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.


Swiss Chard Moutabbal

I posted this recipe previously in Arabic, but today I “re-posted” it in English due to popular demand. Whenever I made Stuffed Swiss chard or Adas bi Hamod, I would keep the stalks and make them this way.


  • 1 bunch Swiss chard stalks
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons Tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • Wash the stems removing any bad ones, wash and chop into 1inch pieces, place in the pot covered with water with some salt and boil
  • When tender, strain and gently crush them with a pestle and mortar
  • Add the garlic and the lemon juice mixing well together
  • Add the above mixture and the tahini to the stems and mix well
  • Put in a serving plate and top with some extra virgin olive oil. Serve with pita bread


Home Made Shawarma

I think a lot of people are familiar with Shawarma, the one we see in the shops who make these delicious sandwiches, where the meat is fixed into a large skew turning on itself electrically to let the meat cook from all sides. The smell of the added spices gives the meat its appetizing aroma. The only problem is they add a lot of fat to the meat to soften it.

Since my children like Shawarma a lot, and so do I, I learned how to make it at home from my mother years ago. Everytime I prepare it I remember my small son when was three years old, and whenever I used to ask him what he would like to have for dinner he would say”Chamara sandwich”, because at his age he couldn’t pronounce the letters properly. Until now to make a joke out of this story , we still name it chamara. So, enough talking and here is my recipe for a home made chamara, sorry I mean “Shawarma”.


  • 1 kilo of sirloin steak ( faux fillet)
  • 2 tablespoons of shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup of red vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of wole cardamon
  • 1 teaspoon of clove


  • In a saucepan heat the shortening and fry the steak until they turn into a nice brown color, and place them when fried on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess of shortening
  • Cut the fried steak into fine strips, place them in a tray. Cover them with the oil, vinegar and lemon and put all the spices
  • Cover in aluminium oil and place the tray in the fridge for few hours
  • Preheat the oven to 220 C, place the tray and leave it for 30 minutes with the aluminium foil on, then remove it and leave the tray in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the meat is tender
  • Remove the Shawarma pieces from the tray without all the spices

Now the Shawarma meat is ready. To serve it, cut onions into wings and sprinkle sumac over them, slice tomatoes, wash few leaves of parsley and fresh mint, and some cucumber pickles.

The most important thing to have Shawarma with is the “taratour dip”, which is a mixture of one cup of tahini, and one clove of garlic crushed with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and juice of one lemon, to be mixed all together with water until they have the consistency of yogurt.

You can have the Shawarma in pita bread as a sandwich with all the vegetables topped with the taratour dip..And roll it.


Hummus with Ras Asfour

I believe that everybody is familiar with our traditional plate Hummus (Chick Peas with Tahini). Lebanon entered the Guinness Book of World Records when our Lebanese Chef’s prepared the biggest plate of Hummus ever. However, I don’t think that many of you know what is Ras Asfour, which translated literally means “the head of the bird”. Ironically, it is actually sheep’s meat cut into small sized pieces, nearly as big as a bird’s head, hence the name. Today I made a plate combining hummus with the Ras Asfour meat.

I brought the meat from the butcher in small cuts and I cut it into even smaller pieces. Sheep meat is not lean, so I had to remove some of the fat, but leave enough to keep the meat tender.

Note that you can eat these two separately and each will taste delicious on it’s own.

Ingredients for the Hummus:

  • 2 cups of chick peas
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of Tahini
  • 3 lemon squeezed, salt
  • 2 clove of crushed garlic

Preparation for the Hummus:

  • Soak the chick peas in a large bowl of water and baking soda, for 12 hours at least. The peas will increase volume after soaking.
  • Drain them from the water, wash thoroughly and boil in salted water. It will take about one hour and a half for the chick peas to be cooked. When you see a white foam forming on the top of the water, remove it and keep boiling
  • When the chick peas are soft, drain from the water again and mash them, you can use whatever you have for this purpose (a food processor, blender, etc)
  • Add the crushed garlic, the salt, the Tahini and the lemon juice and mix well. Adjust the taste of salt and lemon as you desire

Now that the Hummus is ready you can prepare the meat of Ras Asfour.

