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Sawabe’ Zainab (Zainab’s Fingers) Recipe “Eastern Dessert”

Sawabe' Zainab (Zainab's Fingers) Recipe "Eastern Dessert"

Arab Sawabe’ Zainab (Zainab’s Fingers) Recipe

Sawabe’ Zainab is one of the known popular dishes Egyptian people love too much, because of its great taste and because it relates to the popular heritage. So, here is the recipe of Sawabe’ Zainab.

“Story of Sawabe’ Zainab” and Why It’s Called So!

Sawabe’ Zainab is one of the most popular Egyptian desserts, and there is two stories behind this name. First one is: that there was a very clever girl who invented this sweet. When she served it to the visitors, they said “Teslam Sawabe’ Zainab” which means May god bless Zainab’s fingers.

The second story is: that Sawabe’ Zainab is after the name of Ms. Zainab, Al-Hussain’s daughter (May Allah be pleased with him). Because Egyptian people love Ms. Zainab so much and because that sweet is very popular, they called it after her name.

It is a dough prepared by mixing semolina, flour, sugar, and other sweets’ ingredients that impart a great taste. It also has a sugared taste as it is dipped in syrup, and you can dress it as you wish. It also can be served at all times, whether mornings or evenings. It is one of the popular desserts of Ramadan.

Zainab’s Fingers Recipe:


  • 3 big cups of white flour
  • 2 big cups of fine semolina
  • 2 tbsps anise, ground
  • 2 tbsps fennel, ground
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon sodium carbonate
  • 1 big cup of olive oil
  • 2 big cups of water
  • 1 liter vegetable oil for frying
  • 4 big cups of syrup

DIY Sawabe’ Zainab Dessert:


  • Put all the ingredients in a wooden large bowl, or glass bowl and mix them well. Rub olive oil with the flour combination till they are mixed well.
  • Put the water and the combination in the electric kneader and mix till a moldable dough is formed. Let it stand for one hour.
  • Shape the dough in form of small, and short fingers then pass them through a strainer to take the desired shape.
  • Fry the fingers ” Sawabe’ Zainab “ in a hot oil and stir them continuously until they are browned.
  • Take them out of oil and dip them in the syrup immediately, then drain them to remove the excess syrup.


  • Place them in the serving plate
  • Serve them with juice, tea, Pepsi or coffee.

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