Finely ground pistachios, shredded coconut, and melted dark chocolate, for garnish
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in ½ cup of the warm water and leave for 10 minutes, or until foamy.
In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, semolina flour, butter, and aniseeds. Stir in yeast mixture.
Gradually add remaining water, then knead until combined. Let rise for 30 minutes.
Pull off walnut-size pieces of dough and form into date-shaped fingers. Roll fingers, one at a time, on the rough edge of a fine grater to achieve the characteristic carvings of Asabe’ Zainab. (See photo above).
Heat oil to 160˚C (325˚F) in a deep fat fryer. Add the fingers and fry for 4 minutes, or until golden. Let drain on a paper towel.
While still hot, dip fingers into sugar syrup. Let excess syrup drip off. Arrange on a serving plate. Sprinkle with ground pistachios, or dip ends into melted chocolate then into coconut or ground pistachios before serving.
Prepare dough and let rise as directed.
Using a rolling pin, roll out dough on a work surface to a thickness of about 1cm (⅜in). Cut into small rectangles to cover a date.
Place one plain or nut-stuffed date on each rectangle. Wrap dough around dates and press edges to seal.
With marked enthusiasm for his subject and expertise in the cooking field, Chef Osama El-Sayed, C.E.C. can take his audience through a world of culinary delights in several easy steps. With an audience of over a millions viewers on several continents, it is no wonder that Chef Osama has learned to take complex cooking techniques and recipes then simplify them for basic home cooks. Chef Osama’s show "Ma Osama Atyab" - "It's More Delicious with Osama" airs live daily on Dubai TV.