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On the very last day of last year we celebrated my first born’s fifth birthday. A full open palm–I remember doing that when someone asked me about my age. I also remember the candles fitting on my cake without making a mess. I remember…

…when I was coming to America and my husband urging me to learn how to cook Egyptian desserts and food. “Learn how to make kata’if.

“I know how to make kata’if!”

“No, you need to learn how to make the dough, you buy the dough ready made here, in America you won’t find that kind of dough”

I found it in Milwaukee– An hour and a half drive from Madisonia *smile*.

Rewind many, many years, I was a teenager with important things to do (whatever those were!) and I couldn’t be bothered to learn from my urging mama how to cook. I’ll have a cook mama. “Yes habibty, but who will teach the cook how to cook”

“Well habibty, if the cook can’t cook, then she has no business in my kitchen!”…

…the cook couldn’t cook, but the cook browsed the interwebs, and provided a first meal after laboring for ten (yes you read it right!) holy hours in the tiny, airless, rented, kitchen,that came with the rented Zamalek apartment, and then the cook moved on to make Cheese, Bread, Glorious Mahshy, and apparently Golash (the cook needed her mama’s help on this one, and the cook also blames her mama, for significantly overcooking the dish– 45 minutes on 400 F will do that!)

This dish was provided for Mei’s birthday guests on her party, they loved it– little did they know. HA!

Recipe with altered cooking time:

Greek style thin long fillo dough sheets 500 grams.

1 pound ground beef (get the good stuff)

1 large ground onion.

2 sticks of good ole butter! 16 table spoons.

1 cup at least 2% milk if not whole.

1 egg beaten.

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp turmeric

salt and pepper to taste


(Preheat oven to 400 F)

1. Mix ground onion with ground beef by hand in a bowl with spices.

2. Heat about two table spoons olive oil in a medium pot on medium high heat, and add beef mix stir until all meet turns brown, reduce heat, cover and cook for 15  minutes.

3.  Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare your phylo dough.

Phylo dough prep:

You’ll need to work fast so your dough doesn’t dry out (trust me on this one)

1. Brush melted butter in a large Pyrex dish, or two small ones, make sure to brush corners and sides.

2.  Carefully Open your phylo dough package, and spread the sheets out, take a sheet place it on your casserole, and quickly roll closed the rest. With a knife cut off excess, and then brush butter all over your phylo dough layer.

3. Repeat above step until you’ve gone through have your sheets. Brush your final layer with butter.

4. Spread your meat stuffing evenly covering all the surface of the phylo dough (I left some around the edges bare taking in consideration that the stuffing will spread while cutting my finished golash)

5. Repeat step 2. until you’ve finished the rest of your sheets. Don’t forget to brush your final sheet with butter!

6. Cut your layers into squares.

7. Mix milk with beaten egg, and some salt and pepper, then cover the cut golash with your milk mixture.

8. Place your casserole in preheated oven in the lower shelf for 20 minutes. Then move to upper shelf of oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from oven when the top layer is a light golden color. The insides of the squares should get more color than the edges.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pssst, your Golash should look less brown and more golden than this!

You can substitute your filling with mozzarella cheese mixed with small cut tomatoes and mint. You can also make yourself baklava by substituting the filling with nuts or custard. then adding your sugar syrup after it cools. Neat huh!



About Muslim Hippie

Hello and welcome, you have landed yourself on this virtual space designed by your humble servant to try and escape life's unpleasantness through: selective memory musings, snippets of the world that surrounds me, and occasional insights when the light blub in this strange brain of mine flickers. No real names are displayed I'm afraid, why bother?

2 responses »

  1. sounds so delicious! one of these days i will be brave enough to try. i think you are an amazing cook. so many good recipes.

    happy birthday to mei . . and to you 🙂 five is such a wonderful age. one’s age on one hand. and missing teeth. does mei have any loose teeth?

    and congratulations on your citizenship!

    • Thanks for the good words.

      Mei lost a tooth three months ago, and she has a second loose tooth!

      Hope you had a nice extended holiday vacation, I’ve been following your twelve day celebrations:)



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