I want to introduce you all to incredible, yet simple, Iraqi pastry, usually eaten for breakfast. This vegan Kahi with Geymar is made up of layers of flaky phyllo dough, topped with a clotted oat cream (also known as Qaymar), and topped with a generous amount of date syrup. It’s simply irresistible!
I wanted to share a beautiful Iraqi recipe to shed light on and raise awareness about the impact COVID-19 has had on Iraq. The number of coronavirus cases is increasing rapidly in a country with a health care system that is near collapse, leading to hospitals being overwhelmed with patients. Iraq has far fewer doctors and health care workers than other countries. In addition, gender-based violence has increased by 65% since the pandemic began. I’m joining Enabling Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) in the Global Fight Against COVID-19, by raising awareness and funds to supply hospitals in Iraq with the resources they need to fight this pandemic. Donate to the fund at the link right here.
What is Kahi with Geymar?
Kahi is the national breakfast dish of Iraq, enjoyed with Geymar, which traditionally is a clotted cream made of buffalo milk. In this case to make it vegan, we will be creating a similar looking and tasting cream from oat milk! The Kahi consists of layers of buttery phyllo dough, baked until golden. Kahi with Geymar is traditionally topped with dibis, or date syrup, making it an irresistible sweet treat that’s just as good as eating dessert for breakfast!
- Phyllo dough: Sheets of phyllo dough make up the layers of the pastry! I love using Athens brand phyllo dough, it can easily be found at an International grocer or online right here.
- Plant-based butter: In place of dairy butter, we will use vegan butter to brush each layer of dough.
- Oat milk: This will make the base of our vegan clotted cream.
- Cornstarch: We use this as a quick way to thicken the cream to the desired consistency!
- Rose or orange blossom water: This will add an amazing floral flavor to our vegan cream. My favorite brand of rose water for Middle Eastern desserts is Cortas, and you can easily buy it online right here!
- Date syrup: To top it all off! Dibis, or date syrup, is a sweet syrup that can be used as a natural sweetener, or alternative to maple syrup or honey. You can also easily find it online!
How to Make Vegan Kahi with Geymar:
You will begin by making the vegan Geymar, which in this case is reminiscent of an oat-based clotted cream. You will just combine the ingredients for it in a saucepan until thickened, then put it in a container to cool. While cooling the cream, you can take out your phyllo dough to thaw. Once thawed and your oven is preheated, simply brush the layers of phyllo dough with vegan butter, stack them on top of one another, and cut them to size. We then bake the Kahi until it’s golden brown, top it with the cooled oat cream and date syrup, and dig in!
Why You’ll Love this Iraqi Treat:
- Super simple to make: Although it takes a bit of time, most of that is only passive time, because you have to wait for the dough to thaw and the cream to cool. But this recipe only requires a little bit of active time and not a lot of skill!
- Incredibly delicious: The flaky layers of buttery phyllo dough are perfectly complemented by the rich cream, and it’s irresistible once topped with syrup!
- National Iraqi breakfast: It must be their national breakfast because it’s so delicious! And making this dish from the comfort of your home will give you a real taste of the Middle East with its aromatic flavors and comforting feel.
Tips and Alternatives:
Make sure to thaw your frozen phyllo dough in the fridge the night before you plan to make this treat! From there, take the dough out of the fridge an hour or two before you need to use it. During this time, you can make the vegan Geymar, because it works best after it’s been cooled for 1-2 hours.
If you’re not vegan, feel free to use honey in place of date syrup. And if date syrup is difficult to find, feel free to use agave or maple syrup! In place of oat milk, any non dairy milk can be used, but I prefer oat milk because I find it the creamiest.
I hope you guys love this recipe! Don’t forget to tag your recreations on Instagram @zenandzaatar or #zenandzaatar, or pin it for later!
- 6 sheets of phyllo dough, thawed in fridge overnight (usually 12"x17" or 14"x18")
- 6 tbsp vegan butter, melted
- Date syrup (or maple syrup), for serving
Geymar (Clotted Oat Cream)
- 2 cups oat milk
- 2.5 tbsp cornstarch
- 1-2 tbsp coconut sugar (or cane sugar)
- 1 tsp rose or orange blossom water
- Take the phyllo dough out of the fridge an hour before using.
- Meanwhile, make the Geymar. Whisk cornstarch and sugar with 1/2 cup of oat milk until no lumps remain. Pour this mixture into a saucepan over medium high heat.
- Add the rest of the oat milk to the saucepan, and stir constantly, until it begins to simmer. Cook until thickened, about 5 mins. Once thickened, pour into a glass dish, cover, and leave in thr fridge to cool for about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and brush with melted vegan butter. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough on top, brush the top with melted vegan butter, and repeat, until all sheets are used. Cut the layered phyllo dough into 4 rectangular pieces. Fold each rectangle in half. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter, and bake for 20-30 mins, until the pastries are golden brown.
- Served topped with cooled oat cream and drizzled with a generous amount of date syrup, maple syrup, or honey if not vegan. Enjoy!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 350mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 3gSugar: 22gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although zenandzaatar.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.