With 15 years of experience under his belt, the culinary journey of Syrian-born Chef Khder Mohsen Al-Issa began with his restaurateur father. His favorite recipes? Cheese Baklava!
Now the Chef de Cuisine at Fuzion restaurant, Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa, Khder has a passion for his Middle Eastern roots, specialising in Syrian, Lebanese and Moroccan cuisine.
This Ramadan, Khder shares his recipe for a version of a widely popular Middle Eastern snack, the Cheese Baklava. Khder recommends this dish to be served hot and fresh as the cheese melts in your mouth.
- 4 sheets Phyllo pastry (filo)
- 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 300g fresh unsalted cheese
- 1/2tsp rose water
- 1cup water
- 2cups sugar
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- 1 star anise
- 1tbsp ground pistachios
- Mix water and sugar in a pot and bring it to a boil.
- Add lemon juice, star anise and rose water.
- Stir for 5 minutes and set it aside to cool down.
- Take one sheet of Phyllo pastry and brush it with olive oil.
- Place another layer on top of the first sheet and then spread the cheese on top of the second sheet. Repeat this step for the next 2 sheets.
- Fold the sides of the sheet over the filling and roll it to the end.
- Brush olive oil all over the top and cut the log into wide pieces of approximately 3cm in length. Place on the baking tray.
- Preheat oven at 200 degrees Celsius (400 Fahrenheit).
- Bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden in colour.
- Immediately pour the syrup all over evenly and let it cool.
- Sprinkle the ground pistachios all over the top and serve.