Category Archives: Traditional dishes

Cream of wheat pudding (Ma’mouniyeh)

Here is a traditional (and ancient) Middle-Eastern pudding that can be prepared very easily with ingredients from any mainstream supermarket. It is named after the ninth century Caliph Ma’moun (revered by some and loathed by others). It is so simple to make, yet it is a celebratory dessert. It is also prepared for a special breakfast […]
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Bell peppers stew (Shakshuka)

A perfect Summer dish, this (vegan) stew is a mixture of bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic, all pan-fried in olive oil. It is served at room temperature and eaten with pita bread. It is considered an appetizer (mukkabalate).  INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings 1/2 cup olive oil 3 bell peppers, one of each color or […]
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Foraging with Um Elias

Um Elias and her husband of 50 years, Philippe, are part of a dwindling group of authentic Lebanese farmers. They married when she was 15, an acceptable age to marry off a girl in those days, and have raised six beautiful, intelligent and learned children. Even though Philippe is a sixth-generation Lebanese farmer, none of […]
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Kibbeh Tartare, Lebanese-style (Frakeh)

I can pinpoint the exact time when I first heard of frakeh. I was having dinner in Beirut with my childhood friend Youssef, telling him about my plans to write a Lebanese cookbook; he asked me if frakeh was going to be included. I was puzzled. What? frakeh (fra-keh)? “Yes” said he, “it is the essence […]
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‘Akkoob (Gundelia)

He sits by his shop in the Chouf Mountains and steadily and calmly cleans-up ‘akkoob for his customers. I could not help asking him where he goes to  forage it. He told me he and his buddies drive  two hours way up the mountains to the best spot to find it buried in the earth. I […]
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