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Sep 3, 2010 04:24 PM

Nablusi Kenafah in Montreal


Does anyone know where to get Nablusi Kenefah?

I know Adonis, Mahrousa, Bsweet and most Arabic pastries places but none got Nablusi (Palestinian) Kenafah..

Please let me know if you do


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  1. I don't know how one can even think of Kenafah in this heat, but your picture is very convincing! I will be staying tuned to see if anyone has some answers for when the autumnal chill is in the air...

    1. amal bohsali? (across the street from Adonis on Sauve)
      I am sure I saw some tonight at Abou Elias.

      Is that dessert palestinian? Is there a palestinian grocery store in town? Would Israeli shops have it if it's palestinian?

      14 Replies
      1. re: hala

        Thanks... hmm.. I have been to Bohsali and they have Lebanese Kenafah... yes, this is Palestinian dessert.. I know one palestinian grocery store and they dont have it.. the one I know is in West Island.

        Never thought that Abou Elias would have that... I will call them tomorrow...


        1. re: ezz

          I've had this a lot. I'm not Palestinian, but Iranian. Whenever we go to somebody's house it's tradition to bring some sweets as a hostess gift, so we get this a lot.

          You say Mahrouse doesn't have it? Really?! Have you tried Akhavan? Maybe Ambrosia in Laval has them too...

          Also, i just went to Jean-Talon and noticed two separate arab pastry shops. One near the crepe stand, with a very large selection, the other towards the side, partly indoors, near the Sausage shop. They even had zooloobia, yum!

          If all else fails, I recommend you actually going to the place, maybe over the phone they don't know what you are asking for.

          1. re: SourberryLily

            What I saw at Abou Elias was one layer of cream between two layers of shredded filo dough (the one looking like a thin angel hair pasta) baked to a rich color like the one in your picture. I also saw something with one layer of shredded filodough and one layer of cream but the color of the filodough was very light/ a beige rather than the almost brown in the picture. They also had other variations on cream in regular philodough (baked, fried, in layers, in individual portions, or in fingers). In all, they might have had 6-7 types total, but all involved some sort of filo (shreded or not) and cream. I bought the fried finger ones and they were very good.

            1. re: hala

              Oh wow i didn't know about Abu Elias. It's really close to where i live!!

              I'm not the original poster but thanks!!

              1. re: SourberryLily

                Forget about Amal Bohsali. I just called and they said they don't have it. Sorry :(

                1. re: hala

                  They used to have it - perhaps not every day, but they did make it specially - and it was very very good...I don't know that it was Nablusi knefeh in particular, but it was indeed knefeh.

                  1. re: cherylmtl

                    YOu know what, the person I talked to sounded young. Maybe she was new?

                    1. re: cherylmtl

                      I'm pretty sure Bohsali only makes the Lebanese style knefeh. You can choose between jibne (cheese) or ashta (cream). I think they only sell it during the week-end and you need to get there early because they don't have it all day!

                      1. re: mystikdrey

                        Bingo. It's Beiruti-style, not Palestinian-style, knefeh. They had it there on a weekday -- a Thursday or Friday IIRC -- last spring. It was my last outing with moh: we'd gone to Marché Transatlantique beforehand and that store's not open on the weekend.

                        Also, see the last paragraph of MTLjam's excellent backgrounder:

                2. re: hala

                  Hala, are you sure it was cream? Palestinian Kenafeh should have sweet haloumi cheese inside it, and needs to be on top of a hotplate or something to keep it warm and slightly melted. It also helps develop a nice crust. When it is served, it is doused with a warm orange coloured (yet not orange flavoured) sauce. The two layers of crust will be either kadaif (angel hair) dough or a sort of cracked wheat. I don't know if the cracked wheat is Nablusi, I have actually only seen it in Jerusalem.

                  It could be that because it is something that doesn't work as well for "take out" that it is less popular here? Because it is warm, it is the kind of thing you just sit right down in the shop and eat.

                  You could always try making it. Once, years ago, when we were living in Holland, we were very excited when my husband found some haloumi cheese and went through a whole procedure of buying a special large tin and the shredded filo, and used our precious collection of saffron for the sauce. We told all of our friends, and had about 8 people over for dinner. When the kenafeh came out, we all had one bite and realized that we had made a huge mistake and bought salty haloumi! The whole thing had to be thrown out, it was completely inedible.

                  But you can all learn from my mistakes ;-) I was at the Adonis in Côte Vertu and at the pastry counter they had 'Ataif, little pancakes folded in half encasing either walnuts or sweet haloumi. I asked if they also sold the pancakes and sweet haloumi separately, and she said they did, but that you had to ask for it in another part of the store (possibly the butcher's section- I think because they keep it in the back and the butchers are the closest to it??).

                  1. re: karela

                    These small pancakes are usually sitting on top of the cheese counter at Adonis, self serve, no need to ask the clerk.
                    And also, I believe halloumi cheese is always salty: when you use it for a dessert, you need to "unsalt" it, by leaving it in the water at least for the night. I believe you can also use akawi cheese for this type of dish (knefeh, halawet el jibn, atayef, etc).
                    Great, now I'll have a craving! ;)

                    1. re: karela

                      I did not handle the packages. I just kinda looked at them trying really hard to pick one. The filling looked the same to me, so, i think it's cream. Not sure it could be haloumi. Ok, now I know what your'e talking about and I think your best bet would be to call amal bohsali and ask them abou it.
                      I can see how salty haloumi would not work. I am sure you were very upset at the moment.

                      Or maybe Amal bohsali would make you some as a special order? They do already have all the equipment and the ingredients.

                  2. re: SourberryLily

                    yes, Mahrouse has the Lebanese version of Kenafah... I got to check out Abou Elias...

                    I have been to few different Arabic pastries and they all got the Lebanese Kenafah... I believe that Egyptian also make the same Kenafah as Palestinian.. I found this web site the other day:


                    It seems that they make good Kenafah just by looking at the picture... they actually make it from imported Nablusi Cheese. I contacted them but of course Canadian customs don’t allow importing cheese...


                    1. re: ezz

                      Yes a bunch of laws prevent certain authentic foods. I was told this is why the sweets at pushap are thickened with flour instead of milk curd (err might not be the exact term i"m looking for, i had this convo in french).

                      That being said, we can still have some terrific sweets here.

              2. Hello ezz,
                If it it's not that easy to find , Try to make it your own !
                I'm palestinean living in Montreal and i can tell you there is no place doing it as the "Nabulsi kunafeh" expected to be .. I've tried them all !
                It's not that much difficult to make .. Check this video with english sub.

                1 Reply
                1. re: WaelSaad

                  Hi Wael,

                  Thanks.. yeah, I looked everywhere for this and can't find it.. I came across that video on youtube as well and actually decided to make it myself :)

                  I tried to make it with Baladi cheese and few times with Akkavi cheese.. I prefer Baladi cheese though..

                2. I had the turkish version at Su restaurant in Verdun and it was amazing' the best desert I've had in 2010!

                  1. I just had some at Andalos. They had the orange tinted shredded kataifi kenefeh as well as a different looking one that they just called kenefeh falastiniy. Does anyone know the prices on boxes of kataifi dough in stores so I can make my own? I know regular phyllo sometimes goes on sale for a dollar a box but I haven't payed attention to kataifi.