Lebanese Cuisine / Recipes
Hors d’Oeuvres and Salads
SAMBOUSEKS BIL JEBNE (Cheese rissoles)

For 5 persons

Ingredients:

Dough:

-          2 ½ cups white flour

-          ½ cup water to roll out the pastry

-          2/3 cup butter

-          ¾ cup groundnut oil

-          pinch of salt

-          ½ or  ¾ cup  water

Stuffing:

-          250 to 300 grams white cheese (accaoui)

-          one egg yolk; 1 cup chopped parsley

-          1 cup groundnut oil

-          ½ bunch or 50 grams parsley for garnishing

Preparation:

- Sieve flour making a hole in the centre. Add in salt and butter and work it well with the palm of your hands. Add water to dough, knead and leave to rest for approximately half an hour under a wet cloth.

Stuffing:

- Soak cheese in cold water for nearly 10 hours while changing the water at least three times.

- Drain cheese well, crumble it up and whisk with the egg yolk and the chopped parsley.

Cooking instructions and presentation:

- Flatten dough with pastry roll and cut into circles.

- Garnish the surface of each circle with a bit of stuffing, fold in half and seal edges with fingers or fork. Fry in groundnut oil.

- Garnish upon serving with parsley leaves.

MANAKISH

Ingredients:

Dough:

- 2 cups of flour

- ½ or 2/3 glass water

- 1 teaspoon of brewer’s yeast

- ½ teaspoon salt

Stuffing: a mixture of ground thyme and ground sumac; 3 to 4 tablespoons of sesame seeds; 3 - 4 tablespoons olive oil.

Preparation:

- Sieve flour making a hole in the centre.

- Add warm water to yeast and put into the ring of flour.

- Add water and salt to flour and knead well. Let stand under a wet cloth for nearly half an hour. Flatten dough with a pastry roll into ½ cm of thickness and cut into circles.

- Mix oil, thyme, sumac and sesame seeds in a bowl.

- Apply the above mixture on the surface of each dough ring.

- Press out each ring in different spots before putting it in the oven in order for the pastry not to rise during cooking, while still having smooth edges.

- Place pastry rings garnished with thyme on a tray and put into a hot oven.

- Remove before the pastry turns golden.

- Serve warm.

FATAYERS (spinach tidbits)

Ingredients:

Dough:

- 1 ¾ cups of flour

- 2 tablespoons olive oil

- ½ teaspoon  yeast

- Pinch of salt

- 2/3 glass of water

Stuffing: 750 grams of spinach; 1 medium red onion; ¼ cup of olive oil; ¼ cup of lemon juice; 2 tablespoons pine seeds; pinch of salt and ground pepper; ground sumac (to taste)

 

Preparation:

Dough:

-Sieve flour making a hole in the centre. Add in salt and olive oil and work well with the hands.

- Add a little warm water to the yeast and work it some more.

- Add water to the dough, knead a little and leave to rest under a cloth.

 

Stuffing:

- Finely chop the entire spinach and wash many times with lots of water. Drain with colander and a pinch of salt and press in the palm of hands to drain water.

- Put spinach into a bowl and add in the finely chopped onions, pine seeds, salt, sumac, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well.

 

Cooking instructions and presentation:

- Flatten the fully risen dough and cut into rings.

- Garnish the surface of each ring with little stuffing and fold into a triangle (fatayer); seal the edges with the fingers.

- Oil a tray going into the oven and put the fatayers.

- Enter into oven heated at 300oC until the fatayers are cooked and golden.

- Serve cold.

ADASS MOUSSAFA (lentil puree)

Ingredients:

- 2¼ cups lentil

- 1/3 cup olive oil

- 2 medium red onions

- 1/4 cup rice

- 2 pinches of salt (to taste)

- 1 liter water approximately

 

Preparation:

- Pick over lentils and wash them.

- Put them in a cooking pan, cover with water on a strong fire first then let it simmer.

- Pass the lentil in the food mill and the strainer. Keep the cooking water.

- Brown the finely chopped onions in olive oil, add to the lentil puree: bring to boil while constantly stirring then add the washed rice.

- Sprinkle with salt, lower fire, stir from time to time until rice is cooked and sauce is thick.

- Pour into a platter and serve cold.

P.S: the quantity of water and the cooking time required may vary according to the quality of lentils.

HUMMUS (in sesame oil)

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups drained chickpeas; 1 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate; 1 medium clove of garlic; salt (to taste); 1 cup lemon juice; 1 cup sesame oil; 1/3 cup olive oil; ½ bunch parsley; paprika (for garnishing)

 

Preparation:

- Pick over the drained chickpeas and soak them in cold water for about 10 hours along with a little sodium bicarbonate.

- Remove the grains of chickpeas that are still brown and wash the rest intensively.

- Rub the chickpeas with the remaining quantity of sodium bicarbonate, and cover them with cool water.

- Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the fire to simmer and keep cooking.

- When done, wash the chickpeas with cold water and let drain.

- Crush the garlic finely with salt and add in the chickpeas.

- Crush the entire mixture and add sesame oil, and then crush it again (or  use a food processor).

Add the lemon juice, little by little, and then mix together.

- When serving, garnish the platter with chopped parsley, grains of cooked whole chickpeas and paprika.

- Serve as hors d’oeuvres.

BABA GHANNOUGE (Eggplants in sesame oil)

Ingredients:

- 1 kg or 1000 grams round eggplants

- 2/3 cup sesame oil (tehini)

- ½ cup lemon juice

- 2 to 4 medium garlic cloves

- ½ bunch or 50 grams of parsley

- Salt (to taste)

- Sour pomegranates

- 1 small pomegranate (for decoration)

 

Preparation:

- Grill eggplants on strong fire.

- Wash under water, peel and finely chop the skin or pass into the food processor.

- Crush garlic with salt and mix with half of the lemon juice. Pour onto the eggplants and mix.

- Pour sesame oil and remaining lemon juice onto eggplants. Mix well.

- Serve cold in a platter, sprinkle with finely chopped parsley and pomegranate grains or diced tomatoes.

FATTOUCHE (Ploughman salad)

Ingredients:

- 300 grams cucumber

- 400 grams tomatoes

- 1 Arabic bread

- 1 medium garlic clove

- ½ bunch of or 75 grams purslane

- 2 onions

- ½ bunch or 75 grams green mint

- 1 tablespoon sumac

- 1/4 cup lemon juice

- 1/2 cup olive oil

- 1 teaspoon salt

 

Preparation:

- Wash, peel, and cut cucumbers into fine rings. Place on a platter.

- Wash tomatoes, dice and add to cucumbers.

- Thin out parsley leaves, mint and purslane. Wash, drain and add them to cucumber and tomato mix.

- Peel off and wash onions. Chop finely and add to other greens.

- Grill bread. Break into small pieces and add to the greens.

- Peel off garlic, crush finely with salt and add to lemon juice, sumac and oil.

- Sprinkle greens and bread. Turn well.

- Serve as hors d’oeuvres or salad.

