Kunafeh! The Middle-Eastern Dessert Gaining Traction In Indian Restaurants

Kunafeh! The Middle-Eastern Dessert Gaining Traction In Indian Restaurants
Image source: GQ India

The new cosmopolitan environment in small cities is creating excellent opportunities for restaurant owners to offer consumers a variety of delicious delicacies from around the globe. In today’s digital age, recipes are no longer a secret and to keep up to consumer demands, restaurants in India are introducing new dishes more frequently than ever. 

A new addition to this grand feast is Kunafeh! Many new businesses and startups are established with the aim to create more tasty and wholesome varieties of Kunafeh such as kunafaworld.com. This idea was presented on Shark Tank India season one, episode twenty-eight, demanding an initial stage funding while providing 5 percent equity to investors. 

The already existing Arabian food culture in India creates a conducive atmosphere for this middle-eastern dessert to flourish in the food industry. Kunafeh has a plethora of variants and names depending on the region it is offered in. Regardless of the subdivisions, it is an undeniable fact that it originates from the Egyptian and Syrian lands.

Oldest footprints of Kunafeh can be found in the famous book of delicacies called the ‘Kitab al tabikh fi-l-Maghrib wa-l-Andalus’ by Maghreb and Al-Andalus. Written in the thirteen century, it says Kunafeh was supposedly invented to cater the needs of caliphs during the Islamic holy month of fasting – Ramadan.

Kunafeh has three vital components. Firstly, it has vermicelli (locally known as sevaiya). Then it consists of cream and a variety of different toppings. The cream or cheese mixture is prepared initially (which sometimes includes milk). The next step is to break vermicelli into multiple pieces and mix it well with your choice of butter or ghee. The most crucial step is to create a foundational layer of cream mixture and vermicelli. Otherwise the structure can disintegrate easily. 

Selecting the toppings comes last, as they are known to influence the overall taste substantially. The most commonly used toppings are dry fruits, sweet syrups and honey. A layer of chocolate paste can uplift the taste too. Exclusive and well-garnished chocolate Kunafeh is now offered in many restaurants in India on popular demand.

If you are a sweet lover and are on the hunt for a delicious dessert, then the illustrious and delightful smell of Kunafeh will make you salivate instantaneously. The original trend was to have Kunafeh with Arabian dishes like Mandi and Qabsa. However, today there are countless outlets of renowned brands offering lots of varieties of Kunafeh to address the immense demand from foodies. Visit these restaurants in Ahmedabad city if you haven’t tried it already or curb your Kunafeh craving here: 

  1. Turkish Zaika 
  2. Gwalia Baklawa & Cafe 
  3. International Sweet Factory

Read more: Bunny Chow: The Indian Origins Of A South African Delicacy

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