A Lebanese-American cooks…

December 6, 2008  •  Category:


Hi! Kifak? Ça va?

I am Joumana. I grew up in Beirut back when Lebanon was called the Switzerland of the Middle East.  My fascination with cooking developed when I was about 9 and was watching my grandmother Teta create food in our little kitchen. She lived with us, and since I was not allowed to do any work in the kitchen, I would stand by her side and watch her. She had small hands but her nimble fingers “magic fingers” and could shape sambusek, kibbeh balls, tiny shish barak, anything, with extraordinary precision. I have never met since a more skilled kitchen artist. She was also amazing at crochet, knitting and quilt-making and produced entire closets of embroidered linens for my mother and my aunts. 

From Beirut, like many of my contemporaries, I moved to France as the civil war in Lebanon was raging. I graduated from high school in Paris then moved to California, then Texas where I finally settled and had my two children (now grown and professionals).

I started this blog because even though I have been an American for over  30 years, my passion for my country of origin is unabated. Love its nature, its people, its cuisine. Proud  of the Lebanese people, their achievements and their courage. Interested in their complex and rich history.

Studied Pastry arts  in Dallas, worked in the field for a while. 

I want to dig into traditional Lebanese cuisine, especially rural recipes that are being rediscovered. I also like to cook American, French, Italian dishes but with a little Lebanese flair. 

I also want to dedicate my blog to my téta (grandmother), Sitt Nabiha Aftimos Zabbat; she tirelessly made kibbeh, sambusek, fatayer, muhallabieh and uwaymate, as well as negotiated  the price of eggplants or tomatoes with the street cart vendors four floors below. 

I currently divide my time between Dallas, Texas and Beirut, Lebanon.

I can be reached either through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram  or at joumana@tasteofbeirut.com

Hope you enjoy your visit here!



124 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Debbie Hefka says:

    Hello Joumana. You met my sister, Barbara, recently–she came to your home to cook with you and D Mays. Later, she enthused to me, the family cook, how great an afternoon it was and how much I would have loved it. She gave the address for this blog, and I expect to try your recipes. I hope to meet you one day (I live in NYC).

    • admin says:

      Hi Debbie! I had a great time too! Wished you were here! I really want to share the wonders of Lebanese cuisine; I feel that it is not sufficiently known and in some cases even misrepresented. Hence the blog. I hope that when you visit Texas we can meet and cook together!

  2. anne marie bassoul says:

    hello joum on vient de se lever de table chez vous a clemenceau avec michel salwa et marcel
    et nous nous sommes penches marcel et moi avec delectation sur ton blog qui nous met l’eau a la bouche des que l’on tombe sur la page de garde. bisous Anne marie

    • Joumana says:

      Quel plaisir de te lire! j’ai l’intention de parler de toi (avec photos) l’ete prochain, si tu me es d’accord! Bisous Joumana

  3. Mary Jones says:

    Joumana, This is fun to read even if you don’t cook! You have combined the history of Lebanese cooking, family memories and receipes and nutrition. I love “one of the top ten” Well done!!!!

  4. maggie says:

    Marhaba Joumana, proud of you b’cause you’re proud of your roots,that what we taught our children.
    sahtain to everyone who cooks and eats lebanese food .IT’S THE BEST.

  5. Arlette says:

    Marhaba Joumana,

    I am Lebanese too, living in North Bay, a small town in Northern Ontario. Recently I started a Lebanese Food Blog , and later this year I organized an Arabic Cooking Club “walima”
    I am sending you an invitation to join us and be a member of the team.
    You can read more about Walima in my blog, we are a small group of talented cooks from the Middle East. the Motto of th group is supporting and helping each others, at the same time we will do monthly cooking challenges.
    the first challenge will start begining of May…and the posting on the 30th of the month..

    Looking forward to hear from you.
    All the best …

    p.s.: if you need any help or recipes, let me know!!

  6. Hasie says:

    Hi Joumana, I am a Singaporean married to a Lebanese. Over the period of 10 years of marriage, I had never attempted making any Lebanese food partly due to the unavailability of some of the ingredients (in Singapore) and also not knowing what exactly is Lebanese food. My mother-in-law bought me a Lebanese recipe book but I’ve never tried any of those recipes as I dont know what it should look and taste like. I must admit the only Lebanese recipe I had ever tried making is Tabbouleh and Hummus. However eversince hubby and I moved and live in the United Arab Emirates, I tried several fantastic Lebanese restaurants n it was delightful. I began searching for recipes and make it myself..and to tell you frankly I’m so happy to have found your site, its so friendly and simply fabulous. I will make Mussakhan tomorrow and inshallah it will turn out how it should be. Love your site and shookran jazillan for all your recipes and help.

    • Joumana says:

      Marhaba Hasie
      Your comment made my day! My brother lives in Singapore with his wife and kids and all I know is his wife makes a very good mujaddara. Do you know that dish? it is a very simple dish of lentils, yummy and good for you! (lots of iron). I am so glad you are finding my site useful! Thanks so much for your visits! Come again!