TABBOULE (Lebanese salad)

Ingredients:

- 3 bunches of parsley

- ¾ cup burghul

- ¾ cup olive oil

- 2/3 cup lemon juice

- 500 grams tomatoes

- ½ bunch or 75grams of mint

- 1 medium onion

- 1 roman lettuce

- Salt and pepper (to taste)

 

Preparation:

- Rinse burghul by transferring from one container to another to clean from dust and dirt. Press by hand to remove water and put into a hollow recipient.

- Peel off onions, finely chop, rub with salt and pepper and add to burghul.

- Wash parsley and mint, finely chop and add to burghul.

- Wash tomatoes, dice and add to mixture of burghul and greens. Keep quarter of the tomatoes for decoration.

- Season with oil and lemon. Turn well.

- Put into a platter and decorate with lettuce leaves and diced tomatoes on the side.

- Serve cold as hors d’oeuvre or salad.

FOUL MOUDAMAS (Fava beans)

Ingredients:

- 1 ½ cups fava beans (Egyptian)

- ½ cup lemon juice

- 3 medium cloves garlic

- ½ cup olive oil

- ½ bunch or 50 grams of parsley

Salt

- 8 cups of water for cooking

- White onions

 

Preparation:

- Pick over fava beans and soak in cold water for about 10 hours.

- Throw water away, remove dry grains and put the rest in a cooking pan. Cover with cold water.

- Bring to boil and then let simmer and cook.

- Crush garlic finely with salt and add cooked beans, still hot, with some of cooking juice.

- Add up lemon juice and mix well.

- Serve in a platter and decorate with chopped parsley and olive oil.

- Serve peeled white onions cut into quarters or dipped in water or with spring onions.

KHIAR BIL LABANE (cucumber in plain yoghurt)

Ingredients:

- 500 grams cucumber

- 4 cups plain yoghurt (laban)

- 1 medium clove garlic

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1 teaspoon ground dried mint

 

Preparation:

- Whisk yoghurt.

- Crush garlic finely with salt and add to yoghurt. Mix well.

- Wash, peel, dice cucumbers and add to mixture.

- Place all in a salad bowl and sprinkle with dried mint.

- Serve cold as a salad.

- If the yoghurt is too fluid, place it in chiffon on the colander for about 15 minutes.

Soups
CHAOURABET ADASS (Lentil soup)

Ingredients:

-    2 ¼ cups lentil

-    12 cups of lamb stock or water

-    2 medium onions

-    ½ cup olive oil or melted cheese

-    200 grams or 1 medium potato

-    Pinch of salt, pepper or to taste

-    ½ teaspoon pepper

Preparation:

-    Pick over the lentil and wash them well. Place in a pan.

-    Cover them with cold lamb stock or cold water.

-    Bring to boil over high heat then cook over low heat.

-    Chop the onions finely and brown them in oil or butter.

-    Peel the potatoes and dice them.

-    Allow to simmer over low heat until cooking is over.

-    Put the soup through the food mill then through the strainer.

-    Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Advices:

-Serve this soup with fried croutons. 

-The quantity of water and the cooking time vary according to the quantity of lentil.

ADAS BI HAMOD (lentil soup with chard)

Ingredients:

1¾ cups lentil

250 grams chard

200 grams potatoes

½ bunch fresh coriander

4 medium cloves garlic

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 big onion

1/3 cup olive oil

Pinch of salt or to taste

7 ½ cups water

Preparation:

Pick over the lentils and wash them.

Place them in a pan, soak in water and bring to a boil.

Add the washed and chopped chards and allow to cook for one hour.

Add the peeled and diced potatoes.

Brown the finely chopped onions in olive oil with the coriander and the crushed garlic. Add them to the soup.

Before serving, add salt and lemon juice.

Serve hot or cold.

The quantity of water and the cooking time vary according to the quality of the lentils.

Entrées
SAMBOUSEK (Meat rissoles)

Ingredients:

Dough:

- 2 ½ cups white flour

- ½ cup water to roll out the pastry

- 2/3 cups butter or fat

- ¾ cup groundnut oil

- salt 

- ¾ cup of water.

 

Preparation:

- Sieve flour with a hole in the middle. Add in salt and butter/fat and work it well with the hands.

- Add water to dough, knead and leave to rest for approximately half an hour under a wet cloth.

- Peel off onions, finely chop and brown with pine seeds while mixing, add meat, slightly mix and remove from fire.

- Roll out dough and cut into circles.

- Garnish the surface of each circle with little stuffing, fold in half, seal edges with fingers then with fork prongs. Fry in groundnut oil.

-When serving, decorate with parsley leaves and slices of lemon.

MOUDARDARA (lentils with rice)

Ingredients:

-          1 ¾ cups lentil

-          ½ cup olive oil

-          ½ cup long grain rice (American)

-          3 medium red onions

-          Salt (to taste)

-          4 cups water

 

Preparation:

- Pick over and wash lentils.

- Place into cooking pan and cover with water. Add salt and bring to boil then cook.

- Soak rice in cold water for about ½ hour.

- Brown finely cut stripes of onions in oil.

- Keep some onions for decoration.

- Add the rest of fried onions and wet rice to lentils, making sure the remaining cooking water is equivalent to ¾ of a glass. Add salt.

- Bring to boil and cook until water completely evaporates

- Place in a platter and sprinkle with sliced fried onions.

- Serve cold.

The quantity of water and the cooking time vary according to the quality of lentils.

KIBBEH NAYYE (Raw meat in burghul)

Ingredients:

-600 grams fresh lean lamb meat

-1 cup burghul

-1 medium onion

-Salt to taste

-½ teaspoon ground black pepper

-¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

-½ bunch green mint

-White onions (to garnish)

 

Preparation:

-Dress the meat.

-Grind meat very finely in mortar or food processor. Place on a platter.

-Crush onions with salt, pepper, cinnamon using a mortar or a food processor.

-Rinse burghul in cold water by transferring it from one recipient to another to remove any dust or dirt. Press it by hand to get rid of its water and add it to the meat.

-Grind the meat, onions and burghul again in the mortar or food processor. Mix well by adding icy cold water little by little in order to make it smooth

-Refrigerate for half an hour before serving.

-Serve in a platter and decorate with green mint leaves and peeled white onions cut in quarters.

-Serve with olive oil.

KIBBEH ARASS (Fried balls of Kibbeh)

Ingredients:

-500 grams lean mutton meat

-2 cups burghul

-1 medium red onion

-Salt (to taste)

-¼ teaspoon pepper

-¼ teaspoon grounded cinnamon

Stuffing:

-150 grams mutton meat

-1 big red onion

-1 tablespoon pine seeds

-3 tablespoons melted fat

-Salt (to taste)

-¼ teaspoon pepper

-¼ teaspoon cinnamon

-1 cup groundnut oil.

 

Preparation:

Kibbeh:

-Dress the meat.

-Grind meat very finely with salt in a mortar or food processor.

-Crush onions with salt, pepper, cinnamon in mortar or food processor.

