Kataifi, divine pleasures


As far as traditional desserts go, we have a soft spot for syrupy ones over here. In general we have a sweet tooth in the family and we are very fussy on what comes through the door. Dessert has to be perfect! Greek patisseries will never seize to surprise me with their selection of classics and also very innovative desserts. Be it chocolate gateaux, tiramisu, profiteroles or oriental delights, there is always temptation around. Of course every place has its speciality too, but I should come back to this on another post. Home-made, of course, always wins hands down.


Kataifi is certainly in my top 3 oriental delights, along with galaktoboureko and baklava. My heart beats faster for crunch and syrup. Kataifi is the one dessert that can elevate the experience to divine pleasure. The golden springs add an extra crunch to the bite, doubled up by the nuts and syrup for this one is so light and fragrant, simply fit for a king!

I have to admit it was really hard to stop myself eating the whole tray. Mum came to the rescue and took it away. Friendly advice, when you make it, make a huge one, every one will want seconds! Here is what you will need:


Kataifi Ingredients

  • 500 gr kataifi pastry
  • 300 gr pistachios, unsalted
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground clove
  • 400 gr butter

For the syrup:

  • 330 ml water
  • 450gr sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon for its peel

Useful advice:

It fills a tray 28 x28 cm tray or 11’x11′. Also, use a dump towel to cover the kataifi pastry whilst shredding.

What to do

  1. First prepare the kataifi pastry. You will need to open up the strings carefully, so they are not stuck to each other and keep it in long pieces. Cover immediately with a dump cotton cloth to prevent it from drying.
  2. Butter your tray generously and melt the rest of the butter.
  3. Crush your pistachios finely and add the cinnamon and clove.
  4. Grab a handful of kataifi pastry enough to fill your palm. Place a spoonful of the
  5. pistachios mix and roll tight.
  6. Place in the tray and use all the little kataifi pieces snug next to each other.
  7. Bake for approx. 1 hour  until golden at 160 oC.
  8. Once in the oven, make your syrup. Add sugar, water, cinnamon stick and lemon peel and bring to the boil. Just as it starts bubbling remove from the fire, this is approx 7 minutes.
  9. Set the syrup aside to cool and once the kataifi tray is warm out of the oven, start pouring with a ladle on each individual piece. Cover with a clean towel and let absorb.
  10. After 10 minutes, check back and add the rest of the syrup again on each individual piece.
  11. Sprinkle with some fresh pistachios. You are ready!




Kataifi goes amazingly well with a scoop of ice-cream. Also feel free to add the nuts of your choice. Some even go for a mix of walnut, pistachios and almonds. Personally I am in love with pistachios.


with love from Athens

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7 thoughts on “Kataifi, divine pleasures

  1. Wandercooks says:

    Yum! We’ve only made them once before, but I like the look of this recipe with a slightly different method to what we tried last time. Think we are going to have to give it another go!

    • Eugenia says:

      I am totally with you! I have this abstract notion in my head, baklava in winter, kataifi in the summer so that they compete a little less with each other. Let me know how it goes when you try it!

    • Eugenia says:

      Hey, normally kataifi pastry is stocked in the frozen section of Middle-Eastern grocers, or Greek grocers. In your case it might be difficult Curtis, but start asking for it, you never know!

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