Basbusa, baklawa and other sweet pastries for Ramadan

Tibrah and Nuara Bazama are introducing their Dublin cafe clients to the delights of Arabic pastries

Nuara and Tibrah Bazama with   pastries they make at their Munch cafe in Balally, Dublin

Nuara and Tibrah Bazama with pastries they make at their Munch cafe in Balally, Dublin

 

Tibrah Bazama and her sister Nuara, who have an Irish mother and Libyan father, have been keeping the Arabic community in Dublin supplied with a huge selection of the sweet pastries traditionally eaten during Ramadan, which are made at their Munch cafe in Balally, Dundrum.

“We began this initiative last year with lockdown happening, as we found a lot of the Muslim Arabic community working in big companies like Facebook and Google, were unable to return home for the festive season,” Tibrah says. “We’ve received numerous thank you messages and a positive reaction to the initiative, with people thanking us for bringing them a taste of home to Ireland.”

Their Ramadan Box (€25) is a 14-piece selection available for collection or delivery. It includes a range of traditional pastries from across the Middle East. Favourites include kunafa, shredded filo pastry stuffed with cheese or a thick cream, baked and soaked in a sugar syrup and topped with nuts; basbusa, a sweet semolina soft cake that can be filled with a thick cream filling or left plain and then soaked in syrup, and baklawa, in traditional nut varieties, as well as a Ferrero Rocher one they have invented.

Nuara and Tibrah Bazama with pastries they make at their Munch cafe in Balally, Dublin
Nuara and Tibrah Bazama with pastries they make at their Munch cafe in Balally, Dublin

Some of the pastries are also available in larger sizes, ready to bake at home. “This is a new thing we’ve been doing this year, so they can be served hot. With the kunafa, the cheese is still melting,” Tibrah says.

Nuara, who is a self-taught pastry chef, bakes the pastries in the cafe kitchen along with three other bakers, two from Libya and one from Algeria. They have had a very positive reaction to their creations from their non-Arabic customers too, with the Ferrero Rocher baklawa in particular being a big hit.

The cafe, at Unit 3 Rockfield Central, Balally Luas Station, is open 9am-5pm weekdays and 10am-5pm weekends. The pastries can be ordered in advance by telephoning 087-7371838

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