Namoura – Lebanese semolina cake

Namoura is a real treat in Lebanon (sometimes known as basbousa in the wider Middle East) – a cake made from semolina, almonds and yoghurt flavoured with rosewater syrup. Here, it's served with quince – both roasted and made into a jelly – and a scoop of strained rosewater yoghurt.

First published in 2021




Namoura cake


Roast quince and jelly

Rose yoghurt

  • 150g of Greek yoghurt, strained through a jay cloth into a bowl overnight
  • 2 tsp rosewater


  • 20cm square loose-bottomed baking tin


Begin by making the quince jelly the day before. Peel, halve and core the quinces. Place the quince halves in water with lemon juice to prevent discolouration and set aside for tomorrow. Place the quince cores (including all the seeds) in a pan and cover with water
Bring to the boil then simmer until soft and completely broken down. Pass through a muslin cloth overnight without pressing to collect the liquid
Also on the day before, prepare the cake batter. Grease a 20cm square cake tin with the tahini
Mix the yoghurt (or cream) and milk together in a large bowl then stir in the ground almonds, semolina, sugar and salt and beat until evenly mixed. Pour into the greased cake tin and place in the fridge overnight
The next day, preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Cut the raw batter in the tin into 8 rectangular pieces and place a raw almond in the middle of each square. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean
At the same time, roast the quince. Drain the quince halves from the water, sprinkle with the brown sugar and roast until just tender – check them after 1 hour, but they could take longer depending on their size
  • 50g of brown sugar
Whilst the cake and quince bakes, weigh the strained quince syrup and for every 500g of liquid weight, add 250g sugar and 50g lemon juice. Simmer the syrup, lemon juice and sugar together until dissolved then boil for 20 minutes until set. Pour into a container
To make the syrup for the cake, place 100g of the quince jelly in a pan with the apple and lemon juice and boil for 5 minutes. Stir in the rosewater then pour over the cake whilst both are still hot. Leave to cool in the tin
Warm 100ml of quince jelly and toss the warm roasted quince halves in the warm jelly. Line a tray with greaseproof paper and place the quince cut-side down to set
Stir the rosewater into the strained yoghurt
  • 150g of Greek yoghurt, strained through a jay cloth into a bowl overnight
  • 2 tsp rosewater
To serve, decorate the cakes with almonds and gently warm through in a low oven. Place the cakes on plates, spooning over any remaining syrup, then serve alongside a nice dollop of yoghurt, a lovely piece of roasted quince and a spoon of the jelly. Sprinkle chopped pistachios and almonds over the quince
First published in 2021

A whirlwind of talent and skill in the kitchen (which she runs almost single-handedly), Stosie Madi has made rural inn the Parkers Arms one of the most beloved gastropubs in the country.

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