  7. Jean says:

    Joumana, this is fantastic and I’m so impressed! Not to mention that I get hungry just looking at the photos. How about a recipe for Bata b’lahmeh?

    • Joumana says:

      Jean, I would love to comply with your request, but unfortunately, I have no idea what Bata b’lahmeh is!!! Please clarify and I will see if I can deliver!

  8. Hasie says:

    Hi Joumana, I’m so pleased to know your brother lives in Singapore with his family. I hope my country makes me proud by having him n family feel at home. Inshallah. I will try making Mujadarra soon as its full of iron (I need that due to my anaemia). Also, I was trying to find recipe for Molokhia, I found several versions and mostly its all Egyptian recipes. I like it the Levant country way simply cos hubby is pro-Lebanese way :-P. Any possibility for that? I was reading about Lebanese breakfast on your site and I remembered the look on hubby’s face when I served him Singaporean breakfast which is the complete opposite of healthy Lebanese way. Fresh labneh, mint leaves, cucumber, olives and tomatoes are simply the best way to start the day for good health. I loved it 🙂 Take care and definitely I will keep coming back sneaking for new recipes from you 😉

    • Joumana says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comments! My brother and his family are family are very happy in Singapore. He works all over Asia and he and his wife started learning Mandarin Chinese and are really into it! Last time I saw my brother, a year ago, he had brought back green teas and was showing all of us in Lebanon how to prepare it and drink it ( I had inadvertently thrown the pot with the wet leaves). Anyway, I am planning to make molokhia this coming thursday with my Egyptian friend, so we will be comparing our methods. She grows hers in her backyard but her leaves are not big enough yet so we are going to try and find it at the Asian market where they sell it fresh. I wish I knew how they call it in Chinese and which Asian culture uses it! Take good care!

  9. Jean says:

    Hi Joumana,
    Sorry, I meant Batata bi’lahmeh, the stewed potato dish with garlic, cilantro and lamb meat

    • Joumana says:

      Hi Jean
      Since I have not posted this dish yet, I am going to suggest Mag’s blog:
      She posted this recipe just a few days ago.

  10. Carla Haibi says:

    Hi Joumana. Your comment on my blog lead me to your website. I love it and especially the images. Keep it up , i can’t wait to read more from you. But now i have to go make myself something delicious to eat.J’ai eu l’eau a la bouche 😉 Cheers!

  11. Ghawiya says:

    I just came across your site looking for recipes. I don’t know how I didn’t find it before. I love it and it’s already bookmarked.

    I’m fasting this Ramadan and I’m lookng for authentic recipes that remind me of home. Your recipes are mouth watering and some of them are new to me (Apricot Pudding..mmmmm).

    Thank you for a great blog! I’ll be visiting it often 🙂

  12. Dana says:

    Hi Joumana,

    I came by your blog by chance when I was looking for fatayer sbanekh recipe and what a jem it is. You remind me so much of home and the yummy Lebanese food that my Mom used to prepare. I live in North Texas too, in Plano actually. I like that you mention where to get some of the ingredients that are not readily available at wholefoods or other markets. As to molokhia, what is it called at the asian markets? Is there one in patricular you can recommend?

    Thanks for a great blog!!


    • Joumana says:

      Hi Dana,
      Thanks for your kind comments. You made my day!
      As for molokhia, I found it near my house, fresh, in early Spring, at a supermarket called ” Hong-Kong Market”. I remember it being called Jew or Jute Mallow. Also, any vietnamese market will carry it, they call it rau day
      . Filipino markets also carry it and call it
      I also need to tell you that the recipe I posted is my Egyptian Coptic friend’s. It does not include the cilantro, which in Lebanon is heresy. I liked it because it tastes very fresh and light. Feel free to add the cilantro of course!!
      Happy cooking! Joumana.

  13. Dana says:

    Hi Joumana,

    I will be looking for it this weekend and I will be making it with lots of kizbara 😉 I also found your reference of Pheonicia bakery for markouk bread. I will be stopping there tomorrow and maybe I will try your msakhan recipe.

    Thanks a lot and have a wonderful weekend ful of yummy aromas and tantalizing recipes.

    • Joumana says:

      If you don’t find Phoenicia Bakery (it is kind of tucked in on Campbell Road) they also sell the markouk bread at Sara Bakery on Spring Valley and Sherman in Richardson.
      Hope you find the fresh molookhia I am not sure if it is still available fresh! Happy cooking!

  14. Fredrick says:

    Hello, Marhaba!

    I just came across your blog and wanted to tell you what a nice job you have done…It is wonderful to find people that share the joy of cooking (especially Lebanese foods). I being of the same ancestry have enjoyed the wonderful foods all my life.


  15. Fredrick says:

    Do you find yourself cooking Lebanese cuisines daily? What are some of your most favorite dishes? I have not had the time to read all of the post on your site…..overall do you feel there is more interest over a few recipes than many?
    If so, can you ponder as to why this is so?