-Rinse burghul in cold water by transferring it from one recipient to another to remove any dust or dirt. Then press it by hand to get rid of its water and add it to the meat.

-Grind the meat, onions and burghul in mortar or food processor. Mix well by adding icy cold water little by little in order to make it smooth

-Refrigerate for half an hour before serving so that burghul becomes tender. Allow to rise.

 

Stuffing:

-Peel, finely chop and brown onions with pine seeds in fat.

-Add minced meat and brown by mixing without stopping.

-Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cinnamon and put aside.

 

Cooking instructions and presentation:

-With the Kibbeh paste in hand, use your finger to make hollow oval balls with very thin sides. Stuff the balls and close the opening.

-Pan fry the balls in groundnut oil over low heat.

-Brown balls in oil that it is not too hot in order to avoid the turgescence of the burghul.

 

Advice: add a little sumac to the stuffing (about 1 tablespoon).

WARAQ INAB BI ZEIT (vine leaves in oil)

Ingredients:

-350 grams fresh or canned vine leaves

-1 cup round grain rice (Egyptian)

-1 big red onion

-2 ½ bunches or 250 grams parsley

-250 grams or 3 medium tomatoes

-¼ cup lemon juice

-1/3 cup olive oil

-1 ½ teaspoon salt

-¼ teaspoon white pepper

-200 grams or 2 medium tomatoes

-1 medium red onion

-1 medium potato

-5 cups water.

 

Preparation:

-Wash the vine leaves, blanch and keep them to cool down in a colander.

-Wash the parsley, chop it finely and place in a hollow recipient.

-Peel the onions, chop them finely, rub them with a little salt, pepper and add them to the parsley.

-Pick over the rice, wash and drain it; place it with the parsley.

-Wash the tomatoes for the stuffing, dice them and add them to the parsley.

-Season the stuffing with lemon juice, oil, and the remaining pepper and salt. Mix well.

-Cut the onions in rings, the potatoes and half of the tomatoes and cover the bottom of the cooking pan.

-Stuff the vine leaves, roll them and lay them regularly on top of the potatoes and tomatoes by squeezing one next to another.

-After placing the entire vine leaves in the cooking pan, lay the remaining tomato rings on the surface, sprinkle with salt and cover with a plate smaller than the pan so it compresses the vine leaves.

-Cover with water and allow to cook.

-Cool down, upturn in a platter and decorate with slices of lemon and chopped parsley.

-Serve as hors d’oeuvre.

Should you be using canned vine leaves, allow a longer cooking time. It is unadvisable to use the long grain rice (American) in stuffed food.

FASSOULIA BI ZEIT (Dried beans in oil)

Ingredients:

-1¾ cups dried beans

-1 big red onion

-5 medium cloves garlic

-2 medium ripe tomatoes

-2 tablespoons of tomato paste

-2/3 cup olive oil

-1 ½ teaspoon salt

-¼ teaspoon pepper

-9 cups water

 

Preparation:

- Pick over the beans and wash them. Soak in cold water for about 10 hours.

- Throw away dry beans and place the remainder in a cooking pan and cover with water.

- Cook on high heat (for about 100 minutes) then drain.

- Brown the finely chopped onions in olive oil, add the finely crushed garlic and melt them all.

- Add diced tomatoes to the melted onions and cook.

- Add the melted tomatoes and onions to the cooked beans as well as the tomato paste diluted in a cup of warm water.

- Sprinkle with salt and pepper; allow simmering until thick (nearly 20 minutes).

- Serve cold as hors d’oeuvres.

LOUBIYE BI ZEIT (Green beans in oil)

Ingredients:

-1 kg 250 grams fresh green beans, canned or frozen

-2/3 cup olive oil

-2 big onions

-6 medium cloves garlic

-2 leveled tablespoons tomato paste

-3 ripe tomatoes

-Pinch of salt or to taste

-½ teaspoon white pepper

-5 cups water

 

Preparation:

-Dress the green beans, break, wash and drain them in a colander.

-Peel the onions, cut them in thin slices; peel the garlic, finely crush it and cut the tomatoes in big cubes.

-In a pan, brown the onions and garlic in olive oil.

-Add the green beans, mix and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Place them over low heat until beans are withered.

-Add the tomatoes, stir from time to time, cover with water and allow cooking over a medium heat.

-Before cooking is over, pour the tomato paste already diluted in little hot water.

-Allow cooking to complete and let it cool.

-Serve cold.

Fish
SAMKE HARRA (Spicy fish)

Ingredients:

-1 kg 250grams bass fish

-2 medium red onions

-¾ cup olive oil

-¾ cup groundnut oil

-½ cup lemon juice

-4 medium clove garlic

-1 bunch of fresh coriander

-1 big capsicum

-3 chilies

-2 medium ripe tomatoes

-3 tablespoons pine seeds

-Pinch of salt (or to taste)

-½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

-1 ½ cup water

 

Preparation:

-Scale and empty the fish. Cut it with its bones in slices of nearly 125 grams each. Season with salt.

-Fry the fish slices in groundnut oil until brown, and then remove bones.

-Peel and chop the onions. Brown them in olive oil. Add in the crushed or finely chopped garlic. Brown while mixing.

-Add the capsicum, chilies and fresh coriander to the onions and garlic, keep mixing and brown all.

-Add diced tomatoes, salt, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and water. Let simmer until cooking is complete and gravy is thick. (Nearly 15 minutes).

-Place the fried slices of fish in oven dish; pour the vegetable mixing on top, sprinkle with pine seeds and brown in a 350oC heated oven (for 20 minutes).

-Serve cold.

SIYADIEH (Fish with rice)

Ingredients:

-1 kg 250grams big sized bass fish

-4 big red onions

-½ cup olive oil

-3 leveled tablespoons melted butter

-2 cups long rice (American)

-¼ cup groundnut oil

-3 tablespoons pine seeds

-Pinch of salt (or to taste)

-¼ teaspoon ground cumin

-4 cups water

 

Preparation:

How to prepare the fish:

-Scale and empty the fish.

-Cut it in slices with bones and season with salt.

-Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the slices of fish, remove them, place them in a pan and cover them with water.

-Cut the onions in thin slices and brown them in the fish frying oil, add them to the slices of fish and allow cooking for nearly 25 minutes.

-When the fish is well cooked, take out the slices, allow cooling on a platter, remove the bones and put them aside.

-Strain the onions in colander with very thin holes; keep the cooking water to prepare the rice.

 

How to prepare the rice:

-Pick over the rice, wash and soak it in hot water for nearly half an hour.

-Melt the butter in a pan, add the soaked rice well drained.

-Toss the rice with a perforated spoon. When it starts sticking, add the cooking water of the onions and the fish. Sprinkle with salt, ground cumin, cover and bring to boil over high heat then low heat (about 15 minutes).

-Toss and leave to dry for about 10 minutes.

 

Presentation:

-Pick over the pine seeds and brown them in groundnut oil, drain them and put them aside.

