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Kenafe recipe – Nablous

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Soft cheese cooked between two layers of orange shredded pastry, served with sugar syrup and rose water. The city of Nablous is famous for its kanafa. The old fashion home-made recipe follows.

1/2 cup flour

sugar water: 1 cup water on 1 cup of sugar


white cheese





syrup and rose water

Mix the flour and water until the dough is long and thin. Stretch the dough with a dough roller and chop it into pieces. Boil water and put the pieces in a steam pan. Steam it until well done. You can tell by pressing the dough between two fingers; if the dough sticks, it is not done yet.

Place the shredded dough in a large pan. Add 50-100 gram butter. Toss until dough absorbs all butter and becomes lighter. Add cheese, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Divide the dough into two parts. Add sugar water. Cover the bottom of a greased pan with the dough. Cover layer with white cheese. Cover the cheese with a thick layer (1 centimeter) of dough. Sprinkle with butter. Bake in hot oven until the dish becomes golden. Soak with sugar syrup and rose water.

From: “Sahteen: Discover the Palestinian Culture by Eating”, published by the Freres School, Bethlehem, part of the Culture and Palestine series issued by the Arab Educational Institute-Open Windows, Bethlehem, 1999. To order the book, send a mail to

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