    • Joumana says:

      I have only been blogging for a year. I saw that you are in the business of making Lebanese products, I gather baklava? Where are you selling your products? I can tell you that the posts that get the most attention are the ones that show easy recipes. I got a lot of visits for a review I did on Chef Ramzi’s book The Culinary Heritage of Lebanon. And yes, I do cook Lebanese food daily and I like all the Lebanese dishes, especially sheikh el-mehche, mehche malfoof, all the fatteh, all the lentil dishes like mujaddara, and I am addicted to zaatar, I eat it every day!

  16. Fredrick says:

    I am new to the blogging world and am reading blogs to learn what conversations are being discussed particularly regarding Mediterranean foods. You are correct with regards to the food business, I am in the process of launching a food company to produce Traditional Lebanese Cuisines (products will be sold in the freezer section of grocery stores). My web site is being updated for complete interaction with customers. Let me know if you would like to link your site to bring you some readers.
    I am familiar with Chef Ramzi as well as his popularity and the products he is sells in Lebanon. The dishes you mention are wonderful and a few of them are in my product line. They will show up on my web site as I get closer to launching the company in the next moth.

    • Joumana says:

      Bravo! I wish you the utmost success! Where are you going to be launching? In the US or Europe or Australia? I think that there is such a wealth in Lebanese cuisine, most of it yet unknown to the public at large. When I did my post on freekeh ( roasted green wheat) I found an Australian company who is marketing it and wanting to expand the line into bars and such. Sure I would love to have my site linked and vice-versa. I can’t wait to try your products!

  17. Fredrick says:

    Thank you very much for your kind words. I am in Austin, TX, so we will begin here in the US and expand as distributors come on board.As I build my web site and other social media outlets such as facebook, myspace etc.I will start posting info for when and where we will be launching products and plan to involve fans/future customers in conversation for opinions, ideas, etc.
    I seek out companies as you found in Australia to learn more about them and see what is going on i the world.
    I will let you know when we launch our first product etc. Email me if you like so that I may inform you about the web site link. As I expand my social media search (blogs etc) I need a way to link them all together or I will forget where they are and not get back to communicate often. I will let you know when and where product will be available for you to taste.

  18. scary azeri says:

    Hi there!
    I just wanted to check out your blog, and also say hello and thank you for all the lovely comments you left me on my blog! I adore Lebanese food by the way. 🙂 Have a good girlfriend here, living locally, who is from Lebanon and I am still drooling just remembering that dinner at their house! Anyhow, thank you and nice to meet you! Do write to me if you have the time, so we could meet properly.

    All the best,

  19. Asia Jo says:

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving your lovely comments 🙂 I am so so happy you found me and now I know about your blog. I really love Lebanese food and now with your recipes I can finally start cooking those amazing dishes. I love your website, the content and the photos. I will be visiting often. Thank you again ….

  20. Chris says:

    Thanks for leaving the comments on my blog — it led me to discover yours! My father-in-law grew up in Beirut and through that side of the family I’ve discovered a love for Armenian/Lebanese/Middle-Eastern dishes! You have great photos, looking forward to following your posts. 🙂

  21. Ilham.M says:

    Hi Joumana,

    Merci pour ton commentaire rigolo sur mon blog, je suis ravie de voir un vrai blog de cuisine libainaise,ce qui est assez rare en francais, il me semble…en tout cas tu m’as donne beaucoup d’envies a travers tes recettes

    A Bientot


  22. Mona says:

    Hi Joumana!
    I live in Dubai with no family around and I just miss my mom’s cooking so terribly! Unfortunately she;s not around anymore to chat with me and teach me some of her great recipes. I now have a beautiful baby girl and her first tooth started emerging! 🙂 I looked for a snaynyeh recipe and came across your bolg!
    I just want to thank you for sharing all these wonderful recipes with us and to congratulate you for the great job!
    I will try the snaynyeh tomorrow nshallah and will share it with my neighbours (who are also waiting for their little one’s first tooth!)
    I was wondering if you have any recipe for a sayyadyeh with 3e2deh safra (turmeric). It seems that my husband’s mom use to prepare it like that and I have never tasted a sayyadyeh except like the one in your blog.
    Thanks a lot Joumana and hope to see you in Dubai!

    • Joumana says:

      Hi Mona!
      So glad that you found my blog, because I found you too! A real live Lebanese expat like myself! I do have a recipe for sayyadyeh with turmeric and I will send it to you via your e-mail directly tonight. Take care and I wish you and your little family a wonderful holiday season!

  23. Mona says:

    Thanks a lot Joumana! You’re a star!
    Look forward to your mail.
    Wishing you too happy and warm holidays with your family and all your loved ones!

  24. Cocotte says:

    J’ai trouvé la réponse! En plus tu as même un visage…:) Alors pour les produits japonais, suivant où tu es aux Etats-Unis (Dallas?), à mon avis tu dois pouvoir trouver dans des commerces spécialisés. Sinon il y a des sites de ventes par correspondance en Europe, l’équivalent doit bien exister aux States! Bonnes fêtes

  25. Bria says:

    Joumana, I just now got around to reading your bio. I grew up in Texas and still have family there. Maybe we’ll have to team up for a dinner or something on my next visit 🙂

    I agree, the cuisines of certain countries and regions are under or mis-represented. So glad you’re adding your voice and viewpoint to the conversation.

