A Pistachio Paste filled with Cream

A traditional Levantine dessert that is both very popular and really delicious.

In this dessert, pistachio is the star but as in most Arabic desserts semolina is a very traditional flour to use instead of the more modern wheat-based white flour used everywhere these days. Also as all traditional Arabic sweets are they are drenched with sugar syrup and therefore very sweet. I have adapted the recipe here with less sugar syrup than traditionally is used, and I even use raw honey to make this at times. Try it, you will love it.

Note that I have also included for you a video on how to make this dessert in a healthier version (omitting all possible allergens: gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and diabetic friendly) and also how to plate it in a more modern way. In the video, which I made for Hia Magazine, I produce another take on the classic dessert, one which works better for our new lifestyle and modern day requirements. Changing a little bit in the recipe of course produces different results than the classic dessert, however keeping this recipe available for those who suffer from intolerances and allergies. If you are a purist, and prefer the more familiar mafrookeh, then go for the classic recipe below and its modern variations as described.

In the video on this link, you can also watch how I make the traditional Mafrooket Fostoq, the recipe is in the first third section of the video, but also included are a few good entertaining hot and cold beverages for you to explore.


  • ¾ cup fine semolina
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 ½ cups peeled pistachio, finely ground
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp soft butter
  • 4 tbsp rose water
  • 2 tbsp sugar syrup


  • Mafrookeh is an arabic word literally means rubbed. As a dessert it refers to the pistachio rubbed with binders to create a paste.
  • You can melt some chocolate and dip the bottoms in the melted chocolate and leave to set before serving. You can serve half the quantity chocolate dipped and the other half plain for the purists. The dipping in chocolate is not part of the traditional way of making Mafrookeh, however I developed this recipe of mini chocolate dipped Mafrroket Fustoq  (as you see in the picture above) for Baker & Spice, and they love it, so I know you will too. Try it, the instructions are below.
  • Keep Mafrookeh refrigerated when stored if using fresh Ashta, otherwise the Ashta will spoil.


Toast the Semolina until golden. Mix with 2 tbsp butter and set aside to cool. In a food processor, process together the finely ground pistachio, icing sugar and cooled semolina mixture. Add the remaining 2 tbsp butter and continue to process. While the motor is running add the sugar syrup and rose water, process until you achieve a smooth sticky paste.

Stir over low heat for 2 minutes. Shape the mafrookeh to the desired shape and while in the mold, make a well in the centre and fill it with fresh Ashta (Arabic clotted cream), or Muhalabiyah (thickened milk Pudding) then tuck the top over the cream filling completely enclosing the filling. (this technique is very similar to that used in the making of Maamool, the traditional Arabic daye filled cookies)

Unmold and top with a small piping of Ashta on top, sprinkle with sliced almonds and pistachios and 1 edible flower or edible rose petal.

Serve cold and enjoy with tea 😉

Mafrookeh inspired…

We cling to the past, we anticipate the future, but are we ever really in anything but the now? Now, I can build on the past, I can lead to tomorrow and I am surely present… as such mafrookeh right now has many versions, free from the constraints and labels of any time or space. It simply is, and gorgeous. Are we ever able to accept that?

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