For many people, a banquet ends with dessert, but not so for Middle Easterners. “Those sugar-soaked delights we are famous for are usually enjoyed on their own,” says Norma. “Instead, strong Arabic coffee, fresh fruit and the occasional sweet treat is on the menu.” This easy, refreshing granita is perfect at the end of a mezza spread.




Skill level

Average: 2.5 (277 votes)


  • 150 ml middle eastern lemonade syrup
  • 30 ml arak (see Note)
  • A’dame helou (see Note), to serve


Middle eastern lemonade syrup

  • 4 lemons, scrubbed, each cut into 8 pieces, plus 500 ml (2 cups) lemon juice
  • 660 g (3 cups) caster sugar
  • orange-blossom water (see Note) (optional), to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Makes 1 L lemonade syrup
Freezing time
10 minutes
Standing time 5 hours
Cooling time 30 minutes

Combine ingredients with 200 ml water and pour into a shallow dish, the liquid should come up the sides of the dish by about 3 cm. Place in the freezer for 4 hours or overnight. 

Just before serving, remove dish from freezer and scrape with a fork. Scoop large spoonfuls of frozen ice into glasses or bowls and serve immediately with a’dame helou. 


• Arak is a Middle Eastern anise-flavoured spirit, available from select bottle shops.
• A’dame helou are sugar-coated chickpeas, available from Middle Eastern grocery stores.


Photography Mark Roper


As seen in Feast magazine, November 2013, Issue 26. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.