-Place the golden pine seeds at the bottom of the mould then set the slices of fish on top and add the rice. Turn up the mould in a hollow platter and serve.

 

Note: A tajin dish could be served with the fish or gravy prepared with the fish aroma, onions thickened with the potato starch and little lemon juice.

TAJIN (fish in sesame oil)

Ingredients:

-1 kg bass fish

-1 cup of sesame oil

-1 cup lemon juice

-3 big red onions

-2 tablespoons olive oil

-¼ cup melted butter

-3 tablespoons pine seeds

-Pinch of salt (or to taste)

-½ teaspoon white pepper

-1 ½ cups water

 

Preparation:

-Scale and empty the fish. Season with salt and pepper and cut in slices of 30 grams each.

- Coat with oil with little lemon juice in an oven dish. Set the fish slices and cook in oven (nearly 30 minutes).

- Remove the bones, place them in a pan and cover with water. Add some pepper and little lemon juice.

- Bring to boil and reduce cooking water until reaching one cup of fish aroma, place in strainer and allow cooling.

- Peel and cut onions in thin slices; brown them in butter until they melt, add little water and allow cooking for about 10 minutes.

-  Mix well the remaining lemon juice, salt and sesame oil (tehini), add in the cold fish aroma and bring the mixture to boil, stirring continuously.

- Add the cooked onions and stir well.

- Place the fish slices in an oven dish and pour the tehini onion sauce.

-Sprinkle the surface with pine seeds and bake into oven (about 10 minutes).

Note: This recipe can be used without the oven: fry the fish filets, pour the tehini sauce and the onions, brown the pine seeds and sprinkle over the tajin. This dish can be served cold.

Main dishes
YAKHNET ARDI CHAOUKI (Artichoke stew)

Ingredients:

-12 artichokes or 1 can

-300 grams lamb knuckle

-1 bunch or 100 grams fresh coriander

-4 medium cloves garlic

-1 medium red onion

-¼ cup lemon juice

-½ cup melted butter or fat

-2 tablespoons flour

-Pinch of salt and white pepper (or to taste)

-1 lemon to rub the artichokes

-3 cups water or stock

 

Preparation:

-Break the artichoke leaves by hand to the heart, making sure the tender part is attached to the base.

-Peel the heart’s outer skin with a knife without touching the white pulp.

-Empty the choke with a spoon and rub the bottoms with a slice of lemon.

-Place the artichoke hearts in a recipient filled with water mixed with little flour, salt and lemon juice.

-Cut the meat in pieces of 25 to 30 grams each.

-Brown the pieces of meat in butter or fat and place aside.

-Peel the onions, chop them finely and brown them without allowing them to turm golden, in the butter or fat already used for meat.

-Add the garlic and the finely chopped or crushed coriander and mix well.

-Add the slices of meat, sprinkle with flour and mix slightly.

-Cover with lamb stock or water, season with salt, pepper and allow half cooking (about 30 minutes).

-Add the artichoke hearts cut in four and leave cooking to complete (about 15 minutes).

- Pour the lemon juice and allow simmering for 5 minutes.

-Serve hot.

Note: This artichoke stew is served with Pilaf rice.

-If the artichoke hearts are frozen or canned, do not cut them and add once the meat is well cooked.

YAKHNET SABANEKH (Spinach stew)

Ingredients:

-1 kg 200 grams Spinach

-250 grams lean mutton meat

-1 medium red onion

-5 medium cloves garlic

-1/2 bunch or 50 grams fresh coriander

-¼ cup lemon juice

-3 tablespoons pine seeds

-3 tablespoons melted fat

-Pinch of salt (or to taste)

-¼ teaspoon pepper

-¼ tea spoon ground cinnamon

-2 cups water or stock.

 

Preparation:

-Pick over the spinach, wash with water, and leave to blanch for 3 minutes in boiling water then place under cold water, strain and press them with hands. Chop roughly.

-Cut the meat in small cubes and brown them in fat. Remove and place aside. Keep the fat.

-Peel the onions, finely chop and brown them in the already used fat. Keep some of the fat to brown the pine seeds at a later stage. Add garlic and finely chopped coriander and brown all.

-Add meat; sprinkle with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Cover with water or stock and cook for about 25 minutes.

-Add the chopped spinach and cook for 15 minutes.

-Brown the pine seeds in the fat kept aside for this purpose.

-Add the browned pine seeds and the lemon juice; simmer for nearly 5 minutes and serve hot.

Note: the spinach stew is served with Pilaf rice (plain) 

YAKHNET AL LOUBI (Green beans stew)

Ingredients:

-1 Kg fresh or frozen green beans or 1 can

-250 grams lamb knuckles

-2 big tomatoes

-1 tablespoon tomato paste

-2 tablespoons melted fat

-¼ cup melted butter

-1 big red onion

-2 big cloves garlic

-Pinch of salt (or to taste)

-½ teaspoon pepper

-½ teaspoon cinnamon

-6 cups water or stock.

 

Preparation:

- Taper off, wash, and cut beans lengthwise and place in strainer.

- Cut meat in pieces of nearly 25 grams each.

- Brown the meat pieces in fat and place aside.

- Peel onions, finely chop and brown them in butter.

- Add the greased meat and the finely chopped or crushed garlic onto the buttery onions, stir gently then add the green beans, salt, and pepper; toss all until the green beans are browned.

- Wash, dice and throw the tomatoes onto the beans.

- Toss for 10 minutes then cover with water or stock and allow cooking for about 90 minutes.

- Add the diluted tomato paste in hot water and allow cooking.

Note: The green beans stew is served with plain rice or rice with vermicelli.

- If the beans are canned, cook the meat medium-rare then strain the beans before adding them.

YAKHNET EL FASSOULIYA (Dried beans stew)

Ingredients:

-1¾ cup dried beans

-250 grams lamb knuckles

-½ cup melted fat

-2 tablespoons tomato paste

-1 big red onion

-4 big cloves garlic

-Pinch of salt or to taste

-½ teaspoon black pepper

-¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

-8 cups water

 

Preparation:

-Pick over the beans, wash and soak them in cold water for nearly 10 hours.

-Throw away the beans that are still dry, place the remaining in a pan and cover with water.

-Cook over medium heat for 90 minutes then drain.

-Heat half of the fat in a frying pan, brown the meat cut in pieces of 25 grams each and place aside.

-Brown the finely chopped onions and brown all.

- Place the meat and the onions cooked in fat in a pan, add the tomato paste, salt, spices and cover with water. Cover pan and let it cook until meat is medium rare (90 minutes).

-Then add the cooked beans and let it simmer until sauce is thick.

-Serve hot.

Note: The dried beans stew is served with Pilaf rice (plain) or rice with vermicelli.

