Lentil With Dough (Hara’a Ousba’ou)

hor osba'a

“Hara’a Ousba’ou” is a funny name for a dish because in Arabic it means “Burning Finger”. Despite its strange name, it is still a delicious dish. While popular in its county of origin Syria, it is still a hidden gem of Lebanese Cuisine, taking side-stage to more known dishes like hummus and mjaddara.

The lentils are cooked with home made dough in this recipe, but you can save time by using fried pitta bread instead, it works equally well.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 1 cup flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • about 1/3 cup water (more or less depending on the flour used)

Preparation of the dough:

  • Mix the flour with salt , add the water little by little until you have a smooth dough
  • Cover with cling film and let it rest for one hour

Ingredients for the lentils:

  • one cup green lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 large onions, cut into wings
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 5 garlic gloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Wash the lentils, and place in pot with water, boil until tender, it will take about half an hour
  • Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, fry the onions until brown and put aside
  • Crush the garlic with a teaspoon of salt and mix with the chopped coriander
  • Heat the other tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic with coriander then put aside
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Roll the dough on a floured surface to about 1/2 cm thickness, and cut into small square, place them into a slightly greased tray and bake half the quantity in the oven until they turn golden, leave the remaining uncooked

hor osba'a 1

  • When the lentil is cooked add the lemon juice, the pomegranate molasses, half the fried onions and half the fried garlic, leaving the remaining to decorate the plate
  • Adjust the seasoning to your taste, then place the uncooked dough with the lentils and let it cook on a very low fire for about ten minutes
  • Place the lentils onto the serving plate, decorate with the remaining onions, garlic coriander and the cooked dough and serve


Happy Valentine’s Day with Red Donuts


Hi everyone,

I would like to wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day. Today is a day to remember those you love and to show them your appreciation; what better way to do that than by making them something sweet to eat!

My youngest son just finished his undergraduate studies a couple of weeks ago, and today he went to collect some papers from university. I wanted to surprise him with something he’d enjoy, and since its Valentine’s day and everything is red, I made some donuts and added some red food coloring to the glazing to mark the occasion though I don’t really think that donuts are romantic. I think I might have put a few drops more of food coloring than I should have because the glaze looks blood red 😛 The important thing is that it put a smile on his face.

So today remember to show your loved ones a little affection. If they’re fans of donuts, make them some of these: smiles guaranteed!


  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried instant yeast
  • oil for frying


  • In a bowl, sift the flour with instant yeast
  • In another bowl, whisk the milk, egg, sugar, salt and oil then add the mixture to the flour, mix together until you have a soft dough
  • Cover the bowl in a cling film and leave the dough to rise and double in volume, for about one hour
  • Cover the surface you are working on with flour and roll the dough with a rolling pin to about 2 cm thickness then cut into a donut shape; leave it to rest for 15 minutes
  • Heat the frying oil (enough for deep frying) and fry the donuts from both sides for about 3 minutes on each side, until they turn golden color. Place on a kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil and allow to cool before glazing them with your choice of chocolate or red glaze


For the chocolate glaze:

  • Boil one cup of cream with 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons corn syrup then pour over one cup of sweet chocolate chip and stir until the chocolate melts, then add one teaspoon of vanilla

For colored glaze:

  • Mix one cup of icing sugar with one tablespoon of water or milk and add few drops of food coloring


Cracked Chocolate Cookies

chocoate cracked biscuit 1

Making cookies is something I enjoy a lot because watching my children’s happy faces while eating them is priceless. This recipe especially is something else. During the Christmas vacation, they requested of me to make these cookies, as it had been years since I had made them last… and believe me, as soon as the cookies came out of the oven, half of them were already gone! I also made new fans with my grandkids.

What else can I say? You’re going to love them too.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup soft butter+1 tablespoon
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1  2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • dash of salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup icing sugar


  • Melt the better and stir in the cocoa, allow it to cool before adding the sugar, eggs, the vanilla; beat well
  • In another bowl, sift the flour with salt and baking powder then add it to the cocoa mixture and add the walnuts if you’d like.
  • Place in the fridge for 1/2 hour then preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Take a small piece of dough, shape it into a ball, roll it in icing sugar
  • Place on an ungreased tray, bake for about 9 minutes, The center should remain moist
  • Allow to cool and enjoy (or eat them warm)

chocolate cracked biscuit


Artichoke Gratin

Artichoke is the kind of vegetables that can be cooked in so many ways. It can be used in salads or in a stew, it can even made into a gratin with white sauce and cheese. Since I love cheese, I decided to cook the artichoke for the lunch today the gratin way 🙂


