Learn how to make the best (Qatayef, Atayef) the Middle East’s pancakes, with Shaikh Abu Adnan and The Shahrouk Sisters.
Continuing our exciting Ramadan series on mouth-watering cuisines from around the world, the Shahrouk sisters are very excited to present our next guest.
Australian-born Muslim women from a Lebanese background, the Shahrouk Sisters – Halla, Houda, Leeann and Rouba – were the winners of the first series of Channel Nine’s Family Food Fight. Showcasing Middle Eastern cuisine, the traditions of their family kitchens and their larger-than-life personalities, they won the hearts of the nation. The Sisters believe that the kitchen is the heart of family life and culture and whatever you are eating, wherever you are from, food has a unique cross-cultural ability to bring us together, families, friends, communities and cultures. Australia’s No. 1 food family 2017, they now run cooking classes and workshops together.
Crescent Wealth shares the vision of the Shahrouk Sisters in the idea that food has the power to unite communities upon a common matter. Be it Middle-Eastern, Pakistani and Indian, or a dish from Egypt, there is no denying the impact food has in our lives and culture. And that, is what we will be exploring in this flag-ship series.
The month of Ramadan saw us bring a host of amazing personalities cooking all sorts of MIddle-Eastern cuisines, including our remarkable guest from our previous post Dalya Ayyoub. Today, we have none other than Mohammad Kammoun, more popularly known as Shaikh Shaykh Abu Adnan.
A lawyer by day and a religious leader by night – Shaykh Abu Adnan is an inspiration to many, having served the local community for many years as a religious leader, Imam and community spokesperson. Originally hailing from Lebanon, Shaykh Abu Adnan came to Australia at the age of 19, escaping the Civil War in Lebanon. After completing his studies in the Islamic sciences, Shaykh Abu Adnan went on to establish Markaz Imam Ahmed – a bustling centre that serves as a prayer space and college, faciliating classes on the Qur’an, Islamic Studies and Arabic.
In this episode
The Sharouk sisters take Shaikh Abu Adnan through the recipe for the perfect Arab Qatayef that will take you back to the warm memories of the Middle East!
Qatayef, Katayef or qata’if (or even Atayef!) is an Arab dessert commonly served during the month of Ramadan, a sort of sweet dumpling filled with cream or nuts. It can also be described as a folded pancake.
The Arabic word is derived from the Arabic root qtf, meaning to pick up or to pluck
Some belive that Qatayef are the creation of the Fatimid Dynasty, however, their history dates back to the Abbasid Caliphate, 750-1258 CE
Qatayef is the general name of the dessert as a whole, but more specifically, the batter. It is usually made out of flour, baking powder, water, yeast, and sometimes sugar is added. The result of the batter being poured onto a round hot plate appears similar to pancakes, except only one side is cooked, then stuffed and folded. The pastry is filled with either unsalted sweet cheese a mixture of any of hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, raisins, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, roses extract and cinnamon. It is then deep-fried or, less commonly, baked and served with hot sweet syrup or sometimes honey. Another way of serving qatayef is by filling it with whipped cream or clotted cream, folded half way and served with scented syrup without any frying or baking.
Here’s the Atayef recipe that will make you want to make on now:
Atayef Pancakes (Middle Eatern Pancakes)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking total time: 20 minutes
The Ingredients (mix of dry ingredients and others)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup fine semolina
1 cup warm milk
1 to 2 cups water (warm)
1 table spoon sugar
½ teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla essence (optional)
Sugar Syrup or Rose Water Syrup
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
1 teaspoon rose water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup Cheese filling
1 cup clotted cream or ashta
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup nut filling
1. Prepare sugar syrup: add all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring sugar to dissolve. Reduce to a medium heat and cook for 8 minutes or until mixture thickens — you can test if the mixture is ready by coating a spoon with syrup, and if the spoon sticks to the plate, it’s ready.
Set aside to cool down.
- Add warm milk, warm water, sugar and yeast to a bowl. Whisk till yeast is dissolved and add remaining ingredients. Whisk till you have a smooth runny batter.
- Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. The secret to a smooth and bubbly atayef is to not let it rest more then 15 minutes – otherwise you will end up with small holes on both. Also blend the mixture all together using an electric mixer.
- Prepare fillings of choice
- Heat a non-stick flat grill plate or pan on low heat or low-medium heat, scoop even amounts of batter and pour on the grill plate. Cook it only on 1 side, when the bubbles are dry the attayef is ready.
