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Saudi Klaija

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A Bite of History: Unveiling the Allure of Klaija

What if a cookie could be both delightfully crunchy and melt-in-your-mouth tender? In Saudi Arabia, that answer lies in klaija, where a golden shell guards a secret treasure of date molasses, cardamom, and cinnamon.

Each bite of Klaija is a symphony of flavors. Whole wheat and white flour form a warm canvas, kissed by the fragrant waltz of cardamom and ginger. Ghee, like liquid gold, binds them into a tender embrace. And at its heart? A sweet and aromatic dance of granulated sugar, black lime, cinnamon, and date syrup, a melody composed by generations of pastry masters.

In January 2024, my quest for a culinary connection to my Saudi heritage led me to the heart of our kitchen. Inspired by family suggestions, especially my father’s nostalgic recommendation, Klaija emerged as the chosen dish. The challenge? Sourcing the elusive traditional wooden mold. Undeterred, my father and I, faced with obstacles, pivoted to a baking tray bearing the Klaija pattern. This makeshift solution became a testament to our adaptability and resilience. Beyond its ingredients, Klaija became a symbol of connection and improvisation. As its aroma filled the kitchen, I realized the most memorable recipes often arise from a blend of tradition and creative adaptation.

Gather your ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup white wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon powdered milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 tablespoons ghee
  • ⅔ cup warm water

For the Filling:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon black lime powder
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ tablespoon ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon date syrup

Let’s bake!

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry dough ingredients.
  2. Work in the ghee, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add cardamom and ginger, then gradually incorporate warm water, kneading until you have a soft, smooth dough. Cover and let rest for 15-20 minutes.

Time for the filling:

  1. Simply mix your granulated sugar, black lime, cinnamon, and ginger with the date syrup, creating a sweet and fragrant paste.

Now, the fun begins!

  1. Shape your rested dough into palm-sized balls, then roll each into a thin circle.
  2. Spoon the filling into the center of each circle, fold over, and gently seal the edges, forming a ball.
  3. Press your Klaija-shaped treasures into a mold (or get creative with your hands!).
  4. Arrange them on an oiled baking sheet and let them bake at 180°C for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
  5. Let your Klaija cool slightly before taking that first blissful bite.

Our Klaija is more than a recipe; it’s a portal to childhood kitchens filled with laughter and the scent of memories baking in the oven. It’s a thread connecting me to the rich tapestry of Middle Eastern culture, a warm invitation to share and celebrate.

So, take this recipe, these flavors, this piece of history, and make it your own. Let your kitchen fill with the magic of Klaija, create your own memories, and join the chorus of sweetness that transcends time and borders.

Embrace the Klaija symphony – bake, savor, and share!

Saudi Klaija

Klaija is a traditional sweet pastry originating from the Qassim region of Saudi Arabia. It's known for its unique combination of textures and flavors
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Resting time20 minutes
Total Time1 hour
snacks, sweets
saudi
Servings: 12 klaijas
Calories: 162kcal

Equipment

1 Klaija Mold can be replaced with any cookie mold

Ingredients  

For the dough:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup white wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon powdered milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 tablespoons ghee
  • cup warm water

For the filling:

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon black lime powder
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ tablespoon ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon date syrup

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix the dry dough’s ingredients.
  • Add ghee and mix well.
  • Add cardamom and ginger.
  • Gradually add warm water and knead until a soft, smooth dough forms.
  • Cover the dough and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • For the filling: Mix granulated sugar, black lime, cinnamon, and ginger with date syrup.
  • Shape into palm-sized balls and roll each into a thin circle.
  • Place a spoonful of the filling in the center of each circle, fold the dough, and seal the edges well to form a ball.
  • Press the dough in a klaija mold to shape it.
  • Place the klaija on baking sheets greased with oil.
  • Bake the klaija in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Allow the klaija to cool slightly before serving.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1Klaija | Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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