    Best wishes for a happy and productive 2010!


  26. The London Foodie says:

    Hi Joumana,

    What a delightful blog, just found you via Kano’s Syrian Foodie in London, one of my favourite blogs. I can relate to your motivation in starting this, being Brazilian of Japanese and Italian parents and living in the UK for nearly 20 years, I am passionate about the food my Japanese grandmother used to cook for us, and all the hearty Brazilian and Italian dishes of my childhood. I am lucky to live in London where one can find nearly every cuisine under the sun, London is a foodie’s paradise.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  27. Simi Mathew says:

    Joumana…Nice to meet you too.I grew up in Libya so I am quite acquainted with the Arabic dishes….my most cherished was ofcourse the Baklava. Can you please guide me how I can subscribe to your blog. In the meantime, happy blogging and I love your dishes….

  28. Ghinwa says:

    Mar7aba Joumana…. wow wa akhiran a great and wonderful website on traditional lebanese food 🙂 I love it !!!! I’m Ghinwa from California , and I’m in love with your blog, because I’m lebanese, born in ras beirut ( hamra) , my whole family are from beirut, and when i saw ur post on kibbe aranbiyeh , dibs, and mofataka, I went nuts!!!! I love all your feed back stories about you, your teta, your brother and your old friends…ahhhh so lovely you bring back memories to the time I was living in beirut. Please keep on writing stories about your old times in lebanon with your teta and your other amazing family. How about a category just for that ..you can call it hikayat zaman lol 🙂 This website rules!! where else can one find a website like this that has mofataka, dibs,semsimiyeh, samke harra, lebanese smoothie, the biscuit and chocolate log , and many more? Only on your great blog.. I ‘m so happy I found you blog, 3anjad I have dreams about it lol.Ya3tiki alf 3afyi. and thank you for the memories… oh and when I will be in beirut ( very soon) I will make sure to go to Hajj Makari’s shop and stuff my face with that yellow goodness 😉
    Keep it up
    Ghinwa Itani

  29. melrose says:

    Hi Joumana, If I understood right, your mother is Croatian?!? Me (partly) to. Govoris li hrvatski? I would be happy seeing you visiting my blog!

  30. Debra Mosely says:

    If you love cake decorating, please check out my website. I have a book that has beautiful and easy to make cake and cookie designs.

  31. Chantal says:

    Your website is really interesting with yummy recipes…

    I’m doing a Bloggers Face-OFF and was wondering if you would like to take part of it !

  32. Ghada says:

    Hi Joumana,
    I recently came across your blog while I was searching the web for some Lebanese recipe. It brought tears to my eyes, in good way 🙂
    I am Lebanese who moved to live permanently in New Zealand 2 years ago however I want to preserve my link to Lebanon and pass my heritage to my baby daughter. What better than the smell, color and taste of our food to keep us attached to the memory of what used to be once the most magnificent place on earth.
    Looking forward to your posts.

  33. Claudia says:

    Dear Joumana,

    i do love your your blog. I’m a german journalist writing for the biggest foodmagazine here. In November I will visit Beirut to discover the culinary sides of the city. It would be a pleasure for me to talk to you, to invite you in your favorite restaurant. Do hope you have time for me and that you would like to meet me too.
    If so, just send me a mail.
    Looking forward to hear from you, Claudia

  34. CaroleHK says:

    love this website… gems of traditional recipes!!!! great idea for foodies and cooks!

  35. maptiteacademie says:

    En plus tu es jolie ! Je vis à Paris mais j’ai travaillé à la “libaneese bank” et “Al Saoudi Bank” (après les banques ont fusionné) et ensuite avec deux grands noms du Liban. Tout le monde s’est un peu éparpillé à travers le monde, domage. J’en garde un excellent souvenir.
    Tu comprends comment ton blog me fait chaud au coeur !

  36. Alexandre says:

    WOW. Finally someone who publicly opened a window for a nontraditional approach to Lebanese cuisine. I’m a culinary student at the CIA born to a Lebanese catholic mother from Beirut and a French jewish father born in Haifa Israel. Needless to mention my passion for Mediterranean cuisine I see a future in your blog and or vision and I have a dyer in interest in your use of ingredients. If you’d like to bounce of some ideas please send me an email.

  37. Cayla says:

    Hi there,
    I’ve been searching for a traditional Halwa recipe like the one my grandmother made but can’t find one that lives up to it. Would you happen to have any hiding in your apron pocket?

