Arabic Language Blog

Harissa /Basboosa /هريسة / بسبوسة (Semolina Cake) Posted by on Jan 16, 2019 in Arabic Language, Culture, Vocabulary

If you have tried any Middle Eastern desserts or sweets, I’m sure you have been craving تشتهي for more ever since. Some Arabic desserts can be difficult to make at home and not everyone lives near a Middle Eastern restaurant. So, I wanted to share a recipe وصفة for an easy Arabic dessert that you can make at home! I’ve included the recipe which I use, but different recipes vary يختلف a little. Along with a couple links to Arabic cooking shows showing how to make Harissa/Basboosa (it has more than one name). Watching cooking shows is actually a fun way to learn more vocabulary, especially if you love food!

Harissa, an Arabic dessert.

                 Image provided by Yasmine K.

Ingredients  المكونات

  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour  كوب من الطحين
  2. 1 cup shredded coconut  كوب من جوز الهند
  3. 1 cup semolina flour كوب من السميد
  4. 2 teaspoon baking powder ملعقتان صغيرتان من البيكنج باودر
  5. Zest of one lemon قشر الليمون
  6. 1 cup sugar كوب من السكر
  7. ¾ cup Greek yogurt  ¾ كوب لبن
  8. ¾ cup vegetable oil  ¾ كوب زيت نباتي
  9. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract  ملعقة صغيرة من الفانيلا
  10. Almonds for decoration  اللوز للتزيين

Syrup القطر

  1. ¾ cup sugar  ¾ كوب سكر
  2. ½ cup water  نصف كوب ماء

DIRECTIONS طريقة التحضير

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a little pot, combine the syrup ingredients, heat until boil and then set aside to cool.
  2. Grease one 18-by-13-inch pan with Tahini or butter.
  3. Combine and mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  4. In another bowl beat all the wet ingredients for 2 minutes on low speed or by hand until you have a smooth mixture.
  5. Add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together with a spoon for 2 minutes.
  6. Distribute batter in the pan. Tap on the sides to have a smooth surface.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. While still hot, pure the syrup and let cool completely before serving.

Bon appetite! صحتين وعافية!

طريقة عمل الهريسة على الطريقة الاصلية (short and straight forward)

مطبخ رؤيا مع نبيل – الهريسة (more of a talking show with a recipe)

Please let me know if you end up making هريسة, I would love to know how it comes out and if you like it!


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About the Author: yasmine

MarHaba! I am half Jordanian of Circassian descent and half American. I have a Master's in Second Language Teaching and I teach Arabic as a foreign language here in the US, both MSA and Levantine Arabic. I hope to help you become more familiar and interested in the Arabic language and culture.


  1. Anastasia:

    Hello Yasmine! I love بسبوسة! it’s one of my favorite Middle Eastern sweets although I don’t know how to prepare it! Thank you for this post!

  2. yasmine:

    Yay! 😀