• Bulgur pilaf

Kurdish bulgur and turnip pilaf (Grar ba-shyallem)

While the food world is getting entranced with quinoa, I am steadfastly sticking to bulgur. I was delighted to find out that it is a whole-grain created by Kurdish tribes during the Crusades, around the 11th century. So much for some historical trivia. This is super easy and satisfying in a rustic, wholesome way. […]

By |December 16th, 2014|Salty|6 Comments
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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 […]

By |June 11th, 2014|Salty|13 Comments
  • bulgur-w-walnut-raisins

Bulgur pilaf (Burghol mufalfal ma’al joz)


This bulgur pilaf is a Turkish recipe from Sima Othman Yassine’s Al tabekh al-terkey. It is light, easy, versatile;  this version caught my eye because I had all of the required ingredients waiting to be used: Walnuts, green pepper, raisins and (white) coarse bulgur. 

One important point to note is bulgur has more protein and more […]

By |December 30th, 2013|Salty|4 Comments
  • bulgur-stuffed-veggies

Bulgur-stuffed veggies


I am unable to post an exact recipe for this dish; I made it on the spur-of-the-moment, using (I think) coarse bulgur and lentils. 

Use the directions for stuffing zucchini except substitute bulgur for rice and add a handful of cooked brown lentils; the bulgur needs to be soft; pour boiling water over the bulgur […]

By |August 28th, 2013|Salty|7 Comments
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Bulgur pilaf (Shelbato)

This dish caught my eye in Chef Mattar’s latest book Maedat Marlene min Halab in which she reports on dishes she tasted while visiting Aleppo, Syria. How lucky for us. This one she titled traveling jew (Yehudi musafer), with the caption that it was an ancient dish. She adds ground meat to the pilaf, […]

By |August 11th, 2013|Salty|10 Comments
  • Red-lentil-and-bulgur-pilaf

Red lentil and bulgur pilaf

I feel very fortunate to be able to escape from the hustle-bustle and super charged atmosphere of Beirut into the mountains every weekend; there, only 35 minutes away at 3000 feet altitude, lies a peaceful town surrounded by nature. After spending some time with a seasoned farmer who offered to show me where to find […]

By |April 30th, 2013|Salty|10 Comments
  • Itch-salad

Armenian bulgur salad (Itch)



You may be still in the throes of Winter where you are, but here in Lebanon Spring has arrived; the mountains are getting covered in wildflowers and fruit trees have started to show their blossoms. Winter was barely felt this year. 

This salad is extra flavorful and when I make it, I end up gobbling […]

By |March 11th, 2013|Salty|17 Comments
  • kibbet-al-batata

Potato bulgur pie (Kibbet al-batata)


There are many versions of potato kibbeh; some are strictly vegan, others contain a layer of meat, some are made into balls and stuffed with onions and nuts, etc. This one is made up of mashed potato mixed with bulgur and stuffed with a layer of ground meat and onions (with a sprinkling of […]

By |November 14th, 2012|Salty|16 Comments
  • Kurdish-ballou3_1

Lentil kibbeh


This is a speedy and delicious type of kibbeh (in Kurdish balloo3) that I tasted at the home of a Kurdish friend whose family resided in  Turkey. The lentils cook in water in minutes and are combined with fine bulgur; spices here are dried coriander and fried onions and a touch of red pepper […]

By |April 10th, 2012|Salty|21 Comments
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Kibbeh in yogurt sauce


One major difference between, say, French or Italian or Greek cuisine  and Middle-Eastern cuisine  lies in the widespread use of yogurt in cooking. In traditional Lebanese cooking, béchamel or white sauce is not used, period. Yogurt from cow milk or goat milk is used in hundreds of dishes. To add some kick, a pesto […]

By |January 26th, 2012|Salty|21 Comments