December 26, 2021   Read time 3 min
A delectable Arabic dessert made from rolls of soft, sweet cheese dough that gets stuffed with clotted cream, and crowned with pistachios and rose petal jam. A drizzle of syrup flavored with orange blossom and rose water puts the final seal of perfection.



  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • A squeeze of lemon juice (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 3/4 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 3/4 teaspoon rose water


  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • 1 cup (160g) fine semolina (known in Arabic as semeed naa'em)
  • 2 cups (240g) mozzarella cheese, shredded*
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water


If using the Easy Homemade Ashta as your filling, start by making it as it needs at least one hour to set.


  1. In the small saucepan, combine together the sugar, water and squeeze of lemon juice. Set on the stove top over medium high heat.
  2. Bring to a rolling boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for no longer than 10 minutes. Set a timer! The syrup will thicken slightly, and have a consistency similar to pancake syrup. If it simmers for longer it could thicken too much and become candy-like and not pourable. Stir in the orange blossom and rose water
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.


  1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat together the water and sugar, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil then add in the fine semolina, stirring constantly with a spatula until well combined and slightly thickened; about 30 seconds.
  2. Turn down the heat to medium, then add in the cheese and rose water, and stir well until the cheese melts and the mixture forms a soft, cohesive dough. Allow to cool briefly until it's warm enough to handle.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces; take 1 half of the dough to work with and cover the other half. Turn out the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and cover with another sheet. Roll out the dough between the 2 sheets of plastic wrap, into a 9X13 inch (23cmX33cm) rectangle. Remove the plastic wrap on top. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, trim off the irregular sides of the dough to form a clean cut rectangle. You could use a ruler or the edge of an object to help you get straight sides.
  4. Fill a piping bag with the eshta (clotted cream) and snip off about 1 inch (2 cm) of the tip. Start piping the eshta on the long side closest to you, leaving a 1 inch (2cm) border. Alternatively, you could just spoon the eshta on the dough with a spoon.
  5. Using the plastic wrap under the dough, lift the dough and roll it over the cream filling, until the cream filling is completely covered, the dough seals it in and looks like a thin log. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, make a cut along side the log to slice it off from the rest of the dough. Repeat this process to make make 2 more logs.
  6. For cleaner cuts, place the logs in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm them up a little; its not necessary though. Then using a sharp knife or bench scraper, divide the logs into 1 3/4inch (4cm) pieces. You should have 30 to 32 pieces.
  7. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
  8. Arrange the rolls on the serving platter, sprinkle each with a little ground pistachios in the center and rose petal jam.
  9. Serve alongside the syrup, drizzling each piece with some before eating.
  10. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.

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