Qatayef (Arabic Pancakes)


Quantity: 15 – 18

Preparation Time: 90 min.

Qatayef also spelled Katayef are sweet, half-moon shaped pancakes with various kinds of filling, from white sweetened cheese to dates or nuts. They are fried in oil and like many Middle-Eastern sweets dropped in a cold sugar syrup. My recipe uses two different fillings: pitted dates and walnuts.



  • 1 cup (225 g) flour
  • 1 cup (225 ml) cold water
  • 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Tahini (sesame paste – optional)
  • oil for frying

Date Filling:

  • 12 pitted dates

Walnut Filling:

  • 1 cup (225 g) walnuts or hazelnuts, finely chopped or crushed with a mortar and pestle
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) raisins
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder


  • 1/2 cup (115 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice or rose water (optional)


Combine all the batter ingredients in a bowl. Mix it well with a balloon whisk until you obtain a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with a wet, well-wrung tea towel and let it rest in a warm area for 30-45 minutes.

In the meantime mix the finely chopped walnuts or hazelnuts with the raisins, the sugar, and the cinnamon powder. Set aside.

Prepare the syrup, by mixing water, sugar and adding the lemon juice or rose water (optional) in a saucepan. Don’t change the approximate 1:1 ratio between water and sugar. Using less sugar won’t lead to a satisfactory result. Slowly reduce liquid over low heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until syrupy.

Heat a Teflon coated griddle pan over medium heat. Add batter by the tablespoon on a hot griddle. From each tablespoon of batter make a flat round of about 2-3 inches (5-7 cm) in diameter. When bubbles start to appear on the top of the rounds and they start to look dry after 1-2 minutes, remove them from the griddle. Do not turn them on the other side. Let them cool with the cooked side down on a baking paper.

When you start filling the pancakes make sure that the cooked side is on the outside, otherwise, you will not be able to close the filling inside. Put about 1 teaspoon of walnut or hazelnut filling or a pitted date inside. Fold them so that they resemble a half-moon. Press them closed by using your fingers. Make sure they are well closed.

Heat about 2 inches (5 cm) of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Fry Qataief until they are nicely golden brown about 2-3 minutes. Turn them around in the frying oil frequently, so they get a nice color all around. Remove them from oil and let them drain on kitchen towels.

When all are done, dunk them one by one in the sugar syrup. Let excess syrup run off and put them on a plate. They are best eaten on the same day.

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