1/3 cup oil
3 large onions, chop 2 onions, slice one to use as garnish
1 tbsp garlic mashed
salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp turmeric
2 cups each chopped parsley, cilantro, scallions
1 cup chopped mint
1 beet, peeled and chopped (I skipped it)
1 cup red lentils (recipe calls for 1/2 cup yellow split peas)
1 cup rice ( I used Egyptian medium-grain, but Basmati-type rice is probably more authentic)
1 lb lamb shanks (recipe calls for ground beef or lamb or veal, made into meatballs with some onion and salt and pepper)
4 cups pomegranate juice (fresh and sweet is recommended)
OR 2/3 cups pomegranate molasses
1/3 cup sugar (did not use any, my pomegranates were very sweet)
2 tbsp angelica seeds (gol-par), I skipped, not easily found in the country
1. Heat the oil and fry the chopped onions till almost caramelized; add the garlic and turmeric and meat; stir-fry for a few minutes then add about 2 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer and let it bubble-up gently till the meat is completely cooked and tender, about one hour or longer.
2. Add the rice and lentils, simmer for 25 minutes; add the herbs and pomegranate juice (or molasses or both) and simmer for another 25 minutes. The taste should be sweet and sour. Adjust according to your liking, adding more sugar or none. If using ground meat or meatballs, these can be added with the rice and lentils, as they take less time to cook.
3. Serve with a garnish of fresh herbs, pomegranate arils, and caramelized sliced onions if you like (my version) or by heating the garnish as in Mrs. Batmanglij’s instructions at the last minute.
Recipe also calls for a garnish, which I skipped, made of 2 Tbsp oil, 5 cloves garlic, 1 tsp dry mint, 1/2 tsp turmeric. Heat the oil, add the garlic and spices and drizzle over the soup right before serving.
Source: Taste of Beirut
In Lebanon this dish is commonly known as “Fasolia at’aa” or “Fasolia bi zait” which translate to “vegetarian Fasolia” and “Fasolia with oil.”
Fasolia is a variety of red beans or pinto beans that you can commonly find in supermarkets. For this recipe pick the beans with tan/lighter color if possible, or as a second best pick red beans. And if you have control over it, pick beans that are new, and haven’t been stocked for a very long time.
Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 90 mins
Total time 1 hour 50 mins
Author: Mama’s Lebanese Kitchen
Recipe type: Middle Eastern Entree
2 cups of pinto beans (fasolia)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 head of garlic, finely minced
1 medium head of potato, cut into tiny cubes
½ cup of olive oil
1-2 teaspoons of tomato paste
½ teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
8 cups of water
Soak the beans overnight in fresh water so that they soften and cook faster.
In a deep cooking pot, sautee the garlic, onions, potatoes and beans in the olive oil for 5-10 minutes.
Add 8 cups of warm water to the pot along with the salt and stir well
Cover the pot and let gently boil/simmer on low heat for 1 hour
Add 2 teaspoons of tomato paste to the pot, stirr well, boil for another 15 minutes and serve hot with a side of pita bread.
Note that if you add cold water instead of warm water to the pot, the beans may wrinkle.
“Potatoes in Garlic and Cilantro” serves as a delicious appetizer and is quite simple to make.
If you are health conscious and would like to avoid frying the potatoes, you may also bake them as long as you get them to a nice crispy texture (perhaps just dazzle a few droplets of oil on them prior to baking them). We prefer the fried version, but I fried them using organic coconut oil which can sustain high temperatures.
4 large potatoes
1 bunch green cilantro (or ½ cup dried cilantro leaves)
5-8 large fresh garlic cloves, crushed
1 lemon, juiced
3 table spoons of olive oil
A dash of salt
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 45 mins
An Easy to Make Baked Fish Recipe Featuring Red Snapper Baked with a Garlic Lemony Marinade. Tasty and Healthy.
2 Whole Red Snapper Fish or equivalent in Cod (4 lbs total)
2 lemons juiced
1 lemon cut into 8 pieces
8 table spoons of olive oil
2 heads of garlic, pealed and crushed
1 teaspoon of salt
Tastes great if grilled on mesquite coal as well.
Author: Esperance Sammour
Whenever I think of this dish my mouth waters! It sure teases the tongue with a barrage of complex flavors from earthy spices like Oregano/Thyme, Sumac and garlic along with green and red peppers. –
The Oregano baked fish is fairly simple to make: pick a fresh fish along the lines of Red Snapper, rub it with ground thyme or oregano, stuff it with garlic and lemons and bake it gently. Once cooked, let cool a bit then pull fish meat, cover with a chunky paste of sumac, thyme, garlic, lemon juice and peppers, bake again then indulge.
