Namoura (نمورة), is a delicious Lebanese cake/dessert that is super easy to make and widely known across the Middle East. It is topped with almonds, baked and then soaked with an aromatic sugar.
WHAT IS NAMOURA (نمورة)?
This Namoura dessert is the classic recipe of the original Lebanese Namoura. Many other Middle Eastern cultures called it by other names. Egyptians call it Basbousa, Palestinians call is Harissa, Armenians call it Shamali, Persians call it Revani/Ravani, which even Greeks have adapted. But of course they are made slightly different based on their culture and traditions. I know Basbousa, which my husband really likes, is the coconut version of this recipe. Namoura is served all year round and during many religious festivities.
HOW TO MAKE THE NAMOURA (نمورة)?
The Namoura (نمورة) cake is so easy to make. In a large bowl mix the sugar, semolina, and butter together. Then add in the milk, baking powder, orange blossoms water, yogurt and mix well to obtain a thick sticky batter.
Brush a non-stick sheet pan (which I prefer using because I like my Namoura cake thin, about an 3/4 inch thick at the most) with tahini paste and then place the batter on it and flatten out completely with a spatula or your palm.
Let it sit for about 1 hour and then cut out the namoura into square patterns or diamond shape patterns, whatever you prefer. I do it like this because it looks pretty. Then press a piece of halved raw almond (peeled) on each piece of cut out cake. The reason I cut it out before baking is because it makes the cutting later so much easier and doesn't break apart as much. the pieces come one perfectly cut on the edges.
Bake the Namoura cake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes, and if the top if not gold enough for you, you can broil it for a few minutes. Watch closely. I just don't like to over cook the Namoura because it becomes try and too crunch. That is why if it needs any more color, I just broil the top. Once you remove from the oven, pour 1 1/4-2 cups of sugar syrup evenly over the Namoura while it's hot. I like using those ketchup or mustard rubber containers to drizzle the sugar syrup over the cake. We don't like the cake super sweet. Some people drench the cake with sugar and that is one reason I don't like to buy this cake and would rather make it at home. If you like it super sweet, feel free to add some more sugar syrup to it.
That's all it takes to make this delicious Namoura (نمورة) recipe. Namoura is very popular during Ramadan. I love the fact that the portions are small and you don't have to eat a huge piece. You can enjoy a small piece whenever you have a sweet tooth. I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a minute to Share and Rate it! Be sure to tag and follow me on my Instagram as well. I would love to hear your feedback! Xoxo...
OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:
- 3 cups semolina flour coarse
- 1 cup semolina flour (ferkha) fine
- 1 cup butter melted
- 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt regular not greek
- 1 cup evaporated milk carnation, warm
- 3 tbsp. orange blossoms water
- 2 tbsps. tahini paste for rubbing the tray
- 1/2 cup almonds peeled, halves
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1.5 tbsps. orange blossoms water
- In an electric mixing bowl, mix the sugar, semolina, and butter together. Add in the milk, orange blossoms water, baking powder, yogurt and mix on low speed for 1-2 minutes to obtain a thick batter.
- Line a nonstick half sheet pan (17.5 inch x 13 inch) with parchment paper. Brush with the tahini paste and then place the batter on it and spread out evenly on the pan with a spatula or your palm. You can wet your palms to help spread it out.
- Let it sit for about 45 minutes to an hour (until the semolina absorbs the moisture and becomes softer) and then cut out the namoura into square patterns or diamond shape patterns, whatever you prefer.
- NOTE: You do not have to do the cutting now. You can just add the almonds on top and cut out after the namoura cools down but this helps the sugar syrup get into the cake better after baking as well as make it easier to cut.
- Bake the Namoura cake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30- 40 minutes (depending on your oven and thickness) until the edges start to brown up. Turn the top broiler on to broil the top a few minutes to obtain a darker golden color on top. Watch very close so you do not burn it.
- Remove from the oven and pour 1¼-2 cups (based on your preference) of sugar syrup evenly over the Namoura while it's hot. Let it cool at room temperature for a few hours before serving.
- In a small pot, mix the sugar and water well until the sugar dissolves. Bing to boil and then start timing 5 minutes time on medium heat.
- Add in the lemon juice and orange blossoms water and boil for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool down.
- Prepare sugar syrup during bake time or before.
- This recipe comes out about 3/4 inch thick after baking. I like mine thin that's why I use the half sheet pan tray so it spreads out thinly. If you like your namoura thicker than that, use a smaller pan. The smaller the pan the thicker the thickness would be. The thicker the cake, the longer the cook time will be. I would not recommend using a pan more than 2 inches smaller than the one I use. It will come out really thick.
- Let the namoura cool for 3-4 hours before serving so it absorbs the sugar syrup and holds up more. The first day, the cake texture will feel a little crunchy (we like it like that at our house). By the next day the cake will be much softer because semolina has absorbed all the liquids.
- Store in an air tight container after completely cooling and cutting into pieces to preserve it's freshness.
- Use more or less sugar syrup to your preference. But it should have at least 1.5 cups of syrup to come out a bit moist and not too dry. I do not add too much syrup either because it becomes way too sweet. It's all based on your preference and what you like. So adjust according.