  38. Sahar says:

    Can you please put some more chicken dish recipes? Like chicken kabob shawarma etc zaatar mannaesh? homemade

  39. Jim Tarrant says:

    I’m not Lebanese (Irish-American) but I do work in the Middle East and elsewhere and I also love to cook (and eat good food) so Lebanon is heaven in that regard. In fact, I am in Beirut right now waiting for an Iftar invitation ;). Growing up in Pittsburgh, I was exposed to Lebanese restaurants and enjoyed the standards but if you actually work in (or visit) Lebanon and explore the regions, there is an outstanding variation in dishes for a country that is slightly smaller than the State of Connecticut. (But that is misleading since so much of the area of the country is practically vertical (Mount Lebanon, Anti-Lebanon and the hills of the Akar amongst others). The rugged geography of Lebanon also created isolated communities hundreds of years ago that developed distinctly different “locavore” cuisines and this means one really must journey to all the small towns and villages to really get a sense of the variety of Lebanese cuisine (not to mention all the pickled veggies) and other local delicacies.

    • Joumana says:

      @Jim: Nice to meet you Jim and to know you are enjoying the diversity and rural gastronomy of Lebanon; will be there myself soon!

  40. Jaye says:

    I just found your blog while looking for a kafta recipe since I realized that my Lebanese father’s has left out all of the seasonings! Since he’s not here anymore to call and get the list, I’m happy to have found your blog. I was planning on making his tabouli to go with our kafta, but your recipe for shankleesh salad looks wonderful and requires much less chopping 🙂

    I’m glad to have found your blog and can’t wait to try some of the dishes that I didn’t grow up with as well as those I did.

  41. Annie Keropian says:

    Dear Jumana,

    My name is Annie Keropian and I’m from Shahiya.com. I actually came across your blog trying to find a sneyniyeh recipes for my son’s teething party. Arlette from Phoenician Gourmet also recommended your site to us. I wanted to touch base with you and see if there’s any way you can review our new iPhone/iPod application called Cook Lebanese 101 recipes. One of the best features of the app. is its Vegetarian filter for each category. I can send you a promo code at your request and in the meantime you can take a look at the free version to get an idea. Your insight is very valuable to us. If you can take a few minutes and give us your opinion, we’d really appreciate it. Thank you!

    Annie Keropian


  42. kathy opach says:

    You have received a Lovely Blog Award. The reason is you make me laugh, inspire me and do such an amazing job with your blog that I could only wish that one day I can be as good as you and thank you for introducing me to Lebanese Food that I love very much.


  43. William MATAR says:

    I added your beautiful site here http://www.discoverlebanon.com/en/directory/index_v.Dining_3_p_2.html
    Plz feel free to add back my site.. plz

  44. Elizabeth says:

    Can you tell me where I can find Purslane here in Dallas?

    • Joumana says:

      @Elizabeth: You will find purslane (off and on) at the following stores: Fiesta (it is called verdolaga) and any latino market; Sara bakery on Sherman in Richardson carries it.

  45. Christine says:

    Hey Foodie,

    Love your blog! We were wondering if we can feature it on our Knapkins.com website. This summer, we launched Knapkins to showcase the most delicious dishes created by a community of passionate foodies and food bloggers. We would love to have you be part of it! Come by and play a game of ‘food duel’, or take a look at our top dishes of the week and get inspired with new recipe ideas.

    Once you submit your foodblog, we will automatically add photos from your new blog entries and notify you when its ready. To submit your foodblog, visit http://www.knapkins.com/signup/blogger

    Have a scrumptious day,

    Christine & The Knapkins Team

  46. Ghada says:

    Hi joumana… I really like what you are doing!! I am a food/cooking lover..
    I am Lebanese .. and still live in Lebanon!! Been all around!! and found Lebanon the place to be in all sense!!
    I wish you all the best… anything you want from Lebanon, just let me know!!
    Will be following your blog!

    • Joumana says:

      @Ghada: Thank you so much, you are a sweetheart! I am going to Lebanon in a few weeks, my daughter is planning to attend the AUB. Thanks so much for your support and appreciation. Joumana

  47. Jade George says:

    Dear Joumana,

    We are trying to contact you for press coverage. Please email us at jade@artandthensome.com.


  48. Carolyn says:

    Do you take recipe requests? There are a few staple meals my Lebanese mother in law makes all the time that are so delicious. I wish we could tell you about them and see your version!

  49. Magi Glucker says:


    My name is Magi and i’m from Israel.
    I searched on the web Lebanese food and I got to your blog. I’m very impressed with your love to your homeland, your photographs and your lovely writing.
    I hope you don’t mind that I’m “walking” at your wonderful blog, including writing to you, although I am from Israel, I think that food bridge all the differences. Through the Internet I know people from around the world dealing with food and it’s wonderful.
    I have to a blog about food, my blog deals mainly with Italian food.


    • Joumana says:

      @Magi: My blog is about food and culture and I try to keep politics out of it entirely. I am happy that you like it as I have a number of readers from your country. All the best. Joumana

  50. paola bosnoyan says:

    i cannot get enough looking at the picture of your prepared dishes because of the plates and serving platters. specially the latest muffin tray. I live in Lebanon and i want to know if I can find or buy them over here
    thanks a lot

    • Joumana says:

      @Paola: Everything you see I have bought in Beirut in one store or another mainly in in artisan-type stores all over town.

