Egypt – Knafeh

by Yushra


Knafeh is an traditional Middle Eastern dessert and an delight of Egypt. It is basically made by shredded filo pastry layered with cheese on top and then soaked with sweet syrup which is made separately. Lastly it is topped with some nuts or pistachios to give it an another dimension of flavor. It is one of the best desserts which you can eat in Egypt and also it is very popular in Levant. Its simplicity and an incredible taste makes this dessert so great. It is famous everywhere and there are also some variants of this dish. In other countries this dish is the same but its name is different. Like in Greece it is called kataifi and in Turkey it is called kadayif. This dessert is well known to all the people and also the tourists. There are many restaurants that sell this dessert and gives out the proper taste of this dish. It is also like an family gathering dessert as everyone enjoys it and have a good time eating it.


It is said that in Fatimid Egypt the doctors prescribed this dish to Caliphates to satisfy their hunger during Ramadan. This is confirmed as there are writings of such events of the 10th century. But there is a problem the dish which was mentioned in the writings was not named anywhere near Knafeh. Also in the 10th century there was a book of dishes known as Kitab-al-Tabikh written by Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq in which he wrote about the Persian dishes of that time. In that book there is no recipe or mention of this dish but there are some other dishes which resemble its features. It was not until the 13th century something quite like this dish appeared as in the book Kitab al tabikh fi-l-Maghrib a dish like kunafa appeared which had the same ingredients and it was made exactly like the modern day Knafeh. So we can say that this dessert was born in the 13th century and has been relevant since.


  • Water 1 cup (240 ml)
  • Rose water 1/2 cup
  • Sugar 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice 1 tsp


  • Kadayif 12oz
  • Ricotta cheese 10oz
  • Roasted pistachios 1/4 cup
  • Butter sticks ½
  • Unsalted butter 2 tbsp.


  • Take a bowl and add the given amount of water in it.
  • After this add sugar in it and some rose water.
  • And some lemon juice and mix.
  • Once mixed put it in a pan and heat until all the sugar is dissolved and set it aside.


  • Take kadayif noodles in a bowl and separate them .
  • Ddd some melted butter over them and mix them together nicely.
  • Once nicely mixed take a separate pan and melt some butter in it and place the kadayif noodles into it.
  • Cook the noodles and add some ricotta cheese over them.
  • Place some more noodles over the cheese to make it look like a layer.
  • Cook the noodles and after 4-5 minutes turn the noodles upside down so that the other side can also be cooked.
  • After 4-5 minutes more add the sweet syrup over the noodles .
  • Once cooked take it off the heat and place it on a plate and sprinkle some pistachios over it.
  • Your dish is made and ready to serve
  • Enjoy.


  • PREPERATION TIME : 30 minutes
  • COOKING TIME : 25 minutes
  • TOTAL TIME : 55 minutes
  • YIELDS : 4 servings


  • Calories 475.6
  • Cholesterol 40 mg
  • Total Fat 15 g
  • Total Carbohydrate 73 g
  • Protein 18 g
  • Sodium 487 mg
  • Calcium 37%
  • Potassium 41mg
  • Vitamin A 9%
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