Stuffed pumpkin (Ghapama)

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...
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Pomegranate and cream pudding

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.



Pancakes with turmeric

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.



Spinach and meat stew

Lebanese comfort food at its best aka yakhnet el-sabanekh! Just fresh spinach, a touch of meat, and a dose of cilantro pesto or garlic to liven things up a bit. In Beirut, it would take a while to clean the spinach, as all veggies come practically dug-up fresh from the...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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.



Fava beans salad in cilantro sauce

When it is fava bean (aka fuul ) season, folks start selling them in their food carts on the side of the road, piled high in their bright green husks. If these fava beans have been picked young, they can be cooked with the outside tender husk, which eliminates having to shell them one...
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