clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Harrisa in a Bakeware

Harissa Dessert AKA Namoura

  • Author: Wafa Shami
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Palestinian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Harissa is a delicious easy dessert made with semolina or farina flour, then covered with simple syrup once baked.This great recipe have different names in different areas of the Middle East, known as namoura dessert or namoura cake under Lebanese desserts or as a delicious Lebanese semolina cake, on the other hand the Egyptian version is known as basbousa recipe or basbousa cake, or  Egyptian harissa dessert.



Simple Syrup

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon squeezed
  • lemon zest


  • 1 &1/4 cup farina
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup milk
  • lemon zest (one lemon-optional)
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter
  • Almonds or walnut for garnish


Simple Syrup

1. In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat add sugar, water, bring to boil, stir well all together.
2. Add lemon juice, and zest, let it simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat and set aside


1. Preheat the oven to 350F - 176C degrees.
2. Grease baking pan with tahini.
3. Mix all ingredients well together.
4. Pour the entire mix and spread it in the baking pan.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, then bring it out of the oven, and spread with butter on top.
6. Cut harissa into diamond or square shapes, and place an almond on top of each square.
7. Place it back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes and until the edges are brown.
8. For a more golden brownish color on top, place it under the broiler for only 2-3 minutes.
9. Pour cooled-off simple syrup into the hot harissa once taken out of the oven.


  • Make sure that the cool syrup is poured over the hot cake. This process helps to absorb the simple sugar syrup. If both are cooled off the sugar syrup will be sitting on the top of the cake.
  • The combination of the milk and yogurt makes the batter so liquidy and hard to cut prior to baking. Therefore, it’s best to bring the cake out of the oven halfway through baking, cut it into shapes, and rub butter, then place it back in the oven for the rest of the baking time. Cutting harrisa helps the sugar syrup to get into the cake and get fully absorbed.
  • You may need to re-cut the slices after baking and once served.
  • Make sure that the Farina used is a Middle Eastern brand.