Three Exotic Middle Eastern Desserts

Ice cream, chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, tiramisu, cheesecake, sponge cake, chocolate chip cookies, lemon pie, cupcakes, apple pie, caramelized apples, cotton candy – these are all great desserts, but, by now, pretty much everyone has already tried them at least once or twice (if not consumed them on a daily basis). So why not spice up our dessert cookbook for once? Why not try something new? Something radically new. The only question is: well, what should we try? Thankfully, this is a question that has plagued our thoughts for quite some time now, and we decided to put our suffering to work and curate this brief list of exotic desserts. Enjoy!




baklava on a plate

Gettyimages / Burcu Atalay Tankut / Moment


Some argue that the name ‘baklava’ may come from the Mongolian word, bayla – ‘to tie, warp up, pile up.’ The dessert is a layered pastry dessert composed of filo pastry, filled with chopped nuts, and, finally, sweetened with syrup or honey. It was one of the most prevalent and popular pastries of the Ottoman Empire.




malabi with a small spoon

Gettyimages / Barry Winiker / Photodisc


Malabi is an iconic Middle Eastern dessert. It’s basically a pudding made out of rice flour and milk topped off with a bit of sweet, pink rose water, and perhaps even a few toppings such as peanuts and coconut flakes. The dessert has enjoyed a recent spike in popularity due to the fact that it is so easy to redesign it into a delicious, vegan dessert.


Tahini Halva


tahini slices in a plate

Gettyimages / Burcu Atalay Tankut / Moment


When people say ‘halva’ they often mean tahini halva, but there are actually many forms of the confections, a common variety being based on toasted semolina. The dessert originated in Persia, modern-day Iran, in the 7th century at the latest.


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