Arabic Desserts

Written by Beth Hrusch
Bookmark and Share

Arabic desserts are an important part of the meal, and many of these traditional recipes have been enjoyed for centuries by the nomadic peoples of the Middle East. Sweet, flaky pastries, cheeses, fruits and nuts form the basis of many Middle Eastern desserts. Their delicate flavors are the perfect complement to meals that are spicy and rich. Served with strong Turkish coffee, they express hospitality like nothing else.

Arabic Desserts are Traditional Favorites

Pastries are a favorite dessert among Arabic peoples. Baklava is a delicate, flaky dessert filled with nuts and covered with honey syrup. It is familiar to Westerners, who often see it in Greek restaurants. Another pastry is the basboosa, a semolina tart in syrup. Fatayer are pastry pockets that can be filled with meats and vegetables or used as a dessert.

Other ingredients are also featured in Arabic desserts. Cheese is a common ingredient, and the main component of kunafi, which is a pastry dessert. Mutabak is a turnover stuffed with cheese or banana. Sweet sesame paste studded with fruit and nuts makes halwa, and semolina pudding is a favorite.

Candied nuts and fruits, nougat and sweet Jordan almonds make light and delicious snack items for family and guests. Arabic desserts are a taste of something different, and should be experienced by anyone interested in Middle Eastern cuisine. You can get them pre-made from an Arab grocer, or try them from scratch for authentic homemade flavor.

Bookmark and Share


Lebanese cuisine is fantastic.