Sugar Syrup

Most of the Middle Eastern desserts are made using this basic recipe of sugar syrup, which is commonly known as Atir in Arabic.

Its a combination of sugar and water which is flavored with either rosewater or orange blossom water, depending on the recipe its used in.

Usually after the dessert is baked, then its drenched with this sugar syrup. The amount of Atir or sugar syrup used will depend on how sweet you like your dessert to be.

You will need:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • juice of half a lemon, about 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon Orange blossom water


Sugar Syrup - add water to sugar

In a pot, add the sugar and water. Then bring it to a boil and stir every once in a while.

Sugar Syrup - boil until dissolved

Keep boiling until the sugar is dissolved.

Sugar Syrup - add lemon

Once the sugar is dissolved completely, add the lemon juice. This prevents crystallization.

Sugar Syrup - boil

After adding the lemon, bring it back to a boil and simmer it for about 15 mins. Keep an eye on it all the time, allow the syrup to boil until it get a little thicker and starts to change color very slightly. You don’t want a caramel, just a slightly yellowish color.

Remove the pot from the heat and add the orange blossom water.

I will be referring to this recipe in many of the Middle Eastern desserts.

Happy cooking, and as we say in Arabic “Sahha Wi Afia”

8 thoughts on “Sugar Syrup

  1. Ahh one thing I love about living in the Middle East is we can buy this already made in pancake syrup looking bottles, so easy and I never have to worry about it.

  2. Oh my gosh this sounds fabulous. I’m looking foward to trying some of these recipes–I never cooked any Middle Eastern dishes before. Thanks for sharing these.

  3. Laila – how do you make flower water? I would like to make my own, rather than buy it. I wouldn’t even know where to buy it around here. Thanks!

    1. Hay Nativecho … i actually never made rose water or flower water before … i have an idea how its done but never made it myself .. so i researched about it and found and pretty simple way to make it … here is the link … if u get to try it .. let me know how it turns out … and if u have any other questions i would gladly answer …. stay in touch 🙂

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