Indulge in the divine flavors of Basbousa, a delectable Middle Eastern dessert that tantalizes the taste buds with its moist texture and aromatic sweetness. Crafted from semolina, drenched in fragrant syrup, and adorned with crunchy nuts, each bite of Basbousa is a journey through a symphony of flavors and textures. Whether served as a delightful treat for special occasions or enjoyed with a cup of tea as a comforting dessert, Basbousa promises to captivate your senses and leave you craving for more.


  • 1 cup semolina
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut (for coconut-flavored Basbousa) OR 1-2 tablespoons rosewater (for rosewater-flavored Basbousa)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Slivered almonds or pistachios for garnish (optional)

For the Syrup:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater (if not using rosewater in the cake batter)


1- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.

2- In a large mixing bowl, combine the semolina, desiccated coconut (if making coconut-flavored Basbousa), plain yogurt, granulated sugar, melted butter, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix well until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. If making rosewater-flavored Basbousa, omit the coconut and add rosewater to the batter, adjusting the quantity to taste (start with 1 tablespoon).

3- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, spreading it evenly with a spatula.

4- Using a sharp knife, score the batter into diamond or square shapes, cutting about halfway through the batter.

5- If desired, place a slivered almond or pistachio on top of each scored piece.

6- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

7- While the Basbousa is baking, prepare the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved completely. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. If making rosewater-flavored Basbousa, stir in the rosewater at this point.

8- Once the Basbousa is baked, remove it from the oven and immediately pour the hot syrup evenly over the hot cake. Allow the Basbousa to absorb the syrup for at least 30 minutes before serving.

9- Serve the Djibouti Basbousa warm or at room temperature, garnished with additional slivered almonds or pistachios if desired. Enjoy the delightful fusion of flavors and textures in this traditional Middle Eastern dessert!

Nutritional Values:

Here's an approximate nutritional breakdown for the main ingredients used in Djibouti Basbousa:

Semolina (1 cup):

  • Calories: 601
  • Carbohydrates: 122g
  • Protein: 21g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Fiber: 7g


  • Excellent source of carbohydrates for energy
  • Rich in protein, supporting muscle growth and repair
  • Contains fiber, promoting digestive health

Desiccated Coconut (1 cup):

  • Calories: 283
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Fat: 27g
  • Fiber: 7g


  • High in healthy fats, providing sustained energy
  • Rich source of dietary fiber, aiding digestion and promoting satiety
  • Contains essential minerals such as manganese and copper, supporting overall health

Plain Yogurt (1 cup):

  • Calories: 149
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Fat: 8g
  • Calcium: 296mg


  • Good source of protein, important for muscle health and tissue repair
  • Contains probiotics, promoting a healthy gut microbiome and improving digestion
  • Rich in calcium, supporting bone health and strength

Granulated Sugar (1 cup):

  • Calories: 774
  • Carbohydrates: 200g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Provides quick energy due to its high carbohydrate content
  • Adds sweetness and flavor to dishes
  • Should be consumed in moderation as excessive intake may lead to health issues like obesity and diabetes

Unsalted Butter (1/2 cup):

  • Calories: 814
  • Carbohydrates: 0.6g
  • Protein: 0.6g
  • Fat: 92g


  • Rich source of saturated fats and calories, providing energy
  • Contains vitamins A, E, and D, important for skin health and immune function
  • Should be consumed in moderation due to its high calorie and fat content

Baking Powder (1 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 2
  • Carbohydrates: 0.9g


  • Acts as a leavening agent, helping baked goods rise and become light and fluffy
  • Helps create a tender texture in cakes and pastries

Baking Soda (1/4 teaspoon):

  • Calories: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 0g


  • Works as a leavening agent, producing carbon dioxide gas to help dough or batter rise
  • Helps neutralize acidity in recipes, improving texture and flavor

Slivered Almonds or Pistachios (optional):

  • Calories: Varies based on amount used


  • Excellent source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus
  • Provide crunch and texture to dishes while adding nutritional value

For the syrup:

Granulated Sugar (1 cup):

  • Calories: 774
  • Carbohydrates: 200g
  • Fat: 0g


  • Provides sweetness and flavor to the syrup
  • Dissolves in water to create a sweet syrupy consistency

Water (1 cup):

  • Calories: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 0g


  • Acts as a solvent for dissolving sugar and other ingredients
  • Helps create the liquid base for the syrup

Lemon Juice (1 tablespoon):

  • Calories: 3
  • Carbohydrates: 1g


  • dds a tangy flavor to the syrup
  • Helps balance the sweetness and adds brightness to the dish

Rosewater (1 tablespoon):

  • Calories: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 0g


  • Adds a delicate floral aroma and flavor to the syrup
  • Enhances the overall sensory experience of the dish

These values are approximate and may vary based on specific brands and ingredients used.


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