BURGHUL BI TFINE (Burghul with Meat)

Ingredients:

-Lamb bones

-25 small onions

-2 ½ cups burghul

-½ cup chickpeas

-½ teaspoon sodium bicarbonate

-1/2  cup melted fat

-2 tablespoons melted butter

-2 tablespoons white flour

-Pinch of salt or to taste

-½ teaspoon pepper

-½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

-½ teaspoon ground caraway

-9 cups water

 

Preparation:

Burghul:

- Pick over the chickpeas; soak in water for nearly 10 hours.

- Pick over the burghul, rinse and soak in warm water for nearly one hour.

-Wash the Chickpeas; rub with sodium bicarbonate and cook for nearly 30 minutes.

- Brown the pieces of meat cut in 25 grams each in fat then brown the broken bones. Place the meat and the bones in pan, cover with water and bring to boil; scour to remove fat and let it cook for nearly 90 minutes. Throw bones away.

- Peel onions and brown them in the same fat used for the meat. Add them to the meat as well as the cooked chickpeas, cover with water and let simmer.

-Rinse burghul in cold water by transferring it from one recipient to another to remove all dust and dirt and press it well by hand to get rid of its water.

- Heat the remaining fat in pan, add in the perfectly drained burghul, stir constantly with a perforated spoon and keep it hot until time of serving.

Sauce:

- Melt butter in pan, sprinkle with flour and stir until mixture is brown.

-Add the remaining stock, salt, spices and bring to boil until sauce thickens.

-Throw in sauce the remaining meat, cooked chickpeas and onions.

- Serve the burghul hot in a platter.

- Serve the sauce separately in a sauce pan.

NOTE: Serve with plain yoghurt (laban).

WARAQ INAB BI LAHM (Stuffed Vine Leaves)

Ingredients:

-300 grams big cubes of mutton chest

-350 grams vine leaves

-A few mutton bones

-300 grams lamb shoulder

-¾ cup round rice (Egyptian)

-500 grams ripe tomatoes

-3 tablespoons melted fat

-Pinch of salt or to taste

-¼ teaspoon pepper

-¼ teaspoon cinnamon

-2 tablespoons hot water for stuffing

-5 cups hot water for cooking

 

Preparation:

Stuffing:

-Roughly grind the meat and place on a platter.

-Pick over the rice, wash, drain and add to the meat.

-Season with salt, pepper, cinnamon, sprinkle with hot water and mix well.

 

Cooking instructions and presentation:

-Wash the vine leaves, blanch and keep to cool in a strainer.

- Brown the bones in fat.

- Cover the bottom of pan with bones, cubes of mutton chest and half of the tomatoes cut in big pieces.

- Stuff the vine leaves, roll them and place them repeatedly on top of the bones by squeezing them one next to the other.

- After laying all the vine leaves in the pan, place all remaining tomatoes pieces on the surface and season with salt.

-Cover with a plate smaller than the pan so it presses on the vine leaves, cover with hot water and let it cook.

- Turn up the pan on a platter, remove the bones and serve hot.

NOTE: It is unadvisable to use long grain rice (American) for dishes with stuffing.

Allow a longer cooking time when using canned vine leaves.

It is possible to replace the tomatoes with 1/3 cup lemon juice 20 minutes before the end of cooking.

KOUSSA MEHCHI (Stuffed Zucchini)

Ingredients:

-1 kg medium zucchini

-A few Mutton bones

-200 grams lamb shoulder

-½ cup round rice (Egyptian)

-¼ cup melted fat

-400 grams ripe tomatoes

-Pinch of salt or to taste

-¼ teaspoon pepper

-¼ teaspoon cinnamon

-2 leveled tablespoons flour

-2 leveled tablespoons tomato paste

-3 tablespoons water or stock for stuffing

-4 cups water for cooking

 

Preparation:

Stuffing:

- Roughly grind the meat and place on a platter.

-Pick over the rice, wash, drain and add to the meat.

-Season with salt, pepper, cinnamon, sprinkle with hot water and mix well.

 

Cooking instructions and presentation:

- Remove ends of zucchinis. Hollow zucchinis out and wash with cold water. Drain in a strainer.

- Stuff the zucchinis leaving 2 cm from the opening.

-Brown the bones in fat.

-Cover the bottom of the pan with bones and half of the tomatoes cut in slices. Squeeze the zucchinis and cover with remaining tomatoes.

-Sprinkle with water or stock, season with salt and cover with a smaller plate than the pan so it presses the zucchinis. Allow cooking (for nearly 60 minutes) over medium heat.

- Dilute the tomato paste and flour with little water and pour over the zucchinis.

-Let it simmer until sauce is thick (nearly 20 minutes); remove and serve hot.

FATTET BATINJANE (Eggplants in yoghurt sauce)

Ingredients:

-1 kg 500 grams round eggplants

-300 grams meat

-2 cups plain yoghurt (laban)

-½ lemon

-2 medium cloves garlic

-Pinch of salt or to taste

-½ teaspoon pepper

-2 cups groundnut oil

-1 Arabic bread

-2 tablespoons pine seeds

-4 cups water

 

Preparation:

-Cut meat in big cubes, place in pan, cover with water and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

- Cook over high heat (nearly 50 minutes) then reduce to obtain 1 cup of stock and add lemon juice.

- Peel and cut the eggplants in big cubes; brown in groundnut oil; drain well and keep the frying oil.

- Place the eggplants on the meat cooked in the stock, sprinkle with salt and pepper and let simmer for 30 minutes.

-Remove and drain the pieces of meat and eggplant.

- Place yoghurt (laban) in muslin chiffon on the strainer for ½ hour to drain its water.

-Finely crush the garlic with salt and add to yoghurt.

- Cut the Arabic bread in squares of 4 cm, brown in the eggplant frying oil and drain.

-Brown the pine seeds in the same oil.

 

Presentation:

-Place the fried pieces of bread in a hollow recipient and place the eggplants pieces and meat on top.

- Coat with yoghurt, sprinkle with golden pine seeds and surround with fried croutons.

-Serve immediately.

Meat Dishes
KEBBI BI SAYNIYI (Kibbeh in the oven)

Ingredients:

Kibbeh:

-500 grams lean lamb or veal meat

-2 cups burghul

-1 medium red onion

-Pinch of salt or to taste

-½ teaspoon black pepper

-¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Stuffing:

-150 grams minced meat

-¼ cup melted butter

-½ cup melted fat

-2 tablespoons pine seeds

-1 big red onion

-½ bunch or 75 grams fresh mint

-Pinch of salt or to taste

-¼ teaspoon pepper

 

Preparation:

-Dress the meat.

-Grind the meat with salt very finely in a mortar or through a food processor and place in a platter.

-Crush the onions very finely with salt, pepper, cinnamon in a mortar or through food processor and add the meat.

-Rinse the burghul in cold water by transferring it from one recipient to another to remove all dust and dirt. Squeeze a handful to get rid of its water and add it to the meat.

-Place again the meat, onions and burghul in the mortar, grind again or pass them through food processor. Mix well by adding bit by bit cold icy water until the mixture becomes smooth.

-Refrigerate for ½ hour so the cracked wheat becomes tenderer and slightly risen.

 

Stuffing:

-Peel onions, finely chop and brown them with pine seeds in fat or butter.

