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Master the art of the traditional Attayef or Qatayef for an Iftar or Suhoor at home

These Middle Eastern pancakes that have been the official dessert during Ramadan can be served in several variations. Filled with cream, cheese, and walnuts mix, they could also be prepared in different sizes and either enjoyed fried or baked.

Thanks to the culinary masterclasses organized during Ramadan by Top Chef Cooking Studio located in Dubai, we learned how to prepare the small – assafiri – in the authentic Arabic version filled with homemade clotted cream. So, here are all the details to master this classic for an Iftar or Suhoor at home.


1 Kg Attayef Assafiri (see the dough recipe below)
Orange blossom petals jam (found at Wafi Gourmet)
Clotted cream recipe
Sugar syrup

For the dough
1 tbsp. corn starch
2 cup water
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup semolina
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. sugar
1⁄2 tsp yeast
Pinch of salt

For the Clotted cream (Ashta)
4 cups (1 liter) milk (preferably double cream milk)
4 slices of toast bread
1⁄2 tsp Mastic* (ground with 1⁄2 tsp sugar in a mortar and pestle)
1 tsp orange blossom water
1 tsp rose water
4 heaping tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 6 tbsp. water

For the sugar syrup
1 cup of sugar
1⁄2 cup of water
1⁄2 tsp. of lemon juice
1⁄2 tsp of orange blossom water


The Ashta Preparation

1. To prepare the Ashta or clotted cream, cut off the crusts of the bread and cut in small pieces.
2. Place the milk and bread in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to boil, whisk frequently.
3. After 10 minutes, the bread will have dissolved, add the cornstarch paste and stir constantly, till the mixture thickens about 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and stir in the mastic, orange blossom water and rose water.
5. Cool the Ashta and set aside.

The Scented sugar syrup or honey preparation

To prepare the sugar syrup, mix all the ingredients in a saucepan (water, sugar, lemon juice and orange blossom water), heat and stir until you obtain a syrup consistancy.

The dough preparation

1. To prepare the dough, mix all wet ingredients, add the dry ingredients gradually and mix well. Set aside
for 15 minutes to rest.
2. Once prepared, fill the Attayef Assafiri with Ashta from one side, closing the other side pressing by your fingers. Garnish it with pistachios and the dried Damascus roses.
3. Serve them with sugar syrup at the side.

*Mastic (in Arabic Mistika): it is an aromatic resin from a tree; it can be used as a flavoring in sweet dishes. It is the secret flavor in traditional Arabic ice cream.

This recipe was kindly shared by Top Chef in Dubai and Maissa Meqdadi from ‘Let’s talk food Dubai’ (

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Attayef RecipeQatayef RecipeRamadan dessert recipe

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