• blog-Anas-chick

Chicken with zaatar and tahini sauce

I met Anas Chao first through a series of e-mails. He was a follower of this blog, and was going to be in Beirut and suggested we meet. We became fast friends and ended-up exploring the old souks of Sidon together. Anas speaks fluent Lebanese Arabic, resides in Taipei, but grew up in the Kingdom […]

By |June 1st, 2014|Salty|7 Comments
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Zucchini hummus (M’tabbal koossa)

I can imagine a Lebanese or Near-Eastern reader raising an eyebrow at the title of this post. In Lebanon, only chickpea-based dips (mixed with tahini) are called hummus. The reason is simple: Hummus means chickpea and the chickpea dip is actually called hummus m’tabbal, meaning seasoned chickpeas. In the US, hummus (tahini-based chickpea dip) has […]

By |May 14th, 2014|Salty|10 Comments
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Halvah toffee (Tabtab al-janna)


If you are a fan of halvah, you will like this candy. While halvah is nearly impossible to make in a home kitchen, this is not. Only three ingredients required: Sugar, tahini and flour. Flavored with cardamom. 


1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of tahini +extra to grease the pan
1/2 tsp […]

By |September 26th, 2012|Sweets|24 Comments
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Eggplant with yogurt sauce (Fattet al-Makdoos)


In what city in the world can you get this meal delivered to your door? That is what happened today when I called my caterer/friend/neighbor, Rima @RimRam Gourmet and asked her to help me out. 

Rima, whose is a true Beiruti, specializes in many traditional dishes and cooks herself once a month at Tawlet, Kamal […]

By |March 28th, 2012|Salty|27 Comments
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Cauliflower salad (Arnabeet w tarator)


This is the perfect salad if you are stuck with a cauliflower and not sure what to do with it. 

It only takes minutes to prepare. It tastes fantastic and you will forget you are eating cauliflower. 

 The cauliflower is just boiled or steamed till tender, cut up and covered with the sauce. 

The sauce is a […]

By |February 27th, 2012|Salads|16 Comments
  • mutabbal

Eggplant dip (M’tabbal)


Will not speak for other expats, but this is the one dish that beckons after arrival. Something about that  lemony, silky, garlicky, smokey eggplant cream is all that one needs to feel acclimated once again.


1 large shiny eggplant, about 1 pound
1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of tahini
olive oil


Char the eggplant over an open […]

By |December 2nd, 2011|Salty|37 Comments
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Eggplant chips with yogurt sauce


Normally, this dish is made up of thick slices of eggplant, fried in olive oil and smothered in a garlicky yogurt sauce. This version used extra thin slices (I finally got the hang of the mandoline), fried in olive oil then dried up in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute; the microwave […]

By |September 6th, 2011|Salty|20 Comments
  • lamb-and-hummus

Potato hummus with lamb

This should conclude my hummus week (unless I feel the urge to make yet another hummus mañana); this is a classic potato with tarator (tahini) sauce, except I used (organic) sweet potatoes.

The lamb chops are marinated briefly in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic paste, Aleppo pepper and  wild zaatar or thyme.

INGREDIENTS: Per potato (weight […]

By |August 27th, 2011|Salty|19 Comments
  • tuna-hummus-2

Tuna hummus


This tuna hummus is made in minutes in the food processor; just add some tarator sauce (tahini, lemon, water and garlic) to the tuna, some pimento or Aleppo pepper, some herbs and maybe capers if you like them.

INGREDIENTS: 10 servings

2 (5-ounce) cans of tuna in water
Juice of 2 large lemons
4 to 6 […]

By |August 26th, 2011|Salty|19 Comments
  • kabicha-hummus

Squash hummus

So many varieties of squash are out there for us to enjoy; I like the so-called turban or Turkish turban squash for their interesting shape and colorful orange and green hues. INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 pound (or 3 pound) squash
1/2 cup of tahini
1/2 cup of lemon or orange or citrus juice (fresh)
2 cloves of garlic, […]

By |August 25th, 2011|Salty|19 Comments