-Add minced meat, salt, and pepper; brown while mixing and place aside.

-Grease an oven dish (30 cm diameter), and place a thin layer of Kibbeh at the bottom starting with small pieces.

-Place stuffing on the first layer of Kibbeh, and then add a second layer of Kibbeh slightly thicker than the first one.

-Level the Kibbeh surface with wet palms.

-With a knife point, chisel the Kibbeh surface into lozenges.

-Separate the contour of Kibbeh from the platter border with a knife point.

-Make a hole in the middle.

-Sprinkle the surface with melted grease or place in preheated oven and let it cook for nearly 30 minutes.

-Serve hot and decorate the platter with fresh mint leaves.

KAFTA MECHOUIYE (Minced Meat Skewers)

Ingredients:

-750 grams mutton meat

-½ bunch or 50 grams parsley

-1 big red onion

-Pinch of salt (or to taste)

-½ teaspoon pepper

-¼ teaspoon cinnamon

-1 Arabic bread

Peppered mixture:

-2 big red onions

-1 bunch or 100 grams parsley

-1 tablespoon ground sumac

-2 big ripe tomatoes

-Pinch of salt (or to taste)

-¼ teaspoon pepper

-¼ teaspoon cinnamon

-2 tablespoons groundnut oil

-½ bunch or 50 grams fresh mint (for decoration)

 

Preparation:

-Grind the mutton meat or beef (neck or shoulder) in the food mill.

- Peel onions; finely chop and add to meat.

- Pick over the parsley, wash, finely chop and add to the meat.

- Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Mix well.

- Make balls to enroll on the skewers.

 

Peppered mixture:

-Chop onions, cut in thin slices and rub with little salt, pepper, cinnamon and sumac.

-Wash parsley, roughly chop it and add to onions.

- Wash and dice the tomatoes. Add to onions and parsley.

-Coat the rolled meat on the skewers with groundnut oil and grill over charcoal or grill.

-Cut the Arabic bread in 5 equal triangles.

-Place with the peppered mixture the kafta skewers in the bread triangles, put in plate and serve hot.

-Decorate the plate with mint leaves.

- The kafta presentation in Arabic bread is optional.

LAHEM MECHOUI (Lamb skewers)

Ingredients:

-750 grams lamb filet

-175 grams mutton fat

-¼ cup groundnut oil

-1 Arabic bread

-10 small onions

Peppered mixture:

-2 big red onions

-2 big ripe tomatoes

-1 tablespoon ground sumac

-½ bunch or 50 grams mint

-Pinch of salt, pepper, ground cinnamon

-½ bunch of parsley

-2 tablespoons groundnut oil

 

Preparation:

Meat:

-Dress the meat, cut in big cubes of 25 grams each. Cut the mutton fat in equal cubes.

-Place meat and fat in a recipient with oil, salt, pepper, mix well and leave it to steep.

-Place on each skewer 2 pieces of meat, 1 piece of fat, 1 small onion. Repeat until having 12 pieces on skewer.

-Grill over charcoal or electric grill.

Peppered mixture:

-Peel the onions, cut in thin slices and rub with sumac, salt, ground cinnamon and pepper.

-Chop the parsley roughly, wash well and add to onions.

-Cut the tomatoes in small cubes; add to onions and parsley. Mix well.

-Cut the Arabic bread in five equal triangles.

-Place on skewer in a slice of bread, garnish with peppered mixture and serve hot in a plate.

NOTE: Presentation of grilled lamb meat in bread is optional.

SHAWARMA

Ingredients:

-2 kg lean veal meat

-300 grams mutton fat

-1 big onion

-1 cup vinegar

-Pinch of salt

-Ground clove

-Black pepper

-Ground cinnamon

-Ground nutmeg

-5 grams ground cardamom or ½ teaspoon

-600 grams ripe tomatoes

-2/3 cup lemon juice

-½ bunch fresh mint

-500 grams Arabic bread

-½ cup olive oil

 

Preparation:

-Dress the meat and slice thinly.

-Prepare the following marinade:

-Leave the meat to steep in this marinade for the next day.

-Put the meat on a special spit for chawarma. Alternate on the spit the pieces of meat and fat.

-Cut the meat in thin slices upon serving. Place grilled tomatoes and cut in slices in Arabic bread.

-Serve very hot and decorate with mint leaves.

Advice: Shawarma can be served with tarator in sesame oil (tehini).

FAKHED GHANAM MEHCHI (Levantine stuffed lamb leg)

Ingredients:

-2.5kg lamb leg

-2/3 cup melted fat

-2 medium carrots

-10 small white onions

-Pinch of salt, pepper and cinnamon powder

-1 leveled tablespoon flour

-1 cup water or stock

Stuffing:

-2 ½ cups long grain rice (American)

-500 grams thickly minced lamb leg

-1 big onion

-½ cup melted butter

-½ cup almonds

-4 tablespoons pine seeds

-3 tablespoons pistachios

-1/3 cup groundnut oil

-Pinch of salt, pepper, cinnamon powder

-3 cups water or stock

 

Preparation:

The leg:

-Season the leg with salt and pepper; place in oven dish.

-Sprinkle the leg with melted fat and place in oven.

-When it starts turning golden, add the round slices of carrots, the whole onions and let it cook.

-Remove the leg, sprinkle the dish with flour, mix well, and add in the stock or water. Leave to boil for a few minutes, put the sauce in the food mill or muslin cloth and put aside.

 

Stuffing:

-Wash the rice; soak in warm water for about an hour.

-Peel onion, chop it finely and brown in butter. Add minced meat and brown all.

-Add drained rice and mix well.

-Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cinnamon then add water or stock.

-Put over high heat until boiling; slightly lower fire (for about 15 minutes) until complete evaporation of water then keep cooking over very low heat for nearly 10 minutes.

 

Presentation:

-Soak the almonds and pistachios in boiling water away from fire for a few minutes. Hold each almond and pistachio between the thumb and the forefinger to peel off the skin.

-Brown the pine seeds, almonds and pistachios separately in groundnut oil and strain them.

-Cut the leg in slices of 1 cm thick.

-Place the rice in a platter and put the leg of lamb slices on top. Sprinkle with pine seeds, almonds and pistachios.

-Serve gravy in a saucer

Chicken
SHISH TAOUK (Chicken skewers)

Ingredients:

-          1 whole chicken or nearly 2.8 kg boneless chicken

-          ¼ cup lemon juice

-          4 tablespoons groundnut oil

-          1/3 cup olive oil

-          4 medium cloves garlic

-          Pinch of salt or to taste

-          ½ teaspoon pepper

-          4 to 5 drops Tabasco

-          1 bunch of cress or 50 grams (for garnish)

Preparation:

-Clean the chicken, remove bones and dice the skin in cuts of 25 grams each.

-Place chicken cubes in a recipient with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and Tabasco. Mix and let steep for nearly two hours.

- Place some of the chicken cubes on short skewers.

