Kadeh Recipe (Assyrian Roux-Filled Pastry)

Kadeh Recipe (Assyrian Roux-Filled Pastry)

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This is one of those posts where if you’re Assyrian you’re probably thinking “yes, finally!” But if you’re not, you are asking yourself, “what is this “kadeh recipe” you speak of?  Well, let’s just say that this is an Assyrian savory pastry that’s traditionally baked for Easter and Christmas. They’re a bit unique because they are filled with a roux. Although I can’t be certain, I imagine this recipe was invented out of necessity, when other filling ingredients were not available. But however the idea for this recipe came about, I’m just thankful someone came up with a kadeh recipe.


Kadeh Recipe (Chada)

When I think back to the “good old days” I’m usually referring to the 1970s. We moved to Chicago in 1976, when I was just ten. My family lived in my paternal grandmother’s house, along with my Uncle Simon’s family, for a few years. We each occupied a different level. I remember the huge family gatherings, where food, chai, and alcohol flowed. Although I didn’t appreciate those days back then, I sure miss them now. Kadeh brings back fond memories of the older generation (mostly gone now) enjoying some with their chai. Back then I didn’t like chadeh. I always preferred kileche, because they were sweeter. Perhaps I had to mature into liking them. Wait, does the fact that I like them mean I’m getting old?


an Assyrian family in the 1980's celebrating an anniversary with cake and other snacks on a table, while they crowd on a couch


men playing checkers in the back yard of a Chicago home.
The menfolk playing a game of backgammon.



Kadeh Recipe Variations

Before I go any further, I want to explain the variations in spelling. This is due to the various dialects that Assyrian tribes have. For example, my family pronounced the name of this recipe with a “ch” sound, which is why I say “chada” or “chadeh” (plural). Many Assyrians, on the other hand, pronounces it with the “k” sound instead, “kadah” or “Kadeh” (plural). Chadeh can be either savory (how my family made them), or they can be sweetened by adding sugar to the roux. There are shape variations too. Chadeh can be shaped into a circle, or a half circle (as in this recipe). They are cut into serving-sized portions after cooling off. Although not traditional, some also make individual-sized chadeh. All I can say about that is, mom wouldn’t approve. ?


kadeh dough with the shape of a cross etched into it inside a silver bowl
Traditionally, a “cross” is marked in the dough before setting it aside to rise.


dark pan with rough mixture and a wooden spoon
The roux is toasted slowly for 30 minutes, which deepens the flavor.


roux for kadeh being cooked in a pan with a wooden spoon
The roux should have a color resembling peanut butter.


roux mix spread over raw dough

kadeh pastry with crimped edges on a silver tray


top view of a chada on a silver cookie sheet


baked chada on a silver tray


sliced pastry pieces on a cutting board


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chada pin



Don’t forget to check out my  Classic Middle Eastern Food Combinations.


4.34 from 6 votes
Chada (roux filled pastry)
Kadeh Recipe
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Resting Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr

Roux-filled Assyrian pastry known as "kadeh" or "chada."

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Assyrian
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 188 kcal
  • 1-1/4 tsp. yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 T. butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 1 large egg
Roux Filling
  • 10 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. sugar (optional)
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds (optional)
  1. Add yeast and 1 tsp. sugar to warm water. Mix and set aside for ten minutes.

  2. Add the remaining dough ingredients in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture, and knead until the dough comes together. You can use a mixer if you prefer.

  3. Mark a cross in the center of the dough, cover, and place in a warm spot for one hour.

  1. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add oil, flour, salt, and sugar (if using). Stir over medium heat for approximately 30 minutes, or until the roux is light brown in color. It should resemble peanut butter. Set aside to cool.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. When the dough is ready, and the roux is cooled off, flour your work surface. 

  3. Divide the dough in half. 

  4. Roll out half of the dough into a large circle. 

  5. Cover half of the circle with half of the roux. Leave 1/2" border around the edges.

  6. Fold the dough in half, and braid the edges together, or use a fork to crimp the edges.

  7. Carefully transfer the chada onto a cookie sheet. Prick the top with a fork, then brush with the glaze. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.

  8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until nicely browned, while you work on the second one.

Nutrition Facts
Kadeh Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 piece)
Calories 188 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 33mg11%
Sodium 81mg4%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 3g6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

4 thoughts on “Kadeh Recipe (Assyrian Roux-Filled Pastry)”

  • 5 stars
    So glad to find your site. I am not Assyrian but truly and honestly in love with history and the heritage your people have left . Subscribed ! Happy holidays !

  • Thank you for stopping by, and for your comment. I really appreciate my subscribers, so thanks for taking the time to do that. Heading over to your page now! 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  • 4 stars
    Hello ? Thank you for posting this recipe. It is so hard to come by. I am planning on making this recipe for Christmas and just need clarification on a couple things: Are you using salted butter? In the roux can I use date syrup or grape syrup and how much?

  • Hi Paulin,
    Thanks for your comment. I use unsalted butter, which is why I add salt, both to the dough and the roux. However, if you prefer using salted butter, just leave out the extra salt. I’ve never used date syrup or grape syrup in the roux, and neither did anyone else in my family. I would start with the recipe as is. But if you really want to add date syrup, I’d try one or two tablespoons towards the end of the roux process. Good luck, let me know how it goes! Maybe I can get your rating up to 5 stars once you make the kadeh! ?

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