• sahlab


Sahlab is the name of a popular drink in Lebanon. It was introduced here by the Ottomans who ruled the region for four centuries. That is why one can find it served at cafés in Istanbul as well as in Beirut. It is made by stirring milk with some sugar and a whitish powder […]

By |December 21st, 2014|Drinks|10 Comments
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Orange and milk pudding (Balouza)

 Winter season offers one redeeming value:  The availability of citrus of all kinds. I could easily drink half a gallon of fresh orange juice every day.

This pudding is a tad fancier than the traditional muhallabieh that my grandmother used to make weekly with powdered milk. I used blood orange juice for the bottom […]

By |February 16th, 2014|Sweets|20 Comments
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Butternut and cream pudding (Halwa al-yakteen)



After Oum Ali, this is another great  dessert from Egypt and Eastern Libya.  A  version of this dessert is explained with step-by-step photos  in an excellent  site for anybody interested in Libyan food and traditions. Another version I found in Lebanese chef Marlene Mattar’s cookbook, Maedat Marlene.

This is a simple dessert: Cook the pumpkin […]

By |November 18th, 2011|Sweets|20 Comments
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Milk cream (Hariré)


This is a simple milk “cream” that is prepared over the stove in  5 minutes with milk, starch and flavoring. It is similar to the muhallabieh, except here rose water is used (and starch instead of rice flour). It was traditionally consumed for breakfast according to Fayez Aoun, author of 280 recettes de […]

By |November 12th, 2011|Sweets|20 Comments
  • Lebanese-traditional-crêpes

Crêpes with halva sauce (Lezza’qiyate)


These crêpes are from  an ancient recipe  still being made in rural areas in Lebanon, according to Chef Ramzi’s Culinary Heritage of Lebanon (in Rashaya, Rmeish, Akkar and West Bekaa).

I have adapted the recipe due to the fact that Chef Ramzi’s recipes are usually for a huge quantity and very succinct; he collected recipes […]

By |September 17th, 2011|Sweets|20 Comments
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Lace chocolate crêpe

 I got the idea of shaping a crêpe like lace from Chef Elise Labide; she calls it crêpe dentelle. Hers was a regular crêpe batter, I got mine in a chocolate version. The idea is very simple: Your pour the batter in a plastic container with a spout, similar to the ones used to […]

By |April 22nd, 2011|Sweets|36 Comments
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Citrus and cream jelly


Diet desserts?  I always figured if one feels like eating a slice of cake, great, eat it, enjoy every morsel, and cut back on portions of food at the next meal.

But what if you want to cut down on your food intake? Agar-agar is an appetite suppressant: Making these desserts and having one […]

By |March 30th, 2011|Sweets|39 Comments
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Candied dates with cardamom


What does one ask of a coffee shop?  Free wi-fi, outdoor seating with shade, really good coffee drinks and pastries, friendly staff and animation. In Beirut, there is Café Younès, which fills these requirements. Walking home after  some leisurely time spent there, I saw these fresh dates, (guess it must be the season), and […]

By |September 27th, 2010|Sweets|40 Comments
  • square-of-white-lasagne-400x280

White lasagne with vegetables


One who reads guidebooks about Lebanon will no doubt be informed of all the civilizations that the country has experienced:  Phoenicians, Greeks,  Romans ( hundreds of temples left behind) to name but a few; and of course the Ottoman presence which lasted a few centuries.

However, there is no mention of the more recent Italian […]

By |September 25th, 2010|Salty|28 Comments
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Rice pudding with geranium leaves (Muazzabeh)


Geraniums are very popular in Lebanon; even the most modest home will adorn its doorsteps or balcony with a pot filled with these cheerful flowers; as a kid, I would  secretly pluck  the petals of our potted geraniums with a girlfriend: the idea was to blot  them onto  our 10-year-old lips hoping to […]

By |July 22nd, 2010|Sweets|35 Comments