• dup-cabbage-rolls

Cabbage rolls with meat and rice

I will admit that this is not the most photogenic dish out of a Lebanese table; but boy is it tasty! For some reason, cabbage leaves are tougher in the US and it is a challenge to get them  silky soft.  In any case, long and gentle simmering is required here. 

Learned of a great […]

By |August 23rd, 2014|Salty|4 Comments
  • blog-mehshi-lefett

Stuffed turnips (Mehshi el-lefet)

One of many stuffed vegetable dishes (mehshi)  from the region; this one is most likely Aleppian (Syrian) or Palestinian. It is very simple, with minimal spices (black pepper, a touch of cinnamon). The only difference with the Lebanese-style stuffed veggies is the sauce. The sauce is made with tamarind and water (and lots of […]

By |February 25th, 2014|Salty|5 Comments
  • dup-leb-sausage

Lebanese sausages (Makanek)

Here is what I’d do if I had no Lebanese or Armenian butcher nearby who could make these delicious sausages. I’d simply get another, similar, type of sausage and fix them the Lebanese way: Fried or grilled and drizzled with a touch of pomegranate molasses. 

These tiny sausages called makanek are made with lamb or beef […]

By |January 30th, 2014|Salty|10 Comments
  • kebabs1

Ground meat kebab

I was thinking about my friend Phoebe and how fun it was to cook together. She taught me a few of her kitchen secrets and we would exchange stories about her native Egypt and my native Lebanon; Phoebe loves Lebanese food; she remarked to me once “you know, your food is very healthy you […]

By |May 14th, 2013|Salty|24 Comments
  • eggplant-in-yogurt-sauce1

Eggplant in yogurt sauce (Batenjane be-laban)

The recipe for this dish was generously shared with me by a lady chef who told me that it comes from Tripoli, Lebanon’s Northern coastal city. It is simpler to make than other eggplant and yogurt dishes and just delicious; the eggplant is silky and the cooked yogurt sauce light; the ensemble is divine. Recipe […]

By |May 6th, 2013|Salty|20 Comments
  • gorme-sabzi

Herbs stew (Khoresh-e qormeh sabzi)

I was in Erbil, Kurdistan (Iraq) for a few days recently; I visited the Bazaar in front of the old Citadel, of course, and neighborhood markets;  I noticed that  the vast majority of dry goods were imported from Turkey; in addition, there were a few items from Iran and I brought back Iranian saffron […]

By |April 7th, 2013|Salty|20 Comments
  • kibbeh-ma3-shawarma

Shawarma in kibbeh (Akrass al-kibbeh bel-shawarma)


Kibbeh is ubiquitous here; not only is it Lebanon’s national dish but it would be unthinkable to lay down a mezze table without having a plate of small appetizer-size kibbeh balls. 

The idea to split the kibbeh open and stuff them with sweet things comes from Aleppo (Syria); kibbeh get stuffed with cherries, quince or […]

By |April 2nd, 2013|Salty|10 Comments
  • freekeh-wruz

Green wheat and rice pilaf (Tatbeekah)

One of Lebanon’s prominent chefs, cookbook author and cooking instructor is Marlene Mattar and her latest cookbook features the cuisine of Aleppo in Syria (Maedat Marlene min Halab). This dish caught my eye:  It is a pilaf of white rice with roasted green wheat aka freekeh as well as ground lamb, onion and nuts.  […]

By |December 5th, 2012|Salty|17 Comments
  • awarma

Lamb confit (Awarma)


Awarma is the word used to indicate bits of lamb preserved in lamb fat; it is usually prepared in rural areas and the jars are used up throughout the year to flavor one dish or another; the fat used is from the lamb tail and that variety of lamb  (fat-tailed sheep) is not raised […]

By |May 18th, 2012|Salty, Tips|22 Comments
  • two-k-bab-3

Muhammara kebabs


There is a local restaurant here in Beirut called Kebab-ji with several outlets throughout the city; their kebabs are neatly shaped by their expert kebab-makers and come in several varieties. The photo below is of a kebab-maker from Kebab-ji shaping the kebabs for a catered party.

The kebabs today are not the traditional Lebanese ones […]

By |March 26th, 2012|Salty|19 Comments