    • Rolla says:

      Hello Paola,
      I read about your cooking book for lent and I can’t find it in any bookstore. Could you please let me know where I can buy it?
      I need at least 3 copies.

  51. Saba Ammari says:

    Hi Joumana, I was wondering if you have a recipe for halawet il jibn? Thanks!

  52. Hisham Assaad says:

    Your blog is very interesting. I haven’t found much Lebanese food bloggers, especially with authentic Lebanese recipes. Good Job 🙂

  53. Beth says:

    Glad to have found you. My grandparents are Lebanese (1st generation this country) and my mother is an American mix. I grew up eating my Sito’s food, and miss it terribly. Currently, I live in east Texas, no close middle eastern markets or restaurants to get my fix. I am glad I found your blog, It is nice reading about the different foods. Thankfully, my husband and children will try new foods, but I stick to hushweh and hummus most times. We raise our own meat goats, do you think ground goat is a better replacement for lamb than ground beef? Have you tried this?

    • Joumana says:

      @Beth: goat is an excellent meat, very lean and very high in iron and other nutrients, especially if you raise them in pasture! I have tried ground goat and it is great! just add a little olive oil to keep it moist; great as a chili meat too!

  54. Jenny says:

    Dear Joumana,

    I’ve just recently discovered your blog while searching for recipes for yogurt garlic sauce. I came across your recipe for vegan mayonnaise (with plenty of garlic flavor – yummm!) and from first read I’ve been captivated. Your site is gorgeous, your recipes alluring and your passion for your topic is obvious and overflowing. I’m on a long-term journey at the moment and I have no kitchen but I’ve bookmarked your site as I am excited to refer to it for inspiration and recipes as soon as I do have a stove to cook on once again! I hope you don’t mind – I collect recipes on my blog too for my own reference and I’d like to include a link to your mayonnaise recipe for inspiration. Let me know if you prefer that I don’t include it. 🙂 Thank you again for all the amazing photos and recipes!

  55. Joumana says:

    Hi Joumana! Thanks for visiting my blogs too! 🙂 I keep coming back to your site – each new post makes my mouth water and makes me excited for the day that I’ll have a kitchen again. Is there a way to subscribe to your blog through WordPress? I was looking around for an option but couldn’t find one. Apologies if I’ve missed something on your site!

    • Joumana says:

      @Jenny: Thanks for the praise; yes, the icon right below the Twitter bird on the left-hand margin will ask you for a password and will subscribe you by RSS feed to all my new posts.

  56. Kay says:

    You are beautiful! 🙂 What a gorgeous smile you have.
    I love your website. I just tried your tahini brownies and they are delicious! Thank you!

  57. Otavio Sinto says:

    Having being born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, I grew up with fantastic lebanese food , as commom as italian food. I have been very disappointed with the lebanese food I found in the US. It is boring, repetitive, and not nearly as refined as the one I am used to.
    As a homecook, I will use your blog to refine on what I already cook, although I might end und up using my food processor more often than you suggest!!!

  58. jason argon says:


    • Joumana says:

      @Jason: Thanks so so very much!!! I am going to be watching it and relishing every moment! thanks for your warm and interesting comments and you are touching me so much. Joumana

  59. Elaine Bernd says:

    I am of Lebanese decent – I lived in Lebanon for MANY years (at least 8) and never thought of making some of the dishes I woulld now like to do. I am really interested in a cecipefor Rice and Peas (translated “riz wo pizalla”) that also contains lamb, tomato sauce etc. Can you send me one? I speak Arabic and graduated from the American Community School in Beirut and went to college at AUB. Met my husband and got married there (55 years ago now).

  60. Mike Diab says:

    Marqaba Joumana

    Anissa Helou and you have unknowingly been my online consultants for some time. I am in South Africa and descend from the villages of Bsharre and Hadeth el Joubbe. Like you, my Situ and mom have been my foundation but Situ is no longer with us. She made the most beautiful Jibn as they lived on a farm here and she managed to get her rennet from the local chemist. I am battling to get rennet and it would seem that the task is just as hard in Lebanon. I have family that have returned with tablets that appear to be duds, maybe from overheating in the suitcase? Where in Lebanon can I get good quality rennet?? Thanks for all the info so far!!

    • Joumana says:

      @Mike: I am planning this weekend to go restock my cheese for the week from a very small farm in Deir el-Qamar; their cows graze nearby and they make the freshest areesheh (and all other cheeses I have ever tasted); I will ask them and keep you posted. I did buy rennet tablets in the US and they worked fine for making these cheeses, I am sorry you are having trouble.

  61. Kyra says:

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  62. Patty says:

    Ça va Joumana!


    First of all, congratulations on your blog, I really like it and most of the recipes look easy to do 🙂

    I came accross your blog while looking for recipes for Beirut´s typical dishes… you see, I’m from Venezuela and I’m currently studying French at the local Alliançe Française, and for our traditional Fête de la Francophonie, since my classroom is called Beyrouth, we must present a variety of traditional dishes for the city/country we “live”. We are thinking of mezzé (tabouleh, kibbé, hummous with pita bread chips) and Chich Taouk as besides being everybody’s favorites, it would be the easiest thing to serve and share since la fête takes place within the classrooms and there are a lot of (hungry) students.

