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Kunafa or Konafa recipe

roxlet Aug 21, 2011 05:41 AM

My Muslim houseguest is longing for this pastry called Kunafa that is served during Ramadan. A search of the internet has turned up a lot of recipes, but nothing that seems to be definitive and many that have ingredients that must have been translated poorly from another language. Anyone know this pastry? I'd like to make it for my guests.

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  1. luckyfatima Aug 21, 2011 07:02 AM

    Kanafa is made slightly differently depending on which country/region it is from. Standard idea is finely shredded pastry/vermicelli pastry stuffed with cheese and drenched in simple syrup. The specific type of shredded pastry may vary slightly from place to place, the syrup may be unflavored in one place but perfumed with orange blossom water or rose water in another place, and the stuffing varies also. In Egypt it is more of a creamy stuffing. In Palestine and the rest of the Levant it is famous as a sweet of the Palestinians, and is stuffed with a stretchy pizza mozzarella-like cheese (jibna nabulsiyya or Nablus style cheese), and in other places it may be a sweet cheese similar to ricotta. The kunafah may also be topped with topped nuts for serving. People who grew up with Nablus cheese stuffed kanafa typically prefer that above other countries' knafeh. I don't have a recipe suggestion, but I would suggest that your guests might enjoy it if you made the style of kunafa that is preferred in their region. You may not be able to find the specific authentic pastry used for their regional variety, but only one type (usually na'ma or sha'ar) pastry at the Mid-Eastern grocer. I am purposely spelling it in a variety of ways simply because there is no standard way to transliterate Arabic into English orthography, so you may have to vary google search spellings to find the recipe you wish to settle on, unless some kind CHer happens to offer up a superb recipe right here. My favorite kind of kanafeh is the Egyptian cream filled style. I had the nabulsi style in Jordan and it was good but I must say that I am partial to the Egyptian variety.

    3 Replies
    1. re: luckyfatima
      roxlet Aug 21, 2011 07:46 AM

      Thanks, lf. My guests are Egyptian and said that the filling was made with ricotta. Can you point me towards a recipe for this?

      1. re: roxlet
        luckyfatima Aug 21, 2011 01:54 PM

        Sorry, I do not. You'll have to do some googling, but there are a lot of hits for ricotta kunafa. I suspect in Egypt ricotta is not used but must be some similar creamy cheese. Eek, google led me to a recipe that subs kadaif hair vermicelli with cornflakes!!! Definitely don't go for that recipe.

        1. re: luckyfatima
          roxlet Aug 21, 2011 05:14 PM

          Lol! I won't!

    2. junglekitte Aug 22, 2011 12:09 AM

      This is a good recipe, although not ricotta. http://www.beyondtheplate.net/events/... You could use this recipe as a guide and play with your own ricotta filling.

      1 Reply
      1. re: junglekitte
        roxlet Aug 22, 2011 01:15 PM

        Well, wouldn't you know it! I have the recipe referenced in this post which is from Claudia Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food. When I searched my account on eatyourbooks.com, nothing turned up, so I will have to check if this book is indexed. Many thanks to all!

      2. l
        luciaannek Aug 22, 2011 08:52 AM


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