levant. If you haven't tried kunafa by now, you're seriously missing out. But you don't even have to leave the house to devour the the cheese pastry dessert soaked in sweet syrup. Try making this delicious recipe, loved in Turkey and beyond.

Lebanese Cheese Kunafa

Hala Lebanese Organic

Hala Lebanese Organic's Cheese Kunafa Recipe


  1. For the orange blossom syrup:
    2/1 1 cups sugar
    4/3 cups water
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    2/1 1teaspoons mazaher, orange blossom water
  1. For the knafeh
    3 cups, or ½ package, of shredded phyllo knafeh dough (kataifi)
    1 cup of panko or plain dry breadcrumbs
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
    ½ cup orange blossom syrup, plus more for serving
    2 cups fresh mozzarella or akawi cheese
    2 cups whole milk
    3/1 cup farina (cream of wheat)
    ¼ cup chopped pistachio nuts, for garnish


  1. To make the orange blossom syrup, in a small heavy saucepan, combine sugar, water and lemon juice
    and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the mazaher, pour into a heatproof container and refrigerate to cool completely.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the middle position.
  5. In the food processor, pulse the shredded phyllo dough for about a minute to make it into a fine meal.
  6. Place the phyllo in a medium bowl with the breadcrumbs.
  7. Add the melted butter and ½ cup of orange
    blossom syrup and stir until the phyllo is completely coated.
  8. In a -10inch clear pie plate or cake pan, add the buttery dough mixture.
  9. Compress it very well by pushing it into
    the bottom of the pan firmly, first with your hands, then pressing with the flat bottom of a cup, or something similar.
    If the cheese is too salty, slice and soak it in cold water until some of the salt is pulled out. Change the water every
    10 minutes or so.
  10. Either with a large, sharp knife or in the food processor, chop the cheese to a fine dice
    (in the processor, pulse until the cheese looks like coarse meal). Place the cheese in a medium bowl.
  11. In a medium heavy saucepan, heat the milk over medium-high heat until it is hot, but not boiling.
  12. Add the farina and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is slightly thickened.
    Pour the farina over the cheese and stir to combine.
  13. Pour the cheese mixture over the knafeh dough in the prepared pan, and smooth the top.
  14. Place in the oven and bake for 40-30 minutes, or until the knafeh is deep golden brown.
    Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.
  15. Turn the knafeh out onto a platter and drizzle with ¼ cup of orange blossom syrup. Garnish with pistachio nuts.
  16. Serve immediately or set aside and reheat before serving. Cut into squares or slices and serve the knafeh warm,
    with more orange blossom syrup poured over each piece.
Image Source: Hala Lebanese Organic
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