Man’oushe roll





Hi dear followers,


I know it has been a long time since my last post. I’ve been travelling a lot between USA, AbuDhabi,  Dubai and Lebanon to see my children.

Today I am back with this recipe of rolled Man’oushe, which melts in the mouth because the dough is so soft.

I hope you will like it as much as I enjoyed preparing for my loved ones.


– 500 gs all purpose flour

– 1/2 cup corn oil, plus one tablespoon

-1 teaspoon salt

– 1 teaspoon sugar

– 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

– 1 teaspoon instant yeast

– 1 1/2 cup natural yoghurt

– 1 cup zaa’tar mixed with one cup  olive oil

– Optional : Some milk and sesame for the decoration on the top of the roll


– In a bowl mix the flour with all the dried ingredients

– Add the corn oil and rub all the flour with oil

-Mix with 1/2 cup of yoghurt at a time until the mixture become a soft and smooth dough ( the quantity of the yoghurt may vary depending on the flour type)

– When your dough is ready rub it with one tablespoon of corn oil and cover with cling film and let it rest for about 2 hours until it doubles in volume


– Take a third of the dough and roll it using a rolling pin on a floured surface to a rectangle shape, pour the mixture of zaa’tar and oil and cover the dough leaving about one inch from each side and roll it into a cylinder

– Cut the rolled dough into a small pieces


– Preheat the oven to 190 degree

– Place each roll in cup cake tray and let it rest for about half an hour.

– If you are using sesame to decorate the top of the roll brush each one with a bit of milk and sprinkle the sesame over it


– Cook for 20 minutes, or until the top of the roll becomes golden color.

Et voila c’est tout…..Sahttein.

Bitter Orange Peel Jam (Mrabba Bou Sfeir)

mrabba bou sfeir 3

As I mentioned in the previous post, we can use the peel of the (bitter) Seville oranges to make jam. This kind of jam has a mild sour taste which is delicious, and isn’t very sweet. This is another traditional family recipe that I’m sharing with you. I personally like it a lot and I hope you will like it too.


  • 1 kilo Seville lemon
  • 500 grams sugar
  • 5 grams lemon salt


  • Wash the oranges and grate the outer shell slightly

mrabba bousfeir

  • Using a knife, cut horizontal lines to divide the peel into 6 parts, then soak them in cold water overnight

mrabba bousfeir 1

  • The next day, replace the water with fresh water and boil the peels for about 10 minutes then discard the water again
  • With a small spoon remove slowly the white of the inside of the shell, rinse them and allow to dry
  • When they are dry, weigh them; the sugar used should be the same weight as the orange peels
  • Soak again in cold water for 6 hours, changing water halfway
  • Prepare a needle and a thread, and sew each shell into a crescent shape then sew every 12 pieces together
  • Place the shells and the sugar in a pot and leave together for 6 hours

mrabba bousfeir 2

  • After allowing it to rest for the 6 hours, place the pot on a medium fire
  • Add one cup of water and boil until the sugar thickens, stirring with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking on the sides of the pot
  • Dissolve the lemon salt with 1 tablespoon water and add it to the sugar syrup, stir and put the fire off
  • Allow to cool then remove the thread from the shells and place in a jar with the syrupmrabba bou s


Kibbe Arnabiyye

kibbe arnabye 1 Kibbe Arnabiyye is the Queen of kibbe recipes. Its been kept in our family for generations and is considered very special because it can only be made in the winter when all the citrus ingredients are ripe, especially the Seville orange also known as bitter orange or Abou Sfeir in Arabic. Also, this dish is usually made for just for VIPs or loved ones. My mother used to make it in huge quantities and would send a big plate for each of her 9 sisters and brothers and had enough still to feed her 6 children and husband. This delicious recipe is very dear to me, and I am so proud to share it with you today. I do hope you try it and if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. Since the procedure to prepare it is long, I prepared the kibbe balls and onions one day ahead. The day after I started cooking the dish itself. I also use the peel of the Seville orange to make jam, so don’t throw them away when preparing this dish and I will soon post the recipe. Ingredients: for the kibbe:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup fine brown bulgur
  • 300 grams  beef meat
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices


  • Wash the bulgur and drain it from water
  • Grate the onion until fine
  • Mix the meat with bulgur and grated onion, add the salt and spices
  • Place in a food processor a little at a time until all the quantity is used
  • Your kibbe is ready place it in the fridge until you prepare the stuffing

Ingredients for the Kibbe stuffing:

  • 300 grams minced meat
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • a handful of pine seeds (optional, but it enhances the flavor of the stuffing)
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation of the stuffing:

  • In a saucepan heat the oil, fry the onion until golden brown
  • Add the meat and fry with the onion for about 10 minutes, then add the pine seeds, season with salt, spices and the molasses
  • Cook for about 10 minutes until the pine seeds turn golden