    However, I will definitely navigate your blog for more options since we must talk about the dishes we will serve and its origins 🙂

    • Joumana says:

      @Patty: wow, that is interesting! There are so many posts in the blog that could fill your need, let me know if you have ingredients in mind and I will direct you to one or more dishes using them!

  63. jason argon says:

    Hi Joumana! It has been a long time that I have not communicated with you.For us in Greece it is the second week of the Great Lent,a very strict fasting period and many of your recipes are very helpful .I want to wish to all those who celebrate Easter that the joy that will come out of His Grave to accompany them in every moment of their life.I also wish that through the application of our cullinary art ,skills and ideas to become a small heaven for our fellow men.Listen to this,if you have time, please https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCpFLLS6KGA All the best!!!

  64. Asmae says:

    hi joumana, my name is asmae. I am moroccan but i am living in spain. I JUST LOVE UR BLOG. i have just discovered it right now and i can´t stop reading all ur nice recipes. Keep on the good job and i wish u the best. i ve just started a blog where i m gathering recipes from morocco, spain and why not now from lebanon too. u can visit it if u want and if u need translation just ask me, i ll be glad to translate it for u.

  65. Hindi says:

    I adore your blog, Joumana
    Thanks a lot to your téta (grandmother) who gave you this passion that you are wonderfully transmitting to us.
    I can easily understand kibbeh, sambusek, fatayer, muhallabieh….But, what is uwaymate ? (mentioned in your presentation text). It can be an idea for a next recipe?
    P.S.: Désolé pour mon anglais. On voit clairement que je traduis du français…

    • Joumana says:

      @Hindi: Merci de tous ces compliments, ça me fait si plaisir! les ouwaymate sont des beignets que l’on fait en principe pour le 6 Janvier mais maintenant on en trouve tout le temps dans les magasins de pâtisseries orientales a Beyrouth. J’ai publié la recette mais je travaille sur une nouvelle version. Nidal, ton anglais est très correct. 🙂

  66. Nidal says:

    Ok, Chère Joumana,
    Merci pour la réponse et de m’autoriser à parler en français sur ton blog…
    Je vois très bien, maintenant, ce que c’est. Une sorte de beignets frits à l’huile avec un sirop à base de sucre ou du miel. Dans ma jeunesse, en Palestine, puis en Jordanie, cela s’appelait “Awwameh”. Les meilleurs beignets se devaient d’être très croquants “Crunchy” sur la croûte extérieure, presque “aériens” à l’intérieur et pas trop chargés en sirop. Servis chauds et sans eau de rose, de préférence, dans le sirop…
    Mon frère, en ce moment en vacances au pays, doit me ramener du Mouloukhieh et du Freekeh.
    Cela va me changer du Coq au vin, de la langue de bœuf sauce madère, des tripes au cidre et autres rognons de veau à la crème, hachis parmentier, Moussaka, Lasagne…. etc.
    Tout ça pour dire que j’adore la cuisine en général et la cuisine française en particulier.

    • Joumana says:

      @Nidal: très intéressants! je ne connais pas bien la cuisine Palestinienne ni Jordanienne a part le mussakhan que j’adore; ma grand-mère faisait les ouwaymate magnifiquement bien et de la taille d’une bille et je crois bien qu’elle les faisait frire 2 fois pour les rendre le plus croustillant possible. Amitiés de Beyrouth. J.

  67. jason argon says:

    Hi Joumana! On Saturday morning I took my first swim near Marathon.The beach was full of wild violets .I cut many ,I made a syrup and I poured it over the cunafa I made for Easter. Turned out very good looking and tasty and despite the initial hesitation of our guests it disappearred! Pascal wishes to you and your family and to everybody in this site! I wish that in the Middle East the darkness and the odour of the death to vanish and RESURRECTION AND LIFE TO PREVAIL! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H6AkFfFHUs(wedding melody from Salamina island opposite Athens)All the best!!!

    • Joumana says:

      @Jason: How wonderful, to take a swim in an idyllic place and then to go violet picking!! sounds like a dream! Thanks so much for your well-wishes my friend. All the best from Beirut across the med.

  68. Forbes PERKINS says:

    How absolutely marvelous these few hours have been roaming your blog and learning more about the magnificent Lebanese cuisine. I think that you will enjoy this beautifully simple tangerine and almond meal cake that was published in Elizabetta Minichili’s food blog. It is entirely gluten free and so delicate but richly satisfying. And easy.


    It is a magical recipe that is breathtaking in its utter simplicity. I hope you will try it.

    You have inspired me to obtain a visa for to Lebanon before leaving for Italy and Greece next month.

