A Feast for St. Basilides


Today, June 10, is the Feast of St. Basilides. According to the Invisible Basilica, Basilides (c. 100 – c. 139 e.v.) was the “Syrian or Egyptian founder of the Basilidean sect of Christian Gnostics in Alexandria during the reigns of the Roman Emperors Hadrian and Antonius Pius. What we know of Basilides and of his system we know by virtue of the reports of his enemies, primarily Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 100 – c. 203 e.v.) and Hippolytus. Only a few fragments of his writings remain, these are primarily preserved in the Elenchos of Hippolytus.”

In honor of St. Basilides, we bring you this recipe for a simple Syrian breakfast porridge.


  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) salted butter
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 4½ cups cold water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Cinnamon

Melt 1 stick of butter in a medium-size pot (large enough to eventually hold the semolina, water and sugar). Add the semolina and sauté over medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown (approximately 15 minutes). Remove the pot from the stove and cover.

While browning the semolina, mix the water and sugar in another pot and bring to a boil. To avoid a hot splatter on hands, place the pot with the semolina in the sink. Pour the water mixture over the semolina and combine. Add the remaining butter and mix well. Cover and set aside for approximately 5 minutes. Mix again and serve in individual dishes topped with a dash of cinnamon.

If any mamuneh’ya is left over, refrigerate and reheat before serving. Just add a little milk, mix well, and microwave until hot.

Recipe adapted from A Taste of Syria.


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