Qatayef Asafiri – Middle Eastern Dessert

5/5 - (7 votes)

Qatayef Asafiri – MIddle Eastern Dessert are filled pancakes. Typically they are served during the month of Ramadan. They come in two main versions. The ones that I made were open ended and filled with cream and mascarpone. However another variation is to fold the pancakes in half and seal the filling inside so it can be fried, or baked. The filling varies too. The choice of filling is endless but more usually it is nuts, cream or cheese. In addition the qatayef are usually served with a syrup. The open ones also have some ground pistachios sprinkled on the filling as well.

I’ll explain a little about the qatayef. Quite simply they are pancakes. However, unusually, they are cooked on just one side. As they cook the top becomes airy as holes appear all over the surface. Then, once cooked, the pancakes are folded. in half. The edge is sealed.

The pancake is filled and then folded and sealed, for the fried version. I wont say more about that in this post, since this recipe is not for that type of qatayef asafiri.

Qatayef Asafiri - Middle Easter Dessert

Open-ended Qatayef Asafiri

For this open-ended version the pancakes are folded and pressed along the edge to seal, but not all the way, leaving one end open.

That then leaves the opening to have a lovely creamy filling inserted. The filling can vary to personal tastes. But for mine I used mascarpone and double cream. In addition I used rose water and orange blossom water to flavour the filling. Those flavours are synonymous with The Middle East. Indeed the pancake is also lightly flavoured with some rose water too. But that is not all. Once assembled the filled qatayef have some ground pistachios sprinkled on them. The qatayef are not particularly sweet but usually a syrup is served too, again flavoured with some rose water.

So to give more details of the recipe, and process, the first thing is to make a simple, flavoured, syrup. Then the pancake batter is made too, and left to rest. As the batter rests the mascarpone and cream filling can be prepared.

The next step is to cook the pancakes. It is important to keep the cooked pancakes moist and supple. So they are place between two clean tea towels until needed.

Then when all the pancakes are cooked they can be shaped and filled. The pistachio is added and the qatayef is ready to serve with the syrup.

I should mention that I also used some ground Mahleb(mahlepi) powder, which is a spice favoured in the Middle East. That, though, is optional as it can be difficult to obtain.

Qatayef Asafiri - Middel Eastern Dessert

My Qatayef Asafiri

I found everything very easy to do. I made the syrup and left it to cool before adding a little rose water.

Then I made the batter, to the consistency of double cream and left it to rest. As the batter rested I mixed the mascarpone and cream with a little sugar and some rose water and orange blossom water.

I used my griddle to cook the pancakes but a not stick frying pan will work just as well.

Having kept the pancakes covered they were easily folded and sealed on the edge, leaving one end open. I piped my filling into the shaped pancakes and the dipped them in some ground pistachios.

I actually one made 10 qatayef asafiri on the day and wrapped the remaining pancakes in plastic wrap to use the following day. Then I stored them in the fridge along with the remaining filling.

I served myself just one pancake for tasting, with some of the syrup drizzled over the top. What a wonderful experience it was to eat.

I just loved the floral overtones, which reminded me of that wonderful Turkish Delight, which has given me an idea for a future recipe.

Qatayef Asafiri – Video

Another easy recipe is Scotch Pancakes – Drop Scones, with Bananas & Butterscotch Sauce.

Qatayef Asafiri – Middle Eastern Dessert

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: DessertsCuisine: Middle EasternDifficulty: Medium


Prep time(and assembly)


Cooking time




  • Pancakes
  • 125g(3/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour

  • 40g(1/4 cup) fine semolina

  • 13g(1 tbsp) caster sugar

  • 1.5g(1/2 tsp) instant yeast

  • 2g(1/2 tsp) baking powder

  • 2g(1/2 tsp) baking soda

  • 1g(1/4 tsp) ground mahleb(optional)

  • 1.5ml(1/4 tsp) rose water

  • 330ml(1 1/4 cups + 2 tbsp) water

  • Filling
  • 225g(1 cup) mascarpone (or ricotta)

  • 120ml(1/2 cup) double cream

  • 20g(3 tbsp) icing sugar

  • 2.5ml(1/2 tsp) rose water

  • 2.5ml(1/2 tsp) orange blossom water

  • 25g(3-4 tbsp) ground pistachios(you may not need it all)

  • Syrup
  • 100g(1/2 cup) caster sugar

  • 60ml(1/4 cup) water

  • 2.5ml(1/2 tsp) lemon juice

  • 5ml(1 tsp) rose water


  • Place the water, sugar and lemon juice for the syrup into a saucepan.
  • Place the pan on the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then allow it to simmer for 5 minutes until the syrup starts to thicken.
  • Remove the syrup from the heat and pour into a dish, then leave it to cool.
  • Mix all the dry ingredient for the batter together.
  • Place them in a bowl(or food processor) and add the water and rose water.
  • Whisk/process the mixture until you have a smooth batter, then leave it to rest for at least 15 minutes.
  • Place the mascarpone, cream, icing sugar, rose water and orange blossom water into a large bowl and whisk them until all is combined into a nice thick, pipeable, consistency.
  • Spoon the filling into a piping bag(you can use a spoon to fill the qatayef if you don’t wish to pipe it).
  • Place the filling into the fridge to chill whilst making the pancakes.
  • Heat a griddle or a non-stick frying pan to a medium heat(about 180c/350F).
  • Pour 1 tbsp spoon of batter onto the griddle to form one pancake, repeat to use the remaining space on the griddle/pan.
  • Allow the pancakes to cook for about one minute until holes appear on the surface. See note below.
  • When the surface has turned dull all over the pancake is cooked.
  • Place the cooked pancakes onto a clean tea towel and cover with another clean one to keep the pancakes moist.
  • When all the pancakes are cooked stir the 5ml rose water into the cooled syrup.
  • Take each pancake and fold it in half and press the edge together to seal it, leaving one end open.
  • Pipe the filling(or spoon it) into the open end of the pancake until full.
  • Dip the creamy end into the pistachios and place the pancake on a plate.
  • Drizzle a little syrup over the pancakes just before serving.

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