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Beirut “Assida”

Porridge-like Tunisian Assida ©

Assida is an Arabic dish popular in several countries like Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Oman, Sudan and Yemen, with versions varying according to the country of origin. Assida is usually eaten by hand, and prepared on religious holidays and special occasions like the birth of a baby. Modern versions of Assida include serving the pudding with honey, or pistachio, or date and carob molasses etc. In Sudan, Assida is sometimes served with a tomato based sauce.

Algerian Assida ©

In Lebanon, Assida also called Harira is a Beiruti dish prepared for breakfast or as dessert, and commonly enjoyed during cold days of winter.  Based on popular folk stories, Assida was originally invented in the Ottoman period by women facing financial constraints. The created dish was not only consistent but also cheap to prepare and loved by the kids. The Beiruti Assida has a pudding consistency similar to “Sahlab” and is usually consumed with “kaak Orchali”- the long kaak cookies covered with sesame.

Beiruti Assida makes a wonderful meal on a cold day 🙂

For a healthier option of Assida, replace the butter with vegetable oil and include milk instead of water.

Servings: 4

Calories: 510 calories/serving


1 cup of flour
1.5 cups of sugar
65 g of butter
8 cups of water
2 tbsp. of blossom water

Preparation steps:

  1. In a big bowl, mix the flour with water until well diluted
  2. Use a strainer to remove big clots and obtain a homogenous mixture
  3. In a large cooking pot, add to the flour mixture to the sugar and butter and leave them to a boil
  4. Keep stirring for around 1 hour until you get a thick consistency
  5. Add 2 tbsp. of orange blossom water
  6. Serve hot
A modern version of the Moroccan Assida. It actually looks like “meghle” with its decoration! ©HuffingtonPostMaghreb

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