Suffused with lemon and rose water, this light, clear syrup is drizzled over pastries such as ba’lawa (Layered Phyllo Dough with Pistachios). In other parts of the Middle East, a heavier, honey-based syrup is used, but once you get used to shira, you might prefer it.Try it on plain old breakfast pancakes or to spruce up hot cereal! Rose water and the orange blossom water used in the recipe variation can be purchased at Middle Eastern groceries, gourmet food shops, and specialty stores.
“The sugar has not fallen into the water” [not too late; not irrevocable].–ARABIC PROVERB
- ¾ cup cold water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons rose water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1. Combine the water and sugar in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a bubbling simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally (the liquid will thicken slightly). Remove from the heat. Immediately stir in the rose water and lemon juice.
2. Let cool slightly, then pour into a glass jar. Refrigerate for at least 5 to 6 hours or overnight until completely chilled. Serve very cold in a pitcher or drizzled over various desserts. This syrup will remain fresh in a jar in the refrigerator for months.
A’TER M’ZAHER (Orange Blossom Water Syrup): Simply substitute orange blossom water for the rose water.
Nutritional information is based on 32 servings.