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


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.


Chicken Stew With Olives

From time to time, I like to try new recipes, especially when I want to make chicken. A friend of mine who lives in a village, invited me once for lunch. And among the food she prepared, she made this chicken stew with olives as a main dish which we enjoyed a lot. I took the recipe and tried it at home. It was so good and so I decided to share the recipe with you today.


  • 1 whole chicken for about 1.5 kilo
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • about 10 baby onions
  • 1 cup black olives, seed removed and sliced


  • Mix the coriander, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, saffron, turmeric, basil, lemon and marinate the chicken with this mixture for around 10 minutes
  • Heat the oil in a pot and fry the chicken from all sides until it becomes golden
  • Add the onion and the olives, cover the chicken with about 4 cups of water and let it cook on a medium heat, when the water starts boiling, reduce the fire, cover the pot and let it cook until the chicken softens (to save time you can use a pressure cooker)
  • When cooked, place the chicken in a plate with all the vegetables with olives around
  • You can drain the remaining water and use it to cook rice with this stock, the rice will be flavorful


Potato Stew With Meat

When me and my siblings were young, and for as long as I remember my mother used to make this meal at least once a month. She liked to have HEALTHY children. And by healthy I mean she wanted us to be  fat!

Regardless, there is nothing more comforting than tucking into a bowl of hot stew, especially as the warm weather starts to cool down and we need crave some warming comfort food. We Lebanese always serve our stews with rice, but if you feel that you would rather not it tastes just as good without.


  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 200 grams beef cube
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil


  • In a large pot of pressure cooker, heat 1 tablespoon oil and fry the meat, add 1 teaspoon salt, half teaspoon seven spices, cover with 6 cups water and cook until tender
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes
  • Heat the frying oil, fry the potatoes until golden, remove the potatoes from the oil and place on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess of oil
  • In a pot, place the cooked meat, cover them with some of the meat stock, add the potatoes and the tomato puree, and let it cook on medium fire
  • In the meantime, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a casserole, mix the crushed garlic with the fresh and dried coriander, fry them in the casserole
  • When the stew starts boiling add the fried garlic and the lemon juice and let it cook on low fire or further 5 minutes
  • Serve with cooked rice


Makmoura (Rice with Cabbage)

This meal is very special to me. It reminds me of my childhood as my grandmother prepared it often, and I always enjoy eating it with a cabbage salad. Also, once when I was pregnant with my youngest boy (my fourth child:), I had a nap in the afternoon and when I woke up craving something with cumin. It is all about cumin. When I woke up, I cooked this Makmoura and on my plate I have to add a big tablespoon of cumin to satisfy my desire. Until now, I like this meal a lot. And I am so glad to share it with you, it is very simple to prepare.


  • One medium cabbage
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 8 to 10 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Remove the leaves of cabbage, wash and thinly slice, remove about half for the salad
  • Heat the olive oil, fry the onion until translucent, add the garlic then the cabbage, cover the pot and let it cook for about 5 minutes
  • Add the rice, cover with 4 cups of water, season with salt and cumin. When it starts boiling lower the fire, cover and let it simmer gently until the rice is well cooked
  • Serve with cabbage salad: put the cabbage in a bowl and mix with 1 clove garlic crushed, 1 teaspoon salt, juice of one lemon and extra virgin olive oil


Grilled Kafta and Potato Salad

Today, the weather is very nice, sunny with a little breeze, just the spring time before the venue of the summer. This is why I decided to make something quick and yummy for lunch today, to have time to enjoy going out on this lovely day. I thought grilled kafta with boiled potato salad and cherry tomato salad would be a perfect combination. In previous posts I cooked the kafta in the oven with potatoes and tomato sauce, and also with tahini. Today is a new way of making the kafta.


  • 500 grams kafta ( 500 grams minced beef mixed with a small onion finely chopped and 1 cup of chopped parsley and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon seven spices)
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon corn oil
  • 1 kilo boiled potatoes
  • 4 spring onion, sliced
  • 1  red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • a few cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • With a wet hand take a small ball of kafta meat and put it on a wooden skewer, when all the meat is finished place the skewers in a tray, put on the sides the slices of tomato, and teaspoon of corn oil in the tray
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, turning the skewers half way
  • To make the salad, cut the boiled potatoes in cubes, add the chopped parsley, sliced spring onions and the diced red pepper
  • Season with salt, lemon juice and the olive oil and mix well


Steak With Garlic And Cherry Tomato Salad

Every once in a while I like to have a light dinner, myself and my son. Especially after heavy meals for few days in a row. 🙂 This is why last night,  I decided to make for dinner just a salad and steak. I chosen to make the steak with garlic and lemon, as for the  salad I made it with cherry tomatoes which are in season and has a nice lemony taste.

