Palestinian Hilbeh; Fenugreek and Semolina Cake [en]

Hilbeh is a very  traditional sweets in the Middle East. And as always today I’ll share with you the Palestinian version based on my mother in law recipe.

Hilbeh is made of fenugreek seeds, semolina and olive oil. It is quite healthy if it stopped here. But we drench it with sugar syrup. But that is why it is considered sweet.


I hope that you’ll give it a try.

To watch the recipe please watch this video:


  • 1/4 cup fenugreek seeds
  • 3, 1/2 cups coarse semolina
  • 1/2 cup A/P flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp instant dried yeast
  • ~ 1/2 cup lukewarm water

for the sugar syrup

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • squeeze of a lemon.


  • You need to soak and cook the fenugreek before hand as they are bitter and you need to remove that bitterness from them.
  • When making the dough make sure to add the water slowly as the quantity of water is reliant on the type of semolina and how much water there is in the cooked fenugreek.
  • The sugar syrup must be completely cold before you add it to the hot hilbeh.
  • You must cut the hilbeh before baking it and after resting it. You can cut it into cubes or diamonds which is more traditional.
  • After adding the sugar syrup you have to allow hilbeh to completely cooled down before taking it out of the tray and serving it.

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