-Fry the skewers over high heat in groundnut oil until cooking is complete, and then drain.

- Sprinkle the skewers with the marinade the chicken was steeping in and place in oven.

-Serve hot.

NOTE: Serve the Shish taouk with French fries.

DJAJ MEHCHI (Oriental stuffed chicken)

Ingredients:

-1 kg 200 grams chicken

-1/3 cup melted fat

-5 small white onions

-2 medium carrots

-1 tablespoon flour

-Pinch of Salt, pepper, ground cinnamon

-½ cup water or stock

 

Preparation:

-Clean and blaze the chicken, season with salt and pepper and place in oven dish.

-Sprinkle the chicken with half of the melted fat and place dish in oven or roast in a pan over high heat.

-When it starts to turn golden, add in the carrot slices and the whole onions. Let it cook by sprinkling from time to time the remaining of the melted fat (nearly 40 minutes).

-Remove the chicken, sprinkle the dish with flour, mix well, add the stock or water, bring to boil for a couple of minutes then pass the sauce in strainer or muslin and place aside.

Stuffing:

-Wash the rice; soak in warm water for about an hour.

-Peel the onion, finely chop it and brown it in butter; add the minced meat, mix well and brown all.

-Add the drained rice and mix well.

-Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cinnamon then add water or stock.

-Bring to boil. Reduce slightly fire until water evaporates completely, and then put over very low heat (nearly 10 minutes).

-Remove and keep hot.

 

Presentation:

-Soak the almonds and pistachios in boiling water, away from fire, for a few minutes. Take each almond and each pistachio between the thumb and the forefinger to peel off the skin.

- Brown the pine seeds, almonds and pistachios separately in groundnut oil then drain.

-Place rice in a platter.

-Cut the chicken in four and place the pieces on the rice.

-Sprinkle with pine seeds, almonds and pistachios.

-Sprinkle with sauce or serve sauce separately in a saucer.

MOUGHRABIYE BI DJAJ (Chicken Moghrabieh)

Ingredients:

-1 kg 200 grams chicken

-600 grams or 4 ½ cups steamed Moghrabieh (kind of couscous with grains the size of lentils)

-300 grams lamb knuckles

-300 grams or 20 small onions

-½ cup chick peas

-Pinch of sodium bicarbonate

-2 tablespoons melted butter for the sauce

-2 tablespoons white flour

-6 cups water

Chicken:

-½ cup melted fat

-Pinch of salt, black pepper and ground cinnamon

-½ teaspoon caraway

Moghrabieh:

-1/3 cup butter or melted fat

-Pinch of salt, black pepper and ground cinnamon

-½ teaspoon caraway

 

Preparation:

-Pick over the chickpeas, wash and soak in cold water for nearly 10 hours then drain.

-Rub chickpeas in sodium bicarbonate, place in pan, cover with water and cook for nearly 30 minutes then drain.

-Clean and blaze the chicken, season with salt and pepper then roast in fat. Remove and place aside.

-Cut the knuckle in pieces of 35 to 40 grams each. Peel onions.

-Roast the meat and the whole onions in the same fat used for chicken then remove.

-Place the chicken, meat and half of the onions in pan. Cover with water and allow cooking for nearly 50 minutes. Once cooking is complete, keep the stock.

-Cook the remaining onions separately in little stock.

Moghrabieh:

-Heat the butter or fat in pan. Add in the Moghrabieh and toss for nearly 10 minutes.

-Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cinnamon and caraway. Sprinkle with stock (about 1 ½ cup) and let it cook over medium heat then low heat until stock evaporates completely.

-Add half of the cooked chickpeas and the separately cooked onions. Toss and let it cook over very low heat.

Sauce:

-Melt the butter in pan, sprinkle with flour and mix well.

-Gently add the remaining stock (about 1 ½ cup) without stopping stirring.

-Add the onions and the remaining chickpeas; sprinkle with pepper, cinnamon and caraway.


Presentation:

-Cut in the chicken pieces.

-Serve the Moghrabieh in a deep serving platter.

-Place the cuts of meat and chicken on top.

-Place the sauce in a saucer.

Rice
RIZZ BI CHAAIYRIEH (Rice with vermicelli)

Ingredients:

-2 cups long grain rice (American)

-1 cup vermicelli

-½ cup melted fat

-Pinch of salt (or to taste)

-3 ½ cups boiling water

 

Preparation:

-Pick over the rice. Wash and soak in warm water for ½ hour.

-Brown the vermicelli in fat until golden.

-Drain the rice, add it to the vermicelli and mix well.

-Add in the water, season with salt over high heat until boiling then leave it to cook on low heat until complete evaporation of water.

-Toss the rice already dry and leave it over very low heat for about 10 minutes.

-Remove from fire and serve hot.

RIZZ BIL ZAAFARAN (Saffron rice)

Ingredients:

-2 cups long grain rice (American)

-1/3 cup melted fat

-3 cups boiling water

-3 saffron leaves

-Pinch of salt (or to taste)

 

Preparation:

-Pick over the rice: wash and soak in warm water for ½ hour.

-Place saffron leaves in pan, cover with a quarter of a cup of water, boil for 10 minutes, then drain and keep the cooking water.

-Heat fat in a pan.

-Drain the rice, add to fat with salt; mix well until it its completely dry.

-Add the boiling water and the cooking water of the saffron leaves. Bring to boil over high heat then leave to cook over medium heat until complete evaporation of water (nearly 20 minutes).

-Toss gently with a perforated spoon and keep hot.

Note: A pinch of saffron powder can replace the saffron leaves.

Arabic Bread (KHEBEZ ARABI)

Ingredients:

-1kg flour

-1 teaspoon sugar

-1 teaspoon baking powder

-Pinch of salt

-2 ¼ cups warm water

 

Preparation:

-Sift the flour on a working plan, making a well in the centre and add salt.

-Dilute baking powder with sugar in warm water and pour in the middle of the flour. Knead well with hand or with a special machine.

-Leave to rest for nearly an hour under a wet cloth.

-Cut the dough by hand in balls of 200 grams each.

-Leave balls to rest for 15 minutes, sprinkle with flour, flatten with pastry roll and place dough disks on a wooden working plan.

-Leave disks to rest for 15 minutes more.

-Remove disks; place in very hot oven on a hotplate that is in direct contact with flame. Leave bread to rise and bake.

-Remove, leave to cool then put bread in nylon bag.

NOTE: Add only ½ teaspoon of sugar if brown flour is used.



Sweets
SFOUF (Saffron Cake)

Ingredients:

-3 cups fine semolina (Farkha flour)

-3 cups white flour

-1 cup melted butter or fat

-3 cups sugar

-1 ½ cup milk

-1 teaspoon anise powder

-3 teaspoons baking powder

-1 teaspoon curcuma or turmeric

-3 tablespoons pine seeds or silver almonds

-¼ teaspoon vanilla

-1 soupspoon sesame oil (tehini)

 

Preparation:

-Sift the flour and combine well with butter or melted fat.

