The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Arts & Culture -

Dish of the Week: Basbousa with Qeshta

basbousa cairo Dish of the Week egypt Mood of the week Qeshta
Dish of the Week: Basbousa with Qeshta
written by
Nada Wahba

Dear Dish of the Week and Cairo360 readers, it’s been a great week. The weather is clearer, the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the overall mood is brighter. We said farewell to many things this past week, and it feels like we’re also slowly saying goodbye to winter, which is a shame for all winter lovers, including a select few of our people here. However, we’re always looking forward to new beginnings! 

As the weather slowly shifts towards spring, we’re reminded of the nostalgia of summer and the associations that come with it. The perfect dish to describe the mood of this past week is basbousa with qeshta, an iconic Egyptian dessert that many enjoy and indulge in. 

Usually, this dessert is common among celebrations and holidays; it is so decadent and sweet that many choose to only have it every once in a while and not on the regular. Therefore, you can definitely put it in the category of dessert to have on special occasions. 

Basbousa is essentially a type of cake made from semolina, drenched in sugar syrup and topped with a mixture of nuts and heavy Egyptian cream, or qeshta. There is no single traditional recipe for basbousa—there are plenty of variations according to how people enjoy it; however, a good basbousa always has to be soft with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. While it is under the category of cake, it is quite the opposite of how a cake should be; a basbousa is typically dense and moist, with an overwhelming ghee flavour. 

Basbousa is literally translated to “just a kiss”, which we think is adorable! This entire week passed by quite fast, which felt as rewarding as getting a kiss. Our team has never bonded like we have this past couple of weeks, working harder than usual and feeling productive overall. Note to self and others; whether you’ve had a similar experience or have had a tough week, get yourself a basbousa with qeshta, and you’ll momentarily forget all your troubles within the few seconds of the first bite! 

Let us know how your week was in the comments, share your experience with us, and stay tuned for next week’s dish. Let’s hope we keep up the happy streak!