Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Baked Fish With Sumac and Oregano Spices Recipe

Baked Fish With Sumac and Oregano Spices

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


  1. Rinse the fish with water then place in a baking tray and rub with a bit of salt and with about 2 teaspoons of ground thyme or oregano, place some cut lemons inside and bake for 20 minutes at 350F.
  2. Meanwhile, chop green and red peppers into small cubes, then mix crushed garlic with lemon juice, 5 teaspoons of ground thyme or oregano, the ground cilantro, the sumac, olive oil and salt to taste. This should yield a red paste that you would then mix with the chopped peppers.
  3. Once the fish is baked, and while still warm (watch out so you don't burn yourself) remove its bones and scales, pull its meat then place it in a baking tray and scoop the paste on top of it until it's all covered. You don't have to mix it, the paste will seep through naturally.
  4. Bake again for about 10 minutes at 350F so the paste infuses well into the meat then serve hot or cold along with a side of Fattoush or your preferred salad.
Source: Mama's Lebanese Kitchen

Lebanese Fruit Cocktail With Rose Water Ashta Cream Recipe

Lebanese Fruit Cocktail With Rose Water Ashta Cream

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.


5 bananas
5 peaches
5 kiwis
3 apples
2 large mangoes
½ pineapple
3 lbs Strawberries
10 tbsp Ashta cream
½ cup of raw walnuts
½ cup of crushed raw pistachios


  1. Cut the mangoes, apples, pineapple, kiwis, bananas, peaches and 1 lb of strawberries into 1-inch chunks.
  2. Add 2 lbs of strawberries to a blender and blend until they turn into a juice.
  3. Fill each serving cup with fruit chunks, pour the blended strawberries on top until it's filled, add 2 table spoons of Ashta cream, garnish with walnuts, pistachios and honey and serve cold.
Source: Mama's Lebanese Kitchen

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Molasses cake – Sfouf b debs Recipe

Sfouf b debs

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

Preparation Steps:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
  2. Boil the anise seeds in the water, drain and let the anise water cool
  3. In a big bowl, mix well the dry ingredients (flour, semolina, milk, turmeric and baking powder)
  4. Add the oil and knead well before adding the anise water gradually until the dough becomes soft
  5. Prepare your baking pan by brushing it with the tahini paste
  6. Spread the dough in the pan and decorate it with the sesame or pine seeds
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes
  8. Allow to cool before cutting the sfouf cake into squares
Sfouf b debs pan

Can you smell the freshly baked sfouf b debs?

Source: The Food Heritage Foundation

Potato and vegetable balls recipe

Potato and vegetable balls

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.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Lentil and chard soup – Adas bi hamoud recipe

Adas bi hamoud

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

Preparation Steps:

  1. In a large pot, cover lentil with water and bring to boil over medium heat
  2. Meanwhile in a separate pan, stir fry the onions in the olive oil until golden
  3. When the lentils start boiling, add the potatoes, swish chard, garlic, lemon juice and fried onions
  4. Pour in enough water so that the mixture is well covered and leave on medium heat until the lentils and potatoes are tender
  5. Add the salt, lemon juice and spices according to taste
  6. Stir in the coriander before removing from fire
  7. Serve hot with roasted pita bread loafs.

Red vermicelli soup recipe

Red vermicelli soup

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


Preparation Steps:

  1. In a cooking pot, fry the vermicelli in 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil until golden. Remove the excess of oil
  2. Add 3 cups of water and stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the parsley
  3. Let the soup cook until boiling, while stirring occasionally
  4. Add the chopped parsley just before serving hot

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fava Beans and Chard – Foul b Selek Recipe

Fava Beans and Chard – Foul b Selek

“Foul b Selek” is a Beirut recipe prepared mainly by the end of winter season when swiss-chard is still available and spring fava beans are harvested. It is a balanced vegetarian starter rich in protein and iron. It is best enjoyed cold with some lemon juice that helps increase the iron absorption.

Serving: 4

Caloric content: 75 calories / serving


1 kg of Swiss chard, cleaned and chopped

1 cup of coriander leaves

200 g of fava beans soaked overnight

2 garlic cloves, minced

100 g of chopped onions

2 tbsp of vegetable oil

1 tsp of cumin

salt and pepper to taste

2 L water

Preparation method:

  1. Add the fava beans to 1 L of water and bring to boil
  2. While boiling add 500 ml of water and cover. Stir occasionally
  3. After 1 hour, add another 500 ml of water
  4. In a large pot, stir fry the onions and garlic in vegetable oil until they wilt
  5. Add the chopped Swiss chard and coriander and cover until they are well cooked
  6. While on heat, add 1 tsp of cumin and the strained fava beans
  7. Tune the salt and pepper according to taste
  8. Serve cold with a slice of lemon


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