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Qatayef - Middle Eastern Semolina Pancakes (Step by Step)


  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water (16.5oz, 469g)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (7.5oz, 213g)
  • 1/2 cup fine semolina (3.5oz, 100g)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Combine the yeast, warm water, and sugar. Stir. Let set on counter for a few minutes until it becomes foamy.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine.
  3. Cover with plastic and let rest on counter until bubbly. This can take 1-2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.
  4. After batter is bubbly, heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees F or a nonstick or well seasoned cast iron skillet to medium.
  5. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls into neat 4 inch circles onto the griddle. Use your ladle or bottom of measuring cup to lightly make a swirling motion to help spread the batter to 4 inches. You don't want the pancake to be too thick or it will be difficult to fill.
  6. The pancakes will begin to form tiny bubbles. When the surface is covered with bubbles and no longer shiny and the bottoms are a pale golden, remove the pancake from the griddle and place on a plate. Do not flip them over. You will not be cooking the other side of the pancake.
  7. Keep the pancakes covered with a kitchen towel while you finish cooking the rest. Stack the pancakes on the plate with a sheet of waxed paper between them.
  8. When you have finished and they have cooled, wrap them in plastic wrap so they don't dry out. If they dry out they will not close when you fill them.