-Add baking powder, vanilla, anise powder and curcuma and mix well.

-Dissolve sugar in warm milk. Pour over flour and knead well.

-Coat an oven dish of 35 or 40 cm diameter with sesame oil before laying the dough.

-Wet your hand with cold water and palm-smooth the surface of the dough. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

-Sprinkle the surface with pine seeds or almond and place in preheated oven at 300◦ F. Leave to cook for 35 minutes.

-Remove from oven, let it cool, cut in pieces and serve.

MAAMOUL (Filled Dried Cakes)

Ingredients

Dough:

-6 cups semolina

-1 cup Farkha flour

-2 ¼ cups fat or butter

-¾ cup rose water

-¼ cup orange- flower water

-Pinch of incense powder

Stuffing:

-400 grams shelled walnut or pistachios

-2 cups caster sugar

-1 tablespoon orange-flower water

-3 tablespoons rose water

-500 grams icing sugar

 

Preparation:

-Sift the semolina and flour in a hollow recipient.

-Melt the butter or the fat; add to flour and semolina. Mix well with palms.

-Burn the incense and cense the recipient meant to heat the rose water and the orange flower water.

-After heating the rose water and orange flower water, pour over the semolina and the flour, knead well and leave the dough to rest for nearly 10 hours under a wet cloth. Knead well the dough twice or three times during the 10-hour rest.

Stuffing:

-Clean the walnuts or pistachios; grind in mortar or chop finely.

-Add caster sugar, rose water and orange flower water and mix well.

-Cut dough in pieces as big as an egg.

-Take a piece of dough, use the 2/3 to cover a small mould, place the stuffing inside and cover with the 1/3 of the remaining dough piece. Remove from mould and place in dish oven.

-Repeat the same until the dough is over.

-Remove from oven and sprinkle the surface of the small cakes (maamoul) with icing sugar.

-Allow cooling and serve.

AYCH AL SARAYA

Ingredients:

-1 round stale French bread (30 cm diameter) (farmhouse loaf)

-1 kg Arabic cream (ashta)

For the syrup:

-5 cups sugar

-2 ½ cups water

-¼ cup sugar for the caramel

-2 teaspoon lemon juice

-1 soupspoon orange –flower water

-2 tablespoons rose water

-5 tablespoons shelled green pistachios

-5 tablespoons almonds

 

Preparation:

-Peel the bread crust with an electrical or jagged knife. Cut the bread horizontally in two disks of the same thickness.

-Remove the crumb.

-Boil water and sugar in pan; add little lemon juice, orange-flower water and rose water until obtaining a syrup (nearly 7 minutes).

-Place ¼ cup sugar in a casserole with some drops of lemon juice, caramelize and pour onto the syrup to color by mixing well.

-Place one bread disk in a round tray slightly bigger than the bread, put over medium heat, sprinkle with ¼ of syrup and constantly turn the tray until the bread turns golden.

-Return the same bread disk, sprinkle with ¼ of syrup and constantly turn the tray until the bread turns golden.

-Proceed the same way with the second bread disk.

-Place the golden bread disk in a round tray, allow cooling and spread the cream.

-Cover it with the second bread disk.

-Sprinkle the surface of Aych el Saraya with finely chopped pistachios and almonds.

-Place in refrigerator and serve cold.

NOTE: Always keep in refrigerator as the “ashta” cream quickly turns sour. It is possible to decorate this cake with orange blossom marmalade.

MOUHALLABIYEH (Milk rice pudding)

Ingredients:

-4 cups milk

-1 cup sugar

-3 tablespoons rice powdery or starch

-1 soupspoon orange-flower water

-1 soupspoon rose water

-1 small grain Musk

-3 tablespoons almonds

-2 tablespoons pistachios

 

Preparation:

-Put milk in pan and bring to boil.

-Add sugar and the rice dilute in little cold water, mix well.

-Thicken the mixture while stirring.

-When done, remove from the fire; add the musk crushed in a mortar with little sugar, rose water and orange flower water.

-Soak almonds in boiling water for few minutes away from the fire. Hold each almond between the thumb and the forefinger to remove the skin. Finely chop the almonds.

-When serving, sprinkle the surface of the platter or the bowl with finely chopped almonds and pistachios.

NOTE: It is possible to decorate the mouhallabiyeh with orange blossom marmalade 

MOGHLI (Cream of rice)

Ingredients:

-4 cups water

-3 tablespoons rice powder

-Pinch of cinnamon powder

-Pinch of anise powder

-½ teaspoon caraway powder

-½ teaspoon fennel powder

-1 cup sugar for decoration

-4 tablespoons grated coconut

-2 tablespoons pine seeds

-2 tablespoons pistachios

-2 tablespoons walnuts

 

Preparation:

-Boil cold water in a pan.

-Mix sugar, cinnamon, anise, caraway and fennel and place all in the boiling water.

-Dilute rice powder in little cold water, pour in the pan and stir constantly.

-Allow to cook over medium heat.

-When mixture is thick enough as to coat the spoon, remove from fire and pour in bowls or platters.

-Leave to cool and place in refrigerator.

 

Decoration:

-Soak pistachios and walnuts in boiling water for few minutes away from the fire. Hold each almond and each pistachio between the thumb and the forefinger to remove the skin.

-Wash pine seeds; soak in cold water for 3 hours at least.

-When serving, sprinkle the surface of the bowl or platter with grated coconut, cut dried fruits and pine seeds.

 

AWAMAT (Potato doughnuts)

Ingredients:

Dough:

-2 ½ cups flour

-300 grams or 1 medium potato

-Pinch of salt

-1 teaspoon sugar

-1 teaspoon brewer’s yeast

-2 cups water

Syrup:

-1 ½ cup water

-3 cups sugar

-1 teaspoon  lemon juice

-1 teaspoon orange flower water

-2 tablespoons rose water

-1 ½ cups groundnut oil

 

Preparation:

Dough:

-Cook the potato in water and pass it through a food mill.

-Place flour in a hollow recipient and add in the mashed potatoes.

-Dilute brewer’s yeast in little warm water and pour onto the flour.

-Add water, knead and mix well until dough becomes slightly more solid than plain yoghurt.

-Cover recipient with cloth and keep it warm until dough rises

Syrup:

-Put water and sugar in pan and bring to boil.

-Skim, add lemon juice then rose water and orange flower water. Leave to boil for 7 minutes until syrup thickens.

-Remove from the fire and leave to cool.

 

Cooking instructions and presentation:

-Heat groundnut oil in a hollow frying pan over medium heat.

-Place a small ball of dough in the palm of hand and knead it into a cone effect; with the other hand, take a spoon to remove the excess dough between the thumb and the forefinger. Dip the spoon into frying oil.

-Repeat the operation until dough is over.

-Place little oil in a tea cup and dip in the spoon from time to time so the dough does not stick on the spoon.

-Brown the doughnuts from all sides by constantly tossing them. Remove from oil and dip in the cold syrup.

-Remove from syrup and place doughnuts on platter to serve.

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