• Biryani


This  rice pilaf called biryani is popular all over the Middle-East, especially in the Gulf countries and Iraq.  In fact, one could easily write a book on biryanis, and how they are cooked all across Asia. My favorite method is Persian. For one, it is easy and versatile.  Once all the components have been […]

By |November 25th, 2014|Salty|5 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
  • 2X-gr-bean-stew

Green beans stew (Yakhnet loobieh)



I have adopted my friend’s Kerene expression “it is a no-brainer!”; well, this stew and all its cousins in the Lebanese kitchen, are a no-brainer. Grab 1/2 pound of stew meat, (a few bones  as well if your butcher will part with them), a vegetable, fresh or frozen, and a pound of tomatoes fresh […]

By |January 26th, 2014|Salty|20 Comments
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Lebanese-style dolmas (Mehshee warak enab wkoosa)


This is the epitome of a Lebanese-style dolmas; the grape leaves are picked fresh  (and the freh grape leaves are sold at Middle-Eastern stores )or you can use the brined ones. The zucchinis are much maller and sweeter; you can cut them in half if you like (I did that for decades, leaving one […]

By |September 2nd, 2013|Salty|20 Comments
  • tomato-rice

Tomato rice (Harrak osba3o)


The name of this dish in Arabic is “burnt his finger”. Presumably this is such an irresistible food a child burnt his finger eating it without waiting for it to cool down. Prior to making this I was unconvinced; how can something so simple be that good? it is just rice cooked with onions, […]

By |July 14th, 2013|Salty|19 Comments
  • Ararat-montagne

Mount Ararat pilaf (Ararat Pilav)

When the war officially ended in Lebanon, there was a lot that needed to be done to rebuild the country; Mrs Micha Sarraf and her friends decided to put together a cookbook in order to raise money to help the Red Cross. The cookbook was called Mijotons (tr: Let’s concoct something). The ladies involved […]

By |June 7th, 2013|Salty|18 Comments
  • Biryani-with-chicken

Chicken biryani


The recipe for this dish was generously given to me by a (lady) chef who works for an NGO here in Beirut; biryanis (various versions of the original Indian biryanis) are popular in Iraq and in the Gulf countries where they are considered an important part of the local cuisine. The richness in spices […]

By |April 4th, 2013|Salty|15 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
  • quince-stew

Quince stew (Sfarjalieh ma3 ruz)



If you love fruity, sweet and sour flavors in your food, then this stew is right up your alley. Inspired by a famous stew from Aleppo, Syria but streamlined to the max. The stew combines the flavors of quince, red beets, pomegranate, with a touch of garlic and mint; these flavors are lilting, sweet […]

By |November 18th, 2012|Salty|15 Comments
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Bean mujaddara (Mujaddara Hammaniya)



A mujaddara is primarily made with lentils and a starch (usually rice) and flavored with caramelized onions. It is a dish that is very ancient (mentioned in the Old Testament). In any case, it is healthy, rustic,  easy to make and easy on the wallet. 

  In the beautiful village  of Hammana (Mount Lebanon range), residents […]

By |August 17th, 2012|Salty|18 Comments