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Helbeh/ Fenugreek Cake

Today I will share the recipe of a Fenugreek cake called Helbeh. Fenugreek seeds, Helba (حلبة) in Arabic an aromatic bittersweet spice, has quite a strong flavor. This little seed contains proteins, fiber and Vitamin C, niacin, potassium, iron and alkaloids. Among some of their benefits are : it increases milk production among nursing mothers, helps reduce symptoms of PMS, reduce cholesterol, increases the libido, reduces heartburn, you can loose weight by reducing the appetite, and cure skin inflammations.

Palestinian Helbeh

In Palestine and Jordan, any new mother can expect to receive a tray of these helba cake! Indeed, all members of the family can enjoy this dessert. :)

This cake is easy to make, though there are a few steps, Helba seeds must first be boiled in water, Semolina and flour is then mixed together, and patted into a tray. The cake is allowed to rise while a simple sugar syrup is made.

Helbeh cake

After the cake is baked, the cooled syrup is poured over the hot cake and allowed to soak in completely.

Fenugreek seeds

Always make helbeh at least a day before you want to serve it, as the flavors need time to come together.

Fenugreek cake bars

Now,will leave you with the full recipe! Enjoy :)

الوصفه باللغه العربية اضغط هنا

Palestinian Helba /Fenugreek cake


3 cups fine Semolina

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Fenugreek seeds

2 1/2 cups water

2 tsp. instant yeast

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp anise powder

For garnish : almonds, blanched and peeled

Simple syrup : 2 cups sugar + 1.5 cup water + 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions :

- For syrup, place sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small pot over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

- In a small pot, put 2 1/2 cups of water and 1/4 cup fenugreek seeds. Bring to a boil, and allow to boil until the water is reduced to around 1 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Drain the seeds, reserving the cooking water.

- Coat a 12 inch or 30cm baking tray with 1 tsp. of Tahini paste (Sesame paste) ,or you can use butter instead. Keep aside.

- Combine the flour and semolina in a mixing bowl. Add oil. Using your fingers, rub the oil into the semolina and flour until completely incorporated.

- Add in fenugreek seeds, cinnamon , anise powder, baking powder,instant dry yeast, and salt. Then gradually add fenugreek water that you have reduced and cooled. Knead to combine. Don't over mix

dough making1

- If you don't have enough liquid make it up with water. Knead the dough until is completely smooth But don't over mix.

- Pat dough into the baking tray in an even layer. Cut diagonal shape.

cutting dough

- Place one almond in the center of each diamond. Cover the cake tin with a towel and set aside in a warm place for about 1 hour to rise.

- At the end of the resting time, preheat oven to 200* C degrees. Bake for about 25 minutes. Turn on broiler, and broil for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.

- Once the cake is cooked, remove it from the oven and immediately drizzle the syrup all over it. Let the cake cool completely before covering it well with foil. Serve hot or cold.

Bon Appétit :)

#Fenugreekcake #Semolina #cake #palestiniancuisine #palestiniansweets #Helba

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