- Place cooked attayef on a clean cloth and cover to prevent them sticking and drying out, continue with remaining batter till all is cooked.
- Fill with filling of choice and enjoy with a drizzle of sugar syrup.
Preparation time: 10 minutes. Baking time: 30 seconds/atayef. Number of atayefs: 15.
- One cup and a half of hot water
- One cup of flour
- 1/4 cup of semolina
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
- Filling: Nutella or speculoos paste
- In a blender, mix all the ingredients together.
- Let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes.
- As soon as the air bubbles appear on the surface of the mixture, the dough is ready for cooking.
- In a non-stick skillet, previously heated, pour small circles of dough with a ladle. Cook one side only, well enough, so that the top of the dough doesn’t run.
- Cover the cooked atayef with a clean towel so that they won’t dry.
- To stuff the atayef, garnish them with a tablespoon of Nutella in the center, stick the edges together to have the shape as shown in the figure below. You can also add hazelnut powder for example or hazelnuts in addition to the Nutella.
- After sticking the edges, you can also add crushed pistachios and raspberries. It’s a delight!
- And since it’s never enough for gluttony, you can prepare a chocolate sauce and drizzle it on the atayaf and Bon appétit 🙂
Atayef can be had with numerous fillings, including ricotta/white cheese, clotted creame, nutella. It can be made in a crepe style with cornstarch, or crispy with a simple syrup. It can be served as an appetizer (for those who have a sweet tooth!) or it can be the perfect dessert recipe for after dinner. It can be made on medium-low heat or medium-high heat if preferred. To many, these are just Middle Eastern pancakes, but the rich history and symbol it serves is what makes the golden brown Atayef the perfect dessert.
From the many countries that cook the Atayef are Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries! Other names for Qatayef/Katayef include Atayef Asafiri (basically not pronouncing the ‘Qa’ sound, as is common in some parts of the Arab world).
Get to know Shaykh Abu Adnan! Here are some rapid-fire questions we asked him earlier:
What is one thing people would find surprising about you?
I am a granddad to one beautiful granddaughter and another grandson on the way.
What are your hobbies?
Chess, teaching and writing (reflective mostly).
What are you passionate about?
I am blessed; for the last 15 years, my jobs (in Law and Da’wah) are my passion despite the challenges. Today, I am passionate about working with the Imams to raise our institution’s standards, including the Centre Arbitration and Dispute resolution.
What are you excited about these days?
My children’s achievements and my son Zack’s wedding.
What is your favourite food and why?
Mulukiyyah with Chicken, why, do not know, I love it. (the Lebanese, of course not the Egyptian soup!)
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Sleeping is a chore to me and engaging in futile conversations.
What are 3 things people should know about you?
My social battery runs out very quickly; take me home please, need to charge it.
Random dark sense of humour; and I love my privacy and my alone time.
What’s your life motto?
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that count.”.
What’s the most surprising moment in your career?
From time to time, a random brother or a sister from our community approaches me, saying: “Despite our older age, you have inspired me to continue or commence my education.” – which I find surprising.
Best piece of advice you received?
Seek help through patience and prayer.
We hope you enjoy cooking some of the recipes we shared and most importantly are able to treat some of your loved ones. So stay tuned for more exciting recipes and guests, as we commit to the cause of community and bring to you a month unlike any other.
Crescent Wealth Super first and largest sharia-compliant ethical super fund was absolutely delighted to have Dalyah Ayoub Craig Foster AM, Mr Jihad Dib MP, Dalya Ayoub join us for this episode. We hope that others – can find the opportunity to bond and further mutual understanding in the pluralistic society we live in. Food is one of many ways individuals can come together, with a common purpose and build relationships.
It was an absolute pleasure having Shaikh Abu Adnan, Craig Foster AM, Dalya Ayoub, and on our show.
It was an absolute pleasure having Shaykh Abu Adnan on board this CW meets Shahrouk Sisters collaboration! We hope you have benefitted from this tasty Middle-Eastern dessert, and are able to cook a Qatayef Atayef for Iftar or Eid soon! If your a food blogger or just someone into multicultural foods, do follow us on our journey to collect amazing dishes from around the world and unite the community on the greatest language – food!
Did we stir your appetite? Don’t worry! Go in the draw to win a $100 Uber Eats voucher! Apply here.
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