Gatayef – Middle Eastern Pancakes

DSC00430Around the Middle East and the Islamic world everyone is celebrating the fasting month of Ramadan, and on this occasion I want to wish all of my Muslim friends and anyone who reads my blog a blessed Ramadan!

Now even if you don’t celebrate Ramadan like me, that doesn’t mean you cant make the delicious sweets that are popular during this month, today I will be presenting to you a recipe for an amazing, easy and authentic Arabic pancake named Gatayef, its a dough slightly similar to pancake filled with walnuts, cinnamon, sugar, cheese and all kinds of delicious goods, if you think we stop here think again, we then fry them (I believe you are sold) dipped in a simple syrup infused with rose water.


So without further ado I introduce to you the ingredients:

Gatayef Pancake:

  • 2 cup All purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Semolina (if unavailable just use 2 1/2 cup of flour)
  • 2 tsp Active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 3 Cups Warm water
  • Pinch of Salt

Walnut filling:

  • 250 gm chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbs grated coconut
  • 2 tbs Cinnamon
  • 1 tbs Sugar

Cheese Filling:

  1. 5 pieces of Nabbulsi cheese (or Akkawi cheese less salty)
  2. 100 gm Pistachios
  3. 2 small balls of Mastic
  4. 1/8 tsp sugar
  5. Splash of rose water

Simple syrup:

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • Squeeze of half a Lemon
  • 2 tsp Rose water (after you turn off the heat)


Simple Syrup:

Combine all ingredients in a medium size saucepan, on medium heat mix and let the heat do its thing, I like to add a couple of drops of rose water towards the end.

Pancake Batter:

  • Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined, don’t over mix 🙂 and set aside until it turns foamy and doubles in size (that’s when the active dry yeast does its job).

Very easy right! however if you are not sure that your yeast is alive, just dissolve the yeast in  a glass of warm water, sugar and wait for it to become foamy, if it did, it can be incorporated into the rest of the batter, if not, go and get some new one from the store, or you can substitute with baking powder.

  • In a non stick pan pour the batter as you would when making DSC00415pancakes (keep on a medium heat), the first couple of gatayefs will have a weird shape but that’s the beauty of cooking at home, remember beauty comes in all shapes and sizes 😉 Now when the top bubbles and dry remove and keep covered in a kitchen towel, until you finish, don’t flip your gatayef they are not pancakes 🙂
  • DSC00419

Walnut filling:

Mix all of the ingredients.DSC00420

Cheese Filling:

  1. Soak the Nabbulsi cheese overnight and change the water a couple of times until it is no longer salty, I prefer to have a slight salty flavor to my cheese.DSC00417
  2. Crumble and squeeze any excess water.
  3. In a mortar and pestle add the mastic and 1/4 tsp of sugar and grind, the sugar is important so the mastic wont stick to your equipment, since it is the resin of the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus).
  4. Roughly chop the pistachios, then mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Stuff the Gatayef:

Place a spoonful of either the cheese or walnut mixture in the middle of the gatayef then seal the edges making  sure the stuffing doesn’t touch the edges as it will prevent it from being sealed properly.DSC00418

Repeat for all of your gatayef, fry them and dip in the syrup.

DSC00426 DSC00421 DSC00427


8 thoughts on “Gatayef – Middle Eastern Pancakes

  1. lefoodsnob says:

    Yum!!! I love pancakes of any kind. I think I need to figure out some substitutions here. I’ve never heard of these cheeses and am not sure they are available but will scour the grocery store next time I go and see what I can find. You definitely sold me on the part where you fry them 🙂


    • procrastinatorcook says:

      You can find Akkawi or Nabulsi cheese in Middle Eastern stores or Turkish stores.. If you couldn’t find it you can substitute with the mix of mozzarella and haloumi cheese make sure they are low in salt content (soak the haloumi for a couple of hours or overnight depending on how salty it is) your cheese should have a slight salty flavor to it but not too overpowering.


  2. Ana Cristina Owens says:

    Oh my goodness a FRIED PANCAKE!!! I’m going to die!! It looks incredibly delicious!! I have to try this one day!! Thank you for sharing. I’ve been following you over at youtube on Jamie’s channel for the competition 😉 Love all your dishes!! Good luck 😀


    • procrastinatorcook says:

      Yeah it is absolutely delicious.. you can make a bunch and freeze them, then fry as much as you want… Yes I remember your name and comments on my videos, thank you for your support and thanks for subscribing! please do subscribe to my blog and share the recipes with your friends and family 😀


    • procrastinatorcook says:

      Oh thank you Brisbane swimming pool builders (what a long name you have there 😉 ) hope you try this recipe out … am really happy and excited that my blog is getting attention from people around the world… please feel free to roam around the blog and I would love to hear your opinion and criticism as well 🙂


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