Sesame seed candy

These were my favorite candies growing-up (called semsemeeyyeh from semsem for sesame) ; we used to buy them from street vendors who kept their carts right in front of the one and only public park in Beirut. Shaped into tiny bars or thin circles, wrapped in cellophane, shiny and crispy and...
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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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