Ingredients for the Ras Asfour meat:

  • 200 grams of tender sheep meat cut into small size
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of grenadine of molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon seven spices


  • In a small saucepan heat the oil and fry the onion
  • When it becomes golden color add the meat and fry until it turns very dark, add a small cup of water and cover, let it cook on very low heat until the meat is tender
  • When it is done add the salt, seven spices and the grenadine of molasses

Now that you have everything ready, place the chick peas in a plate, On he top put the cooked meat. For decoration and taste, add some fried pine seeds on the top of the meat and some olive oil.


Baba Gannouj (Batenjan Mtabbal) And Potato Wedges

My children always tell me “Mum, do you know why we love your food?” And their answer is always “because you cook with love”. I believe that we have to do everything with passion to succeed; doing something for duty’s sake alone will never make any real achievement. I always remember this while I am cooking, and I feel happy especially when I am making something I know that my children enjoy. This is why I made today two side plates with the salad beside the main dish, because my son loves my Batenjan Mtabbal and he is inviting a friend of his for dinner.

The eggplant with Tahini is a main late from our Lebanese Mezze and it is very appetizing.


  • 2 large eggplant
  • 2 clove of garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup Tahini
  • one lemon squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Some pomegranate seeds for decoration
  • olive oil


  • Grill the eggplants til it looks wrinkled and soft. Let them cool, then peel them and crush them
  • Add the crushed garlic and salt to the eggplant and mix well with the spoon
  • Add the Tahini and the lemon juice, mix and adjust the amounts to taste (if you like more salt and lemon)
  • Place the eggplants in a serving plate and decorate with the pomegranate seed and some olive oil

Potato Wedges are very popular all over the world there’s a million ways to make it. Today I prepared it with some extra spices than what I usually use, and it turned out quite good:

  • For 4 potatoes’ worth, I mix: 2 tablespoon of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of ground onion, 1 teaspoon of ground garlic, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon salt, a pinch of black pepper and 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan
  • Marinate the potatoes in this mix for an hour in the fridge
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees then cook the potatoes for about 30 minutes


Kafta with Tahini

About a month ago, I posted the recipe for Kafta with Potatoes. But there is many other ways to cook this lovely meat: it can be grilled on a barbecue, put in a pita bread and cooked in the oven and many other different ways as well. Today I prepared it with Tahini. I remember my grandmother used to cook it for us when we would go over her house for dinner, and I liked it a lot. It’s a less common way to prepare Kafta, but it is very tasty. Try it yourself!


  • 500 grams of minced meat
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 cup of Tahini
  • 3 lemons squeezed
  • salt, seven spices
  • frying oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Some pine seeds


  • Mix the minced meat with chopped parsley and chopped onion in a food processor (or you can take it ready from the butcher if he knows how)
  • Season with 1 small tsp salt and 1/2 tsp seven spices
  • Preheat the oven at 180C, grease a tray, place the Kafta in thin layer and flatten it with a wet hand
  • Put it in the oven for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, peel the potatoes and cut them into thin slices
  • Fry the potatoes until golden
  • Mix the Tahini with one cup of water, the lemon juice and salt; flavor to your taste
  • Take the Kafta from the oven, place the fried potatoes over the meat, and cover them with the Tahini sauce
  • Place in the oven for about 30 minutes until the sauce thickens
  • While waiting for the food in the oven to cook, roast the pine seeds in a sauce pan
  • Serve it with cooked rice and sprinkle the roasted the pine seeds over it



Falafel is our traditional “take away sandwich”. It is like a vegetarian hamburger made in the Lebanese way. I remember when I was in complementary school, during our long  lunch break once a week, two of my best friends and I managed to escape from school to go down town and buy a Falafel sandwich and a bottle of Pepsi Cola, and we would come back to school and enjoy our lunch. I was amazed by the way the man could fry them so fast and then roll them quickly with vegetables in the pita to make a delicious sandwich. And above all this, I was totally in love with the smell of the frying pieces of Falafel.

I thought that it was very complicated to make them at home. But when I grew up I figured out the recipe so I can enjoy eating them any time I wanted to right at home.

A few years ago however, I found the perfect recipe for a home made Falafel. I want to share this with you.


  • 1 cup of chick peas
  • 2 cups of crushed beans(fