Bint as-Sahn: The Perfect (Yemeni) Dessert?

Bint as Sahn (“Daughter of the Dish”)  is a traditional Yemeni dessert         consisting of light, flaky dough topped with sesame seeds and honey. Yesterday students were treated to a lesson in how to cook this tasty dish, and now we can share the recipe with you!

  • ½ Kilo of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large spoon of kreme caramel
  • ½ spoon of yeast
  • ½ spoon of salt
  • ½ spoon of sugar
  • ½ cup of sumun (ghee or clarified butter)
  • A little vegetable oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Honey, as much as you like!
  • A large, round baking tray (we used metal)

1. Heat up the sumun until it liquefies

2. In a large mixing bowl, put in your flour, yeast, kreme caramel, sugar, and salt

3. Make a hole in the middle of the flour

4. Put in your two eggs and one cup of liquid sumun

5. Add enough water and begin kneading with your hands. Slowly add water as needed until your dough reaches a gooey buy firm consistency. After about 6 minutes of kneading, add a small palmful of vegetable oil.

6. Once the dough is suitable solid, cover it with a plastic bag and let it sit while you grease the baking trays with a little leftover sumun and flour

7. Take little fist-sized balls of the dough and place them in the pan until you have used up all the dough. Then roll the balls until they are smooth and solid. Cover with plastic when you finish.

8. With the back of a spoon, lightly spread a little vegetable oil over each one.

9. Take a ball and put it on a well-floured surface. Flatten it out with the tips of your finders. Then toss it back and forth like a pizza, widening and flattening the dough until it is very thin (much thinner than pizza would be!). If it rips a little, its not a huge problem.

10. Place the dough in an empty baking tray and spread it out, pinching the sides to the sides of the tray.

11. Repeat the flattening process with each ball of dough. For one tray of bint as sahn you want around 8-9 layers of dough.

12. After you have applied the second layer of dough, drizzle a mixture of liquid sumun and vegetable oil over the dough. Spread about and repeat for each successive layer.

13. Once you have reached your top layer, drizzle sumun and vegetable oil and then spread the sesame seeds over the top.

14. Bake in a hot oven for around 10 minutes, or until the dough looks cooked. You do not want it too crispy – remember, these are very thin layers and will cook quickly!

15. As soon as the bint as sahn is removed from the oven, pour as much honey on top as you like, cut yourself a slice, and enjoy a bit of Yemeni cuisine at its finest!!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Bint as-Sahn: The Perfect (Yemeni) Dessert?

  1. Zack

    Mmmmmmmmm…… I love this dish. Thank you for posting this and pray for my wife that is going to attempt to make this for me.

  2. Hassan

    it really draws a smile on my face to see foreigners spread their interest in the cuisine of my homeland to the globe ..

    I’ll be so glad to assist you with more recipes (main courses/desserts) just hit me up on hassantheace@gmail.com

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