  • one frozen bag of hearts of artichoke, about 500 grams
  • 150 grams minced beef
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of pine seeds
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 tablespoon corn oil
  • cooking grated cheese, use the kind you like, I mix 1 cup of Emmental and one cup of Mozzarella cheese

Ingredients for the white sauce:

  • 50 grams butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of freshly grated nutmeg


  • In a large pot boil about 1.5 liters water, add one tablespoon salt, and the artichoke then boil for about 10 minutes
  • In a saucepan heat 1 tablespoon corn oil, fry the onion until golden then add the pine seeds then the meat, cook until brown, season with  salt and some pepper to taste
  • Prepare the white sauce: melt the butter, add the flour, then gradually pour the milk whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens, season with 1 teaspoon salt and nutmeg
  • Now you can assemble the dish:
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • In a baking dish put one tablespoon oil, place the hearts of artichoke, fill each one with meat, when all they are all filled, cover with the white sauce, then sprinkle the cheese over, bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the top turns golden
  • Enjoy it with salad


Glazed Cup Cakes With Nutella

Cupcakes are always happily welcomed by everyone, small children and adults alike. This simple recipe is a success every time I make it, and no one can get enough 🙂

It is a definite must- make recipe.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 130 gs butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons Nutella

For the icing:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1  1/2 icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • chocolate vermicelli, for decoration


  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • If the Nutella is a little hard, soften in a double boiler over a low heat until soft
  • Mix in a bowl eggs, sugar, flour then add the butter and the baking powder
  • Fold the Nutella to the previous mixture until you have an homogeneous batter
  • Divide this batter into 20 cup cake cases and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, and let it cool

  • In the meantime prepare the icing by whisking the egg white and the icing sugar until well blended
  • If you desire you can add food coloring for the icing for variety

  • Sprinkle with chocolate vermicelli for decoration


Back to My Kitchen With… Tamrye

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long time since I posted last as this was a busy summer for me; my two daughters came with their families to spend their vacation in Lebanon. My son was so jealous he also visited from New York to join the fun. We all had a lovely time together but now I’m back to the recipes you love and I miss posting about 🙂

Here I am back to my kitchen with a ton of new recipes that I would love to share with you.

Tamrye is a kind of sweet is found mainly during the Holy Month of Ramadan, as well as during special occasions such as St. Marie day, St. Charbel’s and others – we have several saints in Lebanon.

“Tamr” in Arabic originally means date, but this recipe has nothing to do with dates. It’s made of a dough filled with a mixture of semolina and milk with sugar, fried and dusted with icing sugar.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 2 and a half cups of flour
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup oil

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 cup semolina
  • 5 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flower blossom water
  • about 2 cups frying oil
  • icing sugar for dusting


  • Sift the flour with salt, add water and mix until you have a soft dough
  • Cut the dough into small pieces, put them in a oiled tray, and pour some oil over the dough, cover the tray and let it rest for about 2 hours

  • In the meantime prepare the filling: In a pot, place the semolina with sugar and milk, put on fire and let it boil stirring consantly
  • After boiling add the flower blossom water and place the filling on a tray and let it cool

  • Take a piece of the dough and roll it very thinly, brush oil over it and cut into square, place a tablespoon of he filling in the center of the dough, fold the four corners overlapping them

  • When you finish filling all the dough, heat the oil and fry them until golden brown, dust them with icing sugar and enjoy eating while still hot


Red Lentil Cakes

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written something, but the summer feeling has taken over, and family get-togethers and trips are filling up my days leaving me very little time to write much. I hope you’re all enjoying these hot, lazy summer days 🙂

This is a recipe I adapted from a french magazine (Nous Deux) and although the original recipe was well-made, the spices had to be modified to suit my young grandchildren.  It’s a lovely, filling recipe and makes a great vegetarian dish.


  • 400 grams red lentil
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 150 grams flour
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 dash paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Boil the lentils in a large casserole filled with water, for about 10 minutes
  • In the meantime, In a casserole heat one tablespoon of oil and fry the carrots, the onion ad garlic for 5 minutes
  • When the lentils are cooked, drain them and add the cumin, paprika and coriander, then season with alt and pepper and puree them with a hand mixer
  • Add the flour to the mixture, form a medium sized balls with your wet hand
  • In a saucepan heat the remaining oil and fry the balls of lentils about five minutes until golden brown, then place on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess of oil
  • Serve them with plain yogurt, it is so refreshing in this hot weather


Spaghetti Gratin With Chicken

While I was thinking about Tabkhet el Yom ( what to cook for lunch today), I checked my fridge and I found boiled chicken and chicken stock. And checked the pantry and found spaghetti. And, always there is cooking cheese and tomato in my fridge. Because, I like from time to time try something new, I decided to cook them together in Lasagna way, but by using the cooked chicken instead of minced beef. And the result was really amazing. The recipe turned out Delicious.


