For 30 years, Miassar Qassem, now 65, has been making her specialty, Palestinian Ka’ak and Maamoul to sell near the Great Omari Mosque in Gaza City, in the days preceding Eid-al-Fitr.
The Eid is a major Muslim holiday which comes at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
The people in the photos below, aside from Miassar, are family members and neighbors. The name of their project is ‘Beiti’ – My home.
The Palestine Chronicle would like to wish its Muslim readers a Ramadan and Eid Mubarak, and share with them these special Eid sweets recipe, which comes from the food blog Petite Cheffe.
For the dough:
1/2tsp dry active yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
2tbs orange blossom
For the Walnut filling:
Sugar syrup (1 cup Sugar + 1/2 cup Water + a couple of Lemon drops)
For the date filling:
250g dates (paste)
How to Make it
Pour the semolina flour into a large bowl, then melt the butter. Add the butter to the semolina and mix well.
Cover and set aside in a cool place for at least 24 hours (no need to refrigerate)
After 24 hours, add the yeast and water and mix with your hands again.
You might need to add more water depending on the type of Semolina you are using until a dough forms. If the dough is dry, gradually add more water until you reach the desired consistency.
Cover and set aside for an hour, you may prepare the fillings during this time.
For the walnut filling, place the ingredients into a blender and mix them to a medium sized blend; add the spices to taste (about 1 tsp of each cinnamon and nutmeg); add in the sugar syrup (again to taste).
As for the Date filling, add 1 tbs olive oil, the spices (to taste) and mix together using your fingers.
Shape equal sized balls of dough and set aside. Using your fingers, shape each ball into a semi sphere.
Add your choice of filling into the sphere, then gather the dough around it to form a ball. Place the stuffed ball into your mold and press lightly, then flip the mold onto a hard surface to release the Maamoul.
Place the Maamouls on a baking tray and bake at 180°C until just golden in color (about 16-18 minutes depending on your oven).
You could sprinkle some icing sugar once the Maamouls have cooled down, then enjoy!
(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)