Kibbeh saucers

October 19, 2020  •  Category: , ,

This kibbeh is called sajeeyeh, because it looks like a saj, that ubiquitous propane-powered oven seen on every street corner in Beirut on which bakers make the famous manooshe.  It is made-up of the same dough as a regular kibbeh pie, but with the addition of some red pepper paste and extra seasoning. I like the fact that it is baked instead of fried, it is super easy to shape (as opposed to the round balls that take years of practice!) and it is perfect for a picnic (it does not require utensils).

Get the Recipe »

Stuffed pumpkin (Ghapama)

October 17, 2020  •  Category: ,

Often prepared around Christmastime, ghapama is a stuffed pumpkin dish from the Armenian community in Lebanon. The guts of the pumpkin are removed, and then it is stuffed with boiled rice and dried fruits like apple, apricot, dates, plums, and raisins together with nuts. The pumpkin is baked until it softens.

This dish would be a welcome change for a Thanksgiving table, accompanied with some hot spiced tea.

The size of the pumpkin (or squash) can vary depending on the number of servings needed.

I added spices that are not traditionally used here, such as turmeric and cardamom; the native recipe only calls for ground cinnamon, cloves and salt.

I have also added roasted pumpkin seeds instead of the traditional walnuts or almonds.

The key element in this dish is the honey or sugar added; if you like it sweet or not, adjust the honey or sugar to taste. I found that the elements of the pilaf were already sweet (raisins, apricot leather, dried cranberries), so I have cautious with the sugar. I would definitely sprinkle some sugar or honey on the empty pumpkin inside (after lathering it with butter), but I would be careful adding too much honey or sugar into the rice itself. Your call.

Get the Recipe »

Pomegranate and cream pudding

October 12, 2020  •  Category:

An easy dessert in which two separate flavors, a fruity and tangy one from the fresh pomegranates and a creamy and soothing one from the cream. The entire dessert can be put together in under 30 minutes if you get the ingredients ready ahead of time.

Get the Recipe »

Pancakes with turmeric

October 10, 2020  •  Category:

These pancakes are flavored with turmeric and anise, which gives them a faint sweet and spiced flavor. I picked these two spices because they are used in a popular Lebanese sweet bread sold in street carts and pastry shops and called sfoof.

Get the Recipe »

Recent Recipes

Coleslaw (Sambhara)

This is not a Lebanese recipe, it is actually Indian, from Gujarat. I am happily exploring the cuisines of the rest of Asia, especially Iran, Afghanistan, and India these days. I loved its name, sambhara. The recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery book (slightly adapted). I loved this way of...
Read More »

Basil pesto

I have this potted basil on my balcony, here in Austin; of course, I had to make pesto. So here it is. It is hard to find an easier recipe. In Italy, people use parmesan. In Nice (France), they use it for soup but don’t bother with parmesan. At least...
Read More »

Lebanese sandwich (‘arouss)

In the US, pita bread is usually small and thick, about 8 inches in width; here in Lebanon, pita bread (called Arabic bread) comes in two sizes (even cocktail size, two inches in width) but the vast majority of people buy it in the large size. The bag of pitas...
Read More »

Potato fritters

A recipe by one of my favorite Lebanese chefs, Marlene Mattar; she (lucky her!) visited Aleppo, in Syria and created a cookbook based on her travels there. Slightly adapted.