Moghrabiyeh (Lebanese couscous)

Definitely a party dish, meant to showcase the hostess skills; its also frequently a Sunday get-together for the extended-family type of dish. Its name, moghrabiyeh, is rooted in maghreb (North Africa) to describe it as a Levantine version of the North African couscous. The deluxe version contains both lamb shanks...
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Pistachio cream pudding

An easy and quick dessert (ashtaliyyeh in Lebanese) for a busy day; once made, the little cups can sit for a few days in the fridge and be grabbed at will. I used a pistachio cream sold in a Middle-Eastern market made with Turkish pistachios, but am including a recipe...
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Sesame brittle (Semsmeeyeh)

I had been wanting to make these traditional confections, popular throughout the Middle East; I was hoping to avoid using the sugar syrup this time. Several videos on youtube offered the Iraqi version which is made with date syrup and flavored with cardamom. Date syrup sounded too pronounced of a...
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One bowl chocolate cake

I made this cake to use-up some stuff laying around, without a mixer, just using a wire whisk and a bowl; it came out delicious so I figured I should share the “recipe”. I was out of vanilla, so I added cardamom powder instead, and a dollop of tahini. Hope...
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Rice Kibbeh (Kibbet Halab)

I love this kibbeh, which hails from Aleppo but is also very popular in Iraq. It distinguishes itself by its rice shell, which gets crunchy after frying, but soft inside. It is a traditional dish; I veered away from tradition slightly by sprinkling the kibbeh with toasted sesame seeds, and...
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Moroccan quick bread (Batbout)

I had a lot of semolina in my pantry and was looking for savory ways to use it; I had remembered that Moroccans had a lot of bread recipes using semolina and stumbled on this one. It is WONDERFUL~ You can shape the dough in a few minutes, by hand,...
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Mortadella (Homemade Bologna)

I wanted to try this recipe for a simple reason: I normally hate mortadella, or at least the cold cut sold in stores and sliced to order. I was curious to see if I’d like it homemade. I picked two recipes and techniques and meshed them then added my little...
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Chickpea spinach fritters (Kibbeh Zengliyeh)

I was immediately intrigued by this kibbeh, when it was described by Florence Ollivry in her fascinating book Les Secrets d’Alep (Aleppo’s Secrets); I had never even heard of it, even though the many kibbeh from Aleppo were well-known in foodie circles here in Lebanon. Ollivry described it as a...
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Iranian cabbage and rice pilaf (Kalam Polo)

I first tasted kalam polo in Shiraz, where I was told it is the specialty of the city. Normally, I am not a big fan of cooked cabbage, but here it is light, fragrant with turmeric, saffron, cumin and it blends perfectly with the rice and meat. The pilaf is...
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