Category Archives: Spices and Pantry items

Kibbeh mortar (Jurn)

Not so long ago, every Lebanese home had one of those in the kitchen; called a jeren, this mortar was cut out of solid rock and weighed at least a hundred pounds. We had one;  my mother was fortunate enough to be able to enlist a cook (with adequate girth) named Apple (Teffaha) to pound the […]

Red chili paste

Can anybody live without some kind of red chili paste in the pantry? I know I can’t!! I   simply seeded them, puréed them with olive oil and some coarse salt; fast and easy. I am keeping them in the freezer in small 2-ounce plastic bags.  ½ lb red chili peppers 1 tsp salt Olive […]

Making zaatar

  Making one’s own zaatar spice mix is the ultimate slow-food activity in Lebanon;  I had been toying with the idea for years and wanted some pointers from local Lebanese mountain folks who could steer me away from the pitfalls. Everybody in the village forages and makes their own, of course; but this time, I was […]

Walnut and red pepper paste (Muhammara)

My favorite condiment. Muhammara (which means “made-red” in reference to the red chili peppers in it), is  versatile and quick and easy to prepare. The key is to use good walnuts and red pepper paste. If these conditions are met, it will take 3 minutes to make with a food processor. The red peppers can be mild […]

Rose water (Maward)

Rose water is used in amost all sweets,  desserts, puddings; in the south, folks add rose petals to their spice mix called kammooneh.   In the Gulf countries, rose water is even added to rice dishes;  it is  sold in all the ethnic markets or health-food markets  in the US; rose water is supposed to […]