Definitely a party dish, meant to showcase the hostess skills; its also frequently a Sunday get-together for the extended-family type of dish. Its name, moghrabiyeh, is rooted in maghreb (North Africa) to describe it as a Levantine version of the North African couscous. The deluxe version contains both lamb shanks and chicken, while the common version only uses chicken. In...
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Pistachio cream pudding

An easy and quick dessert (ashtaliyyeh in Lebanese) for a busy day; once made, the little cups can sit for a few days in the fridge and be grabbed at will. I used a pistachio cream sold in a Middle-Eastern market made with Turkish pistachios, but am including a recipe for a homemade pistachio paste which will not be salty...
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Sesame brittle (Semsmeeyeh)

I had been wanting to make these traditional confections, popular throughout the Middle East; I was hoping to avoid using the sugar syrup this time. Several videos on youtube offered the Iraqi version which is made with date syrup and flavored with cardamom. Date syrup sounded too pronounced of a flavor and I settled for a combo of mild honey...
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10 minute chocolate cake

I made this cake to use-up some stuff laying around, without a mixer, just using a wire whisk and a bowl; it came out delicious so I figured I should share the “recipe”. I was out of vanilla, so I added cardamom powder instead, and a dollop of tahini. Hope you enjoy it if you try it.

Rice Kibbeh (Kibbet Halab)

I love this kibbeh, which hails from Aleppo but is also very popular in Iraq. It distinguishes itself by its rice shell, which gets crunchy after frying, but soft inside. It is a traditional dish; I veered away from tradition slightly by sprinkling the kibbeh with toasted sesame seeds, and playing around with the stuffing by adding raisins.


I had a lot of semolina in my pantry and was looking for savory ways to use it; I had remembered that Moroccans had a lot of bread recipes using semolina and stumbled on this one. It is WONDERFUL~ You can shape the dough in a few minutes, by hand, let it rise and then shape the batbout (isn’t it...
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