As I’ve been under the influence of a heavy work load this week and had barely made it all the way to Thursday while keeping my sanity, I am out of any smart thing to write. May be a nightcap can set matters straight for me but meanwhile I need to make yet another small contribution to humanity. A recipe for a light dessert that’s easy to prepare especially for those expatriates who miss their moms cooking. It’s known in Tartous as Khshaf (خشاف). It must go by another dozen names in Syria of which I’m not really aware. However, being on the doorstep of a weekend, you might all want to give Khshaf a try, the preparation of which is very straightforward and relatively clean. Khshaf is the Syrian equivalent of Jell-O although a little more elaborate and certainly tastier.
Khshaf for Six
-5 cups of water
-½ cup of cornstarch
-1 cup of sugar
-100 g (3.5 oz) of raisins
-100 g (3.5 oz) of crushed pistachios, pine nuts, soft almonds (or your choice of unsalted and tender nuts)
-2 tablespoons of coconut (powder)
-2 tablespoons of orange blossom water (Ma Zaher), optional if it’s not available, but highly recommended for this and other Syrian dessert recipes.
-Add the cornstarch and sugar to the water and heat while continuously stirring (stopping might turn the mixture into a useless lump).When the mixture thickens adequately (roughly 12 to 15 minutes under medium-low heat), add the raisins while stirring, then the rest of the nuts and the Ma Zaher.
-Remove from heat and pour into six individual bowls.
-Sprinkle the coconut on top and let cool at room temperature.
-Place into refrigerator and serve cold (an hour or so should do it and it will turn into a Jell-O ish substance).
-If you live alone or can’t find a date, have one every evening after dinner and work a little harder on improving your social life.
For those of you who are wondering, I did the stirring and believe me this is the hardest part in preparing this delicious recipe. Have a nice weekend!