Stuffing the kibbe: Your going to need an additional ingredient, a tablespoon of corn flour

  • Dissolve the corn flour in a cup of cold water
  • Make a medium sized ball from the kibbe dough with you wet hand (dip it in water and cornflour), and using your index make a hole in the ball of kibbe, and with the other hand (wet also) turn it around your index until it thins out and the hole becomes wider
  • Place 1 teaspoon of the stuffing inside and close it, turning the ball in your hand to form a nice shape
  • Your kibbe is now ready to be used in the Arnabiyye

Ingredients for the Arnabiyye:

  • 1/2 kilo kibbe balls
  • 1 kilo tahini
  • 1 kilo oranges
  • 1/2 kilo mandarin
  • 1/2 kilo Seville orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 kilo onions cut into wings
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup pine nuts


  • Fry the kibbe balls half way, for a few minutes only, then place them on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil and keep aside
  • Fry or roast the pine nuts and also leave aside
  • In a medium pan, heat the oil and fry the onions until slightly golden then cover with 3 cups of water and boil it for half an hour until they soften; puree them keeping the water with them
  • Extract the juice of all 3 citrus fruits and keep in a pitcher

kibbe arnabye

  • In a large pot, place the tahini, the juice and the pureed onion and mix well
  • Place the pot on a medium fire and stir constantly until it starts boiling and forms bubble on the top; when you can see the oil of the tahini coming on the surface you know the sauce is done
  • Add salt, cinnamon and the pomegranate molasses and adjust the seasoning up to your taste
  • Place the kibbe balls and boil on a very low heat for about 10 minutes
  • Pour into deep plates and decorate with pine nuts. Enjoy it warm or cold. You could have it with cooked rice if you’d like.


Fish Cake

fish cake

My mother insisted on feeding us fish once a week when I was little, but my brother didn’t eat fish in any form. Frustrated after trying so many recipes and failing to get him to eat fish, my mother asked our neighbor, one of her best friends, who gave her this recipe to try. My little brother looked at them and decided they looked yummy, and had a few not knowing  that he was eating fish!

My daughter had the same problem with her baby boy, so I followed mother’s trick and made this fish cake and guess what? It worked like a charm; there’s nothing like your parents wisdom sometimes. If you have the same problem, try out this recipe and let me know if it worked out for you too.


  • 500 grams fillet fish ( I used hammour/grouper; use what you prefer)
  • 2 medium size, boiled potatoes
  • 1 medium size onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, finely diced
  • 2 leaves fennel, chopped
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • one cup canola oil for frying


  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Place the fish in a tray with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper until cooked
  • In the meantime heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion until slightly colored
  • Mash the potatoes, mix with fennel, capsicum, onion
  • When the fish is grilled, chop it in small pieces and add it to the potato mixture, season with salt and pepper and add the lemon zest
  • Place the beaten eggs in a plate, and the breadcrumbs in another one
  • Make small balls from the fish mixture and flatten it with your hand, dip it in the eggs and then roll it in the breadcrumbs, until all the quantities are finished
  • Heat the canola oil and fry the fish caked until golden for few minutes, then turn them on the other side too


Omelette With Zucchini

omelette with zucchini

Whenever I make stuffed zucchini, I keep the cored insides to cook them as I did in this post, or to prepare an omelette like were going to do today. The zucchini gives the omelette a very nice flavor that my family just loves.


  • about 2 cups of zucchini insides
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a dash of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • frying oil


  • Mix the eggs with all the ingredients
  • Place the batter in the fridge for about one hour to settle
  • Now to cook them you have two choices:
    • Either you fry them in small batches
    • Or you place the batter in an oiled tray and bake in the preheated oven for about thirty minutes until the top becomes golden
  • Enjoy eating with a mixed vegetables salad

omelette with zucchini 1


Eggplant Salad


If you have been following my blog, you should know by now that eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. Grilled, fried, raw, cooked in anyway possible; I love it. This is a salad made with eggplant that can be eaten as a side dish that goes well with anything. When my mother used to make it, she managed to make a big quantities, to feed our large dinner table 🙂 You can also use it to stuff into a sandwich, which was useful as kids when we needed a quick bite before running out to play with my siblings.


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 red tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • few leaves rocca
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar


  • Wash the eggplant, dry it, and cut it into thin slices
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, fry the eggplant until light brown
  • In another pan, fry the onion until translucent, add the tomatoes and fry until tender, season with salt and pepper
  • Place one layer of eggplant in a tray, then put the cooked tomatoes with onion, place on the top another layer of eggplant
  • Place the tray in the fridge for few hours
  • To serve, cut a piece of this salad, place it in a plate, put on the side few rocca leaves, and on top on the leaves drizzle few drops of balsamic vinegar and enjoy eating


Namoura (Egg free Lebanese Cake)

It is so strange how a smell can bring back a lot of memories from your childhood. During the Eid el Adha I went to a sweet shop to buy something, and I saw and smelt Namoura. I remembered when I was young, a vendor used to come to our neighborhood with his trolley selling Namoura and we loved eating it with our hands. As I grew up it was one of the first sweet recipes I learnt from my mother. This is an egg free, butter free Lebanese cake, that can be made on any occasion and can last for quite a while time without any alteration to the taste.


