Custard Kunafa Recipe

With National Vermicellies, a handful of pistachios, delicate sugar syrup and khoya, it is easy to recreate this Levantine/ Turkish dream. An authentic Kunafa or Kanafeh from Turkey and the Levant Region would use a semi-soft cheese, which in this case has been replaced with the sweet, rich Khoya/Mawa (dried milk). One bite will have you dancing to the darbuka!

One bite will have you dancing to the darbuka!

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  • National Vermicelli : 1 packet
  • Ghee (Clarified Butter) : 1 cup
  • Milk : 2 cups
  • Sugar : 4 tablespoons
  • National Vanilla Custard : 2 tablespoons
  • Sugar Syrup : 1.5 cup
  • Khoya : half cup
  • Pistachios (chopped) for garnish : 2 tablespoons
  • Almonds (chopped) for garnish : 1 tablespoon


Place National Vermicelli in a large bowl and pour over enough boiling hot water to cover it. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes till it softens. Avoid over-soaking, as it will make vermicelli mushy. Strain well.

In a small frying pan, add 3-4 tbsp ghee. Evenly spread a generous amount of soft vermicelli, which covers the entire surface. Cook vermicelli until golden brown on each side. This may take around 8-10 minutes. Repeat this process till you have enough circles to assemble. Each Kunafa uses two National Vermicelli rounds/circles.

In a sauce pan, bring milk to a boil; add sugar and simmer for a few minutes.

Mix National Vanilla Custard with 4 tbsp of water; pour in the milk while stirring to avoid any lumps. Cook on medium heat till it thickens. Turn the heat off and cool it.

Pour a generous amount of custard in between two layers of the fried vermicelli circles.

Abundantly pour lukewarm sugar syrup on top; let it sit for 10 minutes then press a few times to help it absorb the syrup properly.

Garnish with khoya, pistachios, and almonds.