  • 1 packet of 500 grams spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon corn oil ( to be added to the water for boiling spahetti)
  • about 2 cups of shredded boiled chicken, skin and bones removed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 red tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 liter chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup powder milk
  • 1 cup and a half shredded cheese ( I mixed parmesan and gruyere)


  • In a large pot, boil water, add the tablespoon of salt with the tablespoon of oil, boil the spaghetti for 2 minutes less than instructed, drain the spaghetti and wash is with cold water
  • I another pot, heat the oil, fry the onions until light golden, then add the chopped tomatoes, and cook with lid on for about 10 minutes
  • Add the shredded chicken to the tomatoes and onions, season with salt, thyme and mixed herbs and the ketchup, cook for another 10 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 200 C
  • In another pot, boil the chicken stock with the milk powder
  • Dissolve the flour with 1/2 cup of water and add it to the stock, let it boil stirring constantly, reduce the fire and let it cook until it starts thickening, then remove from fire
  • In a tray, place 2 tablespoons from the chicken stock sauce, one layer of spaghetti, half the chicken sauce and cover it with half of the white sauce
  • Repeat the same procedure another time, then top with the shredded cheese and bake for about 30 minutes, until the top becomes golden color
  • Serve it with salad


Homage To My Father… Kibbe With Spinach

Yesterday in Lebanon everybody was celebrating Father’s Day. My dad left us ten years ago and I miss him a lot. I was very close to him and he was the only person who knew what I wanted without me saying anything. When I was young, he treated me like a little princess and I think he spoiled me a bit. I got nostalgic thinking of him, so I decided to make homage to this big man by cooking his favorite meal. His mother used to cook it for him and he’d encourage me to eat it by saying: “if you want to grow strong, you should have this kibbe. The spinach has a lot of iron and it will make you strong like your Papa”.

Ok, I want to stop being emotional and post the recipe that I took from my grandmother.


  • 1 kilo fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fine bulgur
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 large onions, chopped into wings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • an dash of chili pepper (optional)


  • Wash the spinach leaves and boil in hot water for 2 minutes, drain then wash with cold water and keep in the strainer until needed
  • To make the kibbe dough, wash the bulgur and discard the water then mix the bulgur with flour, salt, cinnamon, paprika and cumin to form a soft dough (add water if needed); mix it it with the grated onion
  • Take a small piece from the dough, shape it into a small ball then flatten it, place it on  slightly floured plate; repeat until all the dough is used
  • Boil the kibbe dough in hot water for about 15 minutes
  • Heat the olive oil and fry the wing chopped onions until golden brown
  • Add the boiled spinach and the kibbe dough to the frying pan, let it cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally
  • To serve place the kibbe with spinach on a plate and sprinkle some chili pepper if used



Potato Gratin And Chicken Escalope With Caramelized Onions

It is not a secret if I say that many of our Lebanese dishes originated from France. After more then seventy years of French Occupation, it is very expected that we have learnt much of their cuisine. Personally, I love gratin dishes. I previously posted Nouilles and Moussaka, both of which are gratin dishes. Today I made potato gratin, the way I like it. Its inspired by Potato Dauphinois but instead of garlic, I used onion and grated cheese. I made it as a side dish with chicken escalope topped with caramelized onions, which adds a nice flavor to the chicken. I hope you like this recipe as much as I enjoyed preparing and eating it 🙂

Ingredients for potato gratin:

  • 1kilo potato
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • salt, seven spices
  • dash of freshly ground nutmeg
  • about 1 cup and a half of grated cheese (I used gruyere and mozzarella)

Preparation of the potato gratin:

  • Wash the potatoes and place in a big pot with about tw0 liters of water and a teaspoon of salt to boil for 10 minutes after the water starts boiling (we want the potato to be half cooked only)
  • Remove the potatoes from the water, peel it, slice it and keep aside
  • In another pot prepare the white sauce: melt the butter then add the flour and mix it well; next add the milk gradually whisking constantly until the mixture starts boiling and thickening, then add the nutmeg and one teaspoon salt
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • In a tray, place one layer of the potato and sprinkle with a dash of salt and spices. Top it off with some sliced onions and a third of the white sauce; repeat this procedure to make another layer
  • For the third layer, repeat the last step with the exception of the onion; top it off with the grated cheese
  • Bake in the oven about 25-30 minutes until the top turns nice golden color

Ingredients for the caramelized onions:

  • 2 medium sized onions, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn oil

Preparation of the onions:

  • In a saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onions until golden
  • Add the sugar and keep frying and stirring until all the onions are coated with sugar
  • Add the vinegar and keep the onions on fire until they turn brown (don’t let them burn!)
  • Put the onion over the fried escalope for flavor