Ingredients for the steak: 

  • 4 pieces of sirloin steak
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil


  • Rub the meat with salt and pepper
  • In a saucepan heat the butter and oil and fry the meat until brown
  • Mix the crushed garlic with lemon and put over the steaks
  • Dissolve the corn flour with a half cup of cold water then add it to the steak, lower the flame and let it simmer until the water evaporates

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 300 grams of cherry tomato
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley
  • 3 or 4 green onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half
  • Slice the green onions
  • Finely chop the parsley
  • Mix in a salad bowl and add the dressing: salt, balsamic vinegar and olive oil mixed together and you salad is ready



Stuffed Intestines (Fwaregh)

This is one of the most exquisite traditional Lebanese Meals. In the old days people would use every piece of the sheep – waste not, want not. After making sure they used all the meat for cooking in many different ways, they used the wool, the head, the bones, etc… and even the intestines. They found a way to stuff it and cook it in a DELICIOUS recipe. When my mother used to make it, every body knew that she was making Fwaregh for lunch, because while cooking, this meal has a very special and nice aroma.

The main work consists of cleaning the intestines. It has to be washed in running water several times. The extra fat stocking on the sides shall be removed, keeping the small parts because it helps keep it moist while cooking. After washing (from inside and outside) it should be rubbed with salt and water, then soak in water and white vinegar for an hour (1 cup of vinegar for 4 cups of water). Now it is ready for stuffing and cooking.

Ingredients: (for two whole intestines):

  • 300 grams of minced meat, beef or lamb (I used beef)
  • 2 cups of small grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 cup of soaked chick peas ( or 1 cup of pine seeds, as you desire)
  • 1 medium onion, choppped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 peeled onion
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the meat for few minutes ( until it changes color only)
  • Wash the rice, mix it with meat, chopped onion, chick peas then add the salt and spices
  • Hold the intestine from the smaller end, then start stuffing, pushing it into the opening of the intestines with your thumb. This way, when you finish stuffing the intestine will be inside out
  • When all the quantity is finished, place them in a large bowl and wash them again, now they are ready to be cooked
  • Place the stuffed intestines in a large pot, cover with a lot of water and boil on a high fire. Remove the white foam formed on the top, add 1 peeled onion, cinnamon stick,salt, 3 bay leaves and cook on a very reduced flame for about 45 minutes, until the intestines are tender
  • Serve it with crushed 2 cloves of garlic mixed with 1/2 teaspoon salt, juice of 2 lemons and few drops of extra virgin olive oil, or with red vinegar.


Baked Mashed Potatoes With Meat

This is a very smooth dish, easy to digest and generally liked by all. Boiled potatoes, mashed  and baked in the oven with cooked minced meat. We enjoy it best when eating with a good salad.


  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 150 grams minced beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • a handful of pine seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine molasses
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • about 1/2 cup bread crumbs


  • Boil the potatoes until tender, peel and mash, if the potato is dry you may add a little of water while mashing it, season with 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Heat the oil in a casserole and fry the onion for two minutes then add the pine seeds (if used) until it turns golden and finally add the meat and fry it until brown, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, seven spices and the molasses (this is a key ingredient for the flavor)
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Butter a tray, place half of the mashed potatoes in the tray, with a wet hand flatten the surface of potatoes
  • Place the cooked meat, then cover it with the remaining mashed potatoes with wet hand
  • Brush the soft remaining butter on the top of potatoes then sprinkle the bread crumbs
  • Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until it turns golden color

As for salad, today I mixed chopped cabbage with sliced cucumber and tomatoes. For the dressing I crushed two cloves of garlic with salt, mixed with one lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil… DELICIOUS..


Stuffed Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke is the kind of vegetable you can have fun with.:) Usually we boil it and we strip the leaves one by one and dip it in a mixture of one crushed garlic with a dash of salt, lemon juice and olive oil, it is delicious. Also we can make a stew of artichokes with lamb meat. And like i did it during the family lunch… I stuffed the  artichokes hearts with minced meat, and I assure you that this recipe is healthy, nutritious and very tasty.


  •  8 whole pieces of artichoke
  • 200 grams minced beef
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • handful of pine seeds
  • 2 medium carrot peeled and cut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • Boil the artichokes in salted water until they start to soften. Peel the leaves, cut off the stems, and keep the hearts. Place them in a tray with the carrots
  • Prepare the stuffing by frying in the heated oil the onion, then add the meat and the pine seeds. Season with salt and the seven spices
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Place a generous tablespoon of the filling in the heart of artichoke and press gently down
  • Prepare the sauce to cover them , mix the flour with a cup of water then add it to about one liter of water and pour gently over the stuffed hearts
  • Add the lemon juice, bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the sauce boils and starts thickening
  • Serve it with cooked rice (if desired)