To say that Aleppo’s cuisine is famous in the Middle-East would be stating the obvious. In fact, one of Lebanon’s premier chef, Mrs. Marlene Mattar, has recently published a cookbook devoted to the cuisine of this wonderful city, Maedat Marlene men Halab.
This recipe for French fries, Aleppo-style, is one of many I tried from her book. It combines Aleppo flavors with the straight-forward French fries and is, of course, delicious.
- 2 lbs potatoes
- oil for frying
- Sauce: 1 tbsp mashed garlic (4 cloves)
- 5 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp red pepper paste (mild)
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 tsp of paprika or chili powder
- parsley to garnish (optional)
- Peel the potatoes and cut in matchsticks-size.
- Prepare the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a small skillet and add the coriander, cinnamon, mashed garlic and the red pepper paste and lemon juice. Stir to combine and set aside. (This step can be prepared a day ahead).
- Dry the potatoes thoroughly with paper napkins; het the oil to 375F and fry the potatoes till golden. Remove the french fries and drain. Place the fries over the sauce and stir gently to combine. Sprinkle with paprika or chili powder and garnish with parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Deir el-Qamar (Convent of the moon), former capital of Mount-Lebanon, offers many historic landmarks and is nestled in the Chouf Mountains, South-East of Beirut by 30 miles.