I have always had a passion, or you can even say addiction for cooking from my childhood. My mother did not allow me in the kitchen, but even then I found ways to source ingredients and surprise my family with things like pudding. I also used to research a lot of recipes, back then, we did not have internet, so I read recipe books even while I was in class.
In university, I had a roommate from Qatar, she used to make Arabian desserts such as Baklava and I was very fascinated by them. She told me of a specialty of her mother’s – Kunafa and I really wanted to learn it. It has become one of my favourite recipes because I love desserts and my husband also enjoys it a lot because he spent his childhood in Dubai and it reminds him of those days.
This recipe has been tweaked by me over the years, through many trials and errors. I consider myself a perfectionist, so I have experimented many times even sourcing ingredients from abroad, seeking the perfect Kunafa. This is the final version of my recipe, I hope you all enjoy it.
~ Jui Chowdhury, 2018.
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Laccha Shemai – 500 g
Mozzarella Cheese – 6 tbps
Cheddar Cream Cheese – 4 tbps
Fresh Cream – 200 g
Condensed Milk – 400 g
Full Cream Liquid Milk – 1 litre
Corn Flour – 4 tbps
Ghee – 3 tbps
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Powder Milk – 4 tbps
Pistachios (crushed) – 50 g
Almond – 50 g
In a thick pan, combine all of the milk, cream, condensed milk, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cream cheese and corn flour. Mix it thoroughly and boil until the texture turns thick and it appears glossy.
In another pan, fry the laccha shemai with ghee and sugar. Fry it for 5 minutes and then mix in the powdered milk.
Now, we require a bowl for the kunafa to set. Pour in the hot laccha shemai and press it down, flattening the top. Pour the hot and thick cream on top of this later and use a spatula to flatten the top. Then again, place another layer of laccha shemai on top of the cream cheese mixture. Garnish with crushed pistachios and almonds before serving.