For best results, use a fresh fish and high quality Sumac spice (should be bright in color, dark means old) and serve immediately after baking. This dish can also be consumed cold. My mouth is watering again!
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 50 mins
3 lbs of fresh fish, preferably Red Snapper
1 green pepper (bell pepper), finely chopped
1 sweet red pepper, finely chopped
1 garlic head, crushed
2 lemons, juiced
7 teaspoons ground thyme or oregano
2 teaspoons ground cilantro (or dried cilantro flakes)
7 teaspoons of quality sumac
5 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Source: Mama’s Lebanese Kitchen
One of the many street foods you could encounter while roaming Lebanese cities is an all-time favorite special fruit cocktail that is garnished with nuts, ashta cream and honey. There are many variations of the cocktail, and what we’re featuring in this post is what’s referred to as “cocktail shikaf” which translates to “fruit chunks cocktail”.
Fruit cocktails exist in virtually every culture on earth. What I believe distinguishes this one though and gives it a Lebanese or Middle-Eastern identity is the Ashta, which is clotted cream with rose water. If made with original ingredients, it has an amazing rich cream flavor with subtle rose water aroma.
To get the best results, use only fresh fruits and make the Ashta cream from scratch. You could substitute Ashta with whipped cream but it won’t be as good.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep time: 20 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Learn how to make the all-famous Lebanese cocktail shikaf with ashta clotted cream right at home. This is an amazingly refreshing and nutritious summer treat.
2 large mangoes
3 lbs Strawberries
10 tbsp Ashta cream
½ cup of raw walnuts
½ cup of crushed raw pistachios
Source: Mama’s Lebanese Kitchen
Some like their molasses sfouf plain without any decoration – Akleh community kitchen
Molasses cake or sfouf b debs is an egg-less Lebanese cake made with local carob molasses instead of sugar. Carob molasses (debs el kharroub) is traditionally prepared in Lebanon – in the South mainly – from carob pods: a thick and sweet liquid is extracted from the milled pods soaked in water. Carob molasses is a natural and healthy substitute of chocolate, rich in potassium, calcium and phosphorous, and an important source of iron.
The carob tree Ceratonia silique is an evergreen tree native to Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Cyprus and found across the Mediterranean.
Total servings: 20
Caloric content: 220 Calories/serving
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 cups of semolina
4 tbsp. of baking powder
2 cups of carob molasses
½ cup of powdered milk
1 cup of vegetable oil
2 tsp. of anise seeds
1 tsp. of turmeric powder
2 cups of water
2 tbsp. of tahini paste
Sesame seeds and pine seeds for decoration
0:45 Prep | 0:55 Cook | Makes 24 | Capable cooks
Super Food Ideas
These Lebanese-inspired balls are great for dipping in hummus.
3 (500g) medium desiree potatoes, peeled, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 leek, trimmed, halved, washed, sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled, grated
1 medium zucchini, grated
2 teaspoons tahini
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1/3 cup gluten-free plain flour
3/4 cup rice crumbs (see note)
gluten-free hummus, to serve
Place potato in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Place in a large heatproof bowl. Mash. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add leek and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until softened. Add zucchini. Cook for a further 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add tahini, cumin and lemon rind. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add vegetables and flour to potato. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside to cool completely. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls. Toss in rice crumbs to coat. Place on prepared tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Adas bi hamoud is a soup commonly prepared in all Lebanese regions. Its main ingredients, as its name suggests are lentils, chard and lemon juice. Chards being usually harvested during winter, this soup makes a good source of energy during cold winter days. Adas bi hamoud is a consistent soup that fulfills your stomach and boosts your immunity by its high content in vitamin C which also enhances the absorption of iron that is provided by the lentils.
Total servings: 8
1 cup of brown lentils, rinsed with water
4 cups of Swiss Chard stems and leaves, cleaned and chopped
4 medium potatoes, cubed
7 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of lemon juice
1 tsp of coriander leaves, chopped
salt, cinnamon and pepper to taste
This easy recipe makes a great starter before lunch or dinner
Soups are always a great way to start your meal. Vermicelli soup is an easy and quick recipe to prepare. It is suitable for vegetarians and kids, and helps replenish body fluids and sodium during sickness. To have it as a main course instead of only a starter, cooked chicken slices can be added.
Total servings: 5
1 cup of vermicelli
3 tbsp. of tomato sauce
3 tbsp. of vegetable oil
¼ bundle of parsley, finely chopped
Salt and 7 spices to taste