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Syrian molasses pudding (khabeesa)

Many Christians around the world celebrate Epiphany on January 6th, also known as Three Kings’ Day, in reference to the three wise men/kings who visited baby Jesus. It marks the day Saint John baptized Jesus in Jordan’s river along with the three kings’ visit.

Every religious holiday has its special traditions and there are three during Epiphany:

–  Zlebye and Khabesa sweet

– Dayim Dayim

– Keeping balconies lit

The Zlebyé is the most popular sweet during Epiphany and is basically fried dough with sugar and cinnamon. It’s really good and the best way to have it is when it’s still hot.

Khabisa also is a popular sweet dish made from grape molasses or carob, corn flour and decorated with walnut pieces. Khabisa has a jelly-like consistency and dissolves smoothly in the mouth. 

People greet each other during Epiphany by saying “Deyim Deyim”, which is an old saying to wish others blessings all year long. Also, yeast is prepared with small coins in it and hung on a plant or a tree outside the house in a small bag. There is a belief that Christ will be passing at midnight to bless homes and the hanging yeast balls, hence why lights are kept on as well. Other sweets are also prepared on that day.

These traditions gather families together, are fun and bring back a lot of beautiful memories. Dayim Dayim and Merry Christmas to all Syrians.



for pudding khabeesa we need:

1 liter water

1/4 liter grape molasses

5 tablespoons starch

3 tablespoons sugar

walnuts for decoration


In a pot, put the water and starch with stirring, heat until it's hot, then add the grape molasses and sugar

Stir the mixture and keep stirring until it becomes thick then pour in your desired cups or bowl. decorate it with walnuts.


Lara Khouli