  • 2 1/2 cup semolina
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1/2 cup orange blossom water
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 cup of almonds for decoration

Sugar syrup:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange blossom water
  • teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  • Mix the semolina with bicarbonate of soda, sugar and salt
  • Gradually add the orange blossom water while stirring with a spoon
  • Add the yogurt and stir until all the ingredients are well mixed
  • Cover the mixture with a clean towel and leave it to rest for half an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Grease a 40 cm diameter tray with tahini, pour the mixture in the tray, decorate with the almonds and bake it for about 35 minutes, until the cake becomes golden
  • In the meantime prepare the sugar syrup, boil the sugar with water until it thickens, then add the lemon juice, the orange blossom water and the butter
  • When the Namoura is baked remove from the oven and put over it the hot sugar syrup, and put it in the oven  again for 5 minutes

  • Remove the tray from the oven and let it cool, then cut into squares or diamond shape and serve


Batenjan Makdous (Preserved Eggplants in Olive Oil)

It is the season of Autumn, and now is the right time for preparing the Mouneh (pantry). A few weeks ago I showed you how to prepare preserved meat, Awarma.  Now I’m going to show you how to preserve eggplants, using a recipe I learned from my mother-in-law years ago. It takes about ten days for the Makdous to have been pickled properly. After it has been prepared, the eggplants can be eaten as a appetizer, side dish or can even  be put in a sandwich alone. You will find many ways to enjoy it by playing on your own. Personally, I like to eat it for dinner with labneh (yoghurt) and cheese on the side; it makes for a lovely and easy to prepare dinner.


  • 1 kg baby eggplant
  • 200 grams whole nut
  • about 15 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon rock salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste (optional)
  • about 4 cups olive oil


  • Wash the eggplants, remove the stem
  • Place the eggplants in a pot full of water, leave it on fire for about 10 minutes (not more); the skin of the eggplants when tested should be soft
  • When the eggplants are cooked place in a strainer and wash with cold water. Make a small slit lengthwise in the eggplant, sprinkle with salt, put them back in the strainer, slit facing down, place a weight over them and leave it for about two days. This helps any remaining water to come out of the eggplants

  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling by roughly crushing the nuts and mixing it with garlic, salt and chili paste if desired
  • With you thumb widen the slit, fill each eggplant with a spoon from the nut garlic mixture

  • Place the filled eggplants in a jar, turn the jar upside down on a plate at a certain angle to release the remaining water, leave it for 2 days until no more juice comes out from it

  • Return the jar after 2 days to upright position, and fill it with olive oil. After five days the eggplants are ready to be consumed


Achtalye (Milk Pudding)

There is an amazing wide variety of Middle Eastern desserts. Some of these desserts are very complicated and require a lot of ingredients and preparation, like baklava, knefe and others. On the other had, some of them are simple, easy and quick to made, like the Achtalye I prepare today. This dessert can be found in Lebanon and in Palestine, and is similar to a dessert to Mhalabiyye, a kind of pudding made out of milk and cornflour. It is very high in calcium so its good for growing children and babies.


  • 1 cup powder milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cornflour + 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon mastic, grounded
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 cup pistachios for decoration
  • sugar syrup


  • Mix the cornflour with a half cup of water until it all dissolves
  • In a casserole place the powder milk, water and the cornflour and mix well
  • Place the casserole on a fire and let it boil, stirring constantly until it thickens
  • Add the mastic, remove from off the fire and pour the orange blossom water
  • Put this pudding into small individual bowls, allow to cool then refrigerate
  • To serve, decorate with pistachios and pour sugar syrup over


Lentil Salad

I mentioned earlier that salad is a free dish; you can mix whatever you like with any kind of vegetables, use the dressing you like and it will be delicious.

Green lentils are very commonly used in our cuisine. It can be made as Mjaddara, Mdardara, Lentil soup or Adas bel Hamod. I always boil lentils in large quantities and keep the remaining lentils in the freezer, to save time when making another dish. The Lentil Salad is a plate that my grand mother used to make always when she invited us for lunch. It is the kind of meal who can be eaten as a side dish, appetizer, or even as a main meal.


  • 2 cups boiled lentils
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) tomato
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 4 radishes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Drain the boiled lentils from any excess water
  • Cut all the vegetables into small cubes and mix with the lentils
  • Season with salt, black pepper, dried mint, lemon juice and olive oil