• yogurt-drink

Yogurt drink (Ayran)

I posted this image on the blog’s Facebook page, just to see how many people would respond to it. Initially I thought it was only an Eastern Mediterranean (Turkey) and  Middle-Eastern drink; turns out it is popular in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, even in parts of China.

In Lebanon, it is called ayran and most people  buy […]

By |July 12th, 2014|Drinks|9 Comments
  • dup-fava-yogurt-

Fava beans in yogurt sauce (Ful bel-laban)

This is a popular stew made especially in the Spring season when fava beans are freshly picked and offered on the side of the road going to the mountains or in the city’s greengrocers.  A vegetarian version can be prepared by simply omitting adding the meat (and stock) to the stew and replacing them […]

By |April 29th, 2014|Salty|16 Comments
  • blog-romaine-salade

Easter salad from Syria


This salad of romaine lettuce and yogurt is served on Easter sunday in Aleppo, Syria (source: Mireille Doniguian, La Cuisine du Moyen-Orient). It needs to be prepared at the last minute, to keep the lettuce crispy. 

INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings

1 Romaine lettuce, washed and dried

1 pound yogurt

1 teaspoon garlic paste (garlic mashed with salt in […]

By |April 20th, 2014|Salads|4 Comments
  • labnieh-fg

Kibbeh in yogurt (Labniyeh)

This is one of the best (if not the best) kibbeh dishes; we grew up with it, with my grandmother patiently coring the hollow kibbeh balls and stirring the yogurt till thickened. The final kick of flavor was when the cilantro and garlic fried in oil was added to the sauce. In Lebanon, the […]

By |March 26th, 2014|Salty|19 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
  • yogurt-and-meat-soup1

Yogurt soup


If I had to make a sweeping statement about Middle-Eastern culinary taste,  I’d say ” You’ve got to love yogurt!”. Yogurt is an intrinsic part of our food. When I was a kid growing up in Beirut, we’d get our weekly supply of yogurt delivered by a man wearing a sherwal (traditional trousers) and wearing a […]

By |February 26th, 2013|Salty|22 Comments
  • single-serving-fatte-3

Eggplant casserole (Fattet betenjan)


Hardly any dish in the Middle-East is more finger-licking or easier to prepare. Layer a food with fried pita croutons and a  yogurt sauce flavored with tahini and a touch of garlic; oh, and a sprinkling of butter-fried nuts to top it off.

Above is a diet version of the eggplant fatteh which is poor […]

By |October 24th, 2012|Salty|12 Comments
  • fattet-al-makdous

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
  • kibbeh-blabnieh

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
  • plate-of-eggplant

Eggplants in a pomegranate and walnut sauce


This eggplant dish is meatless however it will leave you totally satiated. The walnuts and bulgur do the trick: Paired  with fresh pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses,  garlic and a touch of cinnamon, they deliver depth of flavor and a sweet/tart taste.

I came up with this last summer but go back to it whenever […]

By |October 21st, 2011|Salty|33 Comments