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Asbusa

 

Asbusa is a  popular variety of Egyptian cookies. It is eaten as a very flavourful dessert or snack and is greatly valued for its sweet taste and grainy texture. It is also known as 'basbousa', which happens to be the Arabic name for this dessert.
 
History
 
The inception of this dessert is recorded in ancient Egyptian history during which time it was believed to be a treat limited only to the royalty, temple administrators, Council members and military persons.  However, gradually, over the years bakeries built for commoners started baking asbusa making it available to all.   
 
Ingredients and Preparation
 
Sugar, butter, plain yogurt, cream of wheat, water as needed, and slivered almond halves are the chief ingredients required to make this dish.
 
In a large bowl the cream of wheat and sugar are mixed thoroughly, the butter is blended well into this mixture using the hands. Next yoghurt is added in and the mixture is blended well to form a smooth dough (little water may be added if needed).   The dough is transferred to a greased surface, flattened, divided into equal portions of desired shape and size, decorated with almond slivers and finally baked in pre-heated oven at   350 F for about 30-40 minutes or until a light golden brown. 
 
Nutrition Information
 
A single serving provides-
 
Calories 2639  with Calories from Fat being 895
Total Fat content is 99 g with Saturated Fat 61 g, Cholesterol 263 mg
Sodium 459 mg, Potassium 728 mg and Iron 100 mg,
Total Carbohydrate content being 395 g with Dietary Fibre content of 12 g and Sugars 177 g
Protein 42 g
Based on % daily values - Vitamin A 60% 
 
Nutritional Improvement
 
Replacing a good portion of the butter with pureed avocado may be one way of reducing the high fat and cholesterol content as avocado is high in unsaturated healthy fats like ‘Oleic acid’. This ingredient may lend a similar creamy texture with lesser calories than butter and offers nutrients such as vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, E and copper.  Carotenoid lutein has anti-cancer effects. Oatmeal powder could be added alonside for a gritty texture, fibre and B-vitamins.