Nammoura or Bassboussa (Egypt) is a Middle Eastern sweet that is usually prepared with semolina. There are many recipes for nammoura but the traditional one is prepared with yoghurt or milk added to the semolina. Sugar syrup is added to the nammoura after it’s been baked. So the outcome is a dense sweet cake that is loaded with Middle Eastern flavors like rose water and orange blossom water. For so many months, I’ve been trying to make gluten-free nammoura, and the outcome was either too dry, too wet, too crunchy, or too flaky. I could never get the right consistency of the traditional nammoura with gluten-free ingredients. Finally, I was able to create an amazing recipe and the outcome was scrumptious. It came out as good as the original one. I hope you will try it and enjoy it with your whole family!

Ingredients

Syrup

- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. orange blossom water
- 1 tbsp. rose water

Nammoura

- 1 ½ cups polenta
- 1 cup corn meal (and not cornstarch)
- ½ cup all-purpose gluten free flour
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup coconut oil or butter (If you can eat dairy products)
- 2 ¼ cups almond milk or low fat regular milk (If you can eat dairy products)
- 2 tbsp. blanched almonds


Method (Syrup)

  1. Start with the syrup first because it has to be cool when poured over the hot nammoura. 
  2. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan. 
  3. Bring to boil then add lemon juice. 
  4. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 4 minutes. 
  5. Turn the heat off and add the orange blossom water and rose water. 
  6. Let it cool aside.

Method (Nammoura)

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl (Polenta, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and coconut) 
  2. Mix the milk and the oil together and add to the dry ingredients. 
  3. Mix well with a spatula or a wooden spoon. 
  4. Let the mix rest for few minutes and then stir again. 
  5. Use a rectangular baking sheet (45 cm x 30 cm). 
  6. Put some tahini (sesame paste) and spread it evenly all around the sheet. 
  7. Don’t forget the sides. 
  8. Sprinkle some corn meal on the baking sheet and then add the mix. 
  9. Cut the mix into squares before baking and put almonds in the middle of each square. 
  10. Spread evenly by wetting your hand and patting the dough. 
  11. Bake in a pre-heated oven on 200°C for 45-50 minutes or until it’s golden brown. 
  12. Take out from the oven and pour the cool syrup evenly. 
  13. It might appear that it’s too much syrup, but let it sit for 10-15 minutes and you will notice that all the syrup has been absorbed. 
  14. Serve the nammoura at room temperature.