Sunday 23 October 2011

Arabic Boiled Flour Pudding: Asida العصيدة

Asida is a boiled flour pudding cooked directly in water. It is a popular traditional dish served in Libya during celebrations such as births or Eid. It is made of wheat flour or whole-meal flour dough cooked in water, and is eaten with honey or date syrup and melted butter. Some people use olive oil or samn (ghee) instead of butter. It is usually eaten for breakfast. Like bazeen, asida is a communal meal served in a large flat plate or gas'a, and it is generally eaten with the fingers, although spoons can be used. While Bazeen has Amazigh origins and is a purely North African dish, this boiled flour pudding has an Arabic name and versions of Asida are made in the Arabian Peninsula.

Take a look at the steps for the smiley face asida for children

Serves 4

25g butter
1tsp salt
300g flour
1 litre boiling water

Served with:
Honey or date syrup
Melted butter or ghee

Fill a deep pot with 1/2 litre hot water. Add 25g butter and a teaspoon of salt.

Leave on medium heat until the water starts to boil.

Sift the flour then pour it into the pan all at once then remove from heat.

Immediately start to stir the flour into the buttery water.

Press the dough against the side of the pot to remove lumps. 

Once the dough is smooth, with the help of the wooden spoon form it into one lump.

Put the pot back on the heat and add another half liter of boiling water.

Use the wooden spoon to form some hollows in the dough. Do not cover and leave to cook on low heat until the water is absorbed.  Midway during this process, turn the lump upside down.The dough's cooking takes about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat. Immediately begin kneading, using a wooden spoon to smooth the asida. If you have a machine that will knead bread dough then it will handle asida fine. 

Melt about 75g of butter or samn (ghee).

Brush a wide plate with butter.

Place the asida in the center and begin folding in the edges to form a smooth dome.

Once the edges are folded in, roll the asida to even out any cracks.

Turn upside down and use a buttered ladle to form a hollow in the asida.

Pour the melted butter or ghee around the asida.

Pour honey or date syrup in the hollow. Serve immediately.


  1. YUmmy mashAllah I love aseeda we also use this making a soup here in Saudi. DO you all do areeka? I just posted it here

    btw mabrook Libya :)

  2. الله يبارك فيكي

    Yes I heard they made asida in the Gulf and Yemen, the latter looks a lot like ours though the cooking method is different. The areeka looks delicious and the ingredients are similar to East Libyan Mathruda

  3. I love all your traditional dishes so much mashAllah I hope to make some soon :)

  4. Thanks Noor! I hope you enjoy this recipe when you make it, let us know how it turns out :)

  5. I had seen this dessert in an arabic cookbook I own, but did not know what to make of it or its origin, since it is not well-known in Lebanese circles. So interesting!

  6. Thanks for the comment! Asida is unusual, even in its classification (dessert or breakfast? pudding or porridge?). As you can see from the comments above, a different version of asida is made in the Gulf. But whether you call it breakfast or dessert, I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't like asida ;)

  7. mashallah, what a beautiful recipe it is almost as being with u when ur making it, i will try one day, shukkran :) salam

  8. Salam alaikum :) Could you let me know if there is any particular name for that long wooden stick/utensil you used to prepare asida :)

  9. Simply MA SHALLAH! being a foreigner i was relying on my friends for it but will give it a try today....!

  10. Thank you ranna, hope it is similar to the iraqi recipe you wanted to recreate

    Salam Misfits, it is called a ma3sada although I am not using a proper one here

    Inshalla the asida worked out for you Umar

  11. I don't know how to make the shape like that so Beautifull.