    May all good things come to pass and may peace pervade. FHP

    • Joumana says:

      @Forbes: Thank you so much for the praise and I do hope you can come and visit (and that peace will prevail!). All my best, Joumana

  69. Alexis says:

    I am looking for a coconut macaroon recipe (cookie) that I thought I saw on your website about one year ago. But I have looked and looked on your site and cannot find it. Can you help me with my request? Thank you so much. Your website is wonderful.

  70. Alia says:

    Hello Jumana,

    I was browsing the net in search of blogs about arabic food and came across yours.
    I am the owner of the arabic food website http://www.basmaty.com, and was looking for bloggers to talk about our new app called وصفات بسمتي. It features over 700 cooking videos and the app is completely free. Would really appreciate your feedback. Many thanks and all the best to you!

  71. Sous says:

    Dear Joumana, I am a Syrian American who has been following your blog for a year now. I have bookmarked over 20 recipes. I don’t use cookbooks anymore even though I have tens of them, and I don’t ask any friend or family member to share their recipes simply because I check Taste of Beirut almost every day. Is their any way I can vote for your blog as the best one for Mediterranean / Lebanese/ Syrian cuisine blog? I came across a list of the top 20 Middle Eastern food blogs, and I was shocked not to see your blog among them. Thank you so much for posting all these wonderful and ” top secret” recipes

    • Joumana says:

      @Sous: Thank you so much for all your praise! 🙂 I have no idea who decided on the award, but I am not seeking out awards and prizes, so don’t worry about it!

  72. humble_pie says:


    i miss that beautiful photograph of yourself (in a garden, gathering herbs, i think.) It was on the home page of this website until recently.

    perhaps you could have a little gallery of yourself doing food things – kitchens, gardens, markets, picking wild herbs in fields – and rotate them from time to time?

  73. humble_pie says:

    no, not like martha … more in the sense of cooking with some added local travel glimpses.

    now that mediterranean cuisine has become the focus of so much interest in healthy nutrition, here you are at the very heart of it, coming from an ancient region that is brimful of fascinating cooking traditions.

    i’m one of those who reads recipe blogs more for the cultural setting & not necessarily because i’m going to practice each & every new recipe. Although i have to say that today’s offering of mashed potato fritters truly does appeal, because i happen to have cooked a large pot of potatoes with some onions & garlics last night!

    but when you offer a dish that came originally from an ancestor, grandmother or friend, or when you describe finding an ingredient growing wild on a mountainside or for sale in a village marketplace in lebanon, i often think that a picture of these locales would be so welcome. It would add to the sense of local culture & local community which is already present.

    a few people now & then would enrich the visual texture, too. And always, a lovely recurring motif would be photographs of yourself in the different settings.

    • Joumana says:

      @humble_pie: I totally agree! I have quite a few pictures already and will keep working on more (better ones); for instance, I found an old (young) man in his eighties in a mountain village once peeling -by hand- wild thistles called ‘akkoub here (saw huge ones in Iraq). He was not even wearing gloves! He told me how he goes up to the highest mountains with his friends, a 4 hour round trip, to forage these, and sells them; they are considered a delicacy here. I posted his photo on my personal facebook page. I will keep your commentary in mind, thanks, it is very smart and thoughtful. 🙂

  74. Tiya says:

    How can I find your blog archive. Please do tell. I love your blog and want to see all the recipes from day one.

  75. Jason Argon says:

    Hi Joumana!It has been a long time that I have not communicated with you.Your vegetable recipes changed a lot our strict dietery rules of the Great Lent and many thanks for this..The humle olives ,the tahini,the wild greens will be on their throne for one more day! The house has started smelling mahlab,mastic,butter,citrus rind mixed with rose water, bee wax,incense,sea breezes, freesia and violet fragrance,chants and classical music.The explosive Greek Easter mixture! On Sunday the smell of the rotisseried lamb will be covering all the country. I wish you and every body in this site to have a good Easter time /www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvE9VNuAS2g&feature=share.Island of Corfu,Good Friday

  76. sarah says:

    I have a similar story :). Born in Lebanon, moved to Canada at the age of 9, still very fond of Lebanon, it’s culture, it’s people no matter what religion, opinion or school of thought. Thank you for sharing all theses recipes! It’s so hard for me to cook lebanese as a newly wed, and my mom’s getting bored of me bugging her since I’m so visual I need to actually SEE the steps. Keep it up please! We need you! hehe 🙂

    • Joumana says:

      @sarah: I can definitely relate and when I was a newly wed, skype did not exist yet! anyway, I am planning to really beef-up my video output to really show the techniques that need to be mastered.

  77. Sam says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for this awesome website! I’m a Lebanese immigrant (ie mama helps over the phone from Beirut) professional (ie minimal kitchen experience :p) newly married to a Lebanese man who loves his tummy so I rely on your website very often. Making yakhnet batata today. Merci kteer!

  78. Dionne says:

    I’d like to express my appreciation for the highly informative article you shared on lebanese food. As a fan of Indian cuisine, I found the blog to be a fantastic source of insightful information. For those interested, do check out the details at https://www.a1indiancurry.sg/.

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