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


Awarma (Preserved Meat a La Libanaise)

The winter season in Lebanon is very cold, especially in the mountains. Back in older times, villagers used to preserve the meat cultivated in the summer to cook it during the cold season. Awarma can last for one year when kept in the fridge. Although people are no longer isolated enough to worry about it, especially in the city,  Awarma is still found in many homes. It is usually cooked with egg, kishk or even over hummus.

It is very important that everything you use for cooking is very dry. Make sure to keep away from water while cooking and preserving.


  • 1 kilo lean beef, cut into very small cubes (about 1/2 cm)
  • 1/2 kilo sheep fat, (the best part is the fat found in the tail area, but if not available, you can use other part)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper or seven spices


  • In a pot, and on a low fire, place the fat and let it melt very slowly; when the fat is halfway cooked, add half the salt
  • When the fat is completely melted, add the meat, and cook stirring always, to allow the meat to cook evenly
  • Season with salt and pepper, cook on a low fire until the meat is well cooked
  • When cooked, place the meat in jars, and keep in cold dry place. You can refrigerate it also.

After it is prepared, you can store it for several months. It is best eaten alongside something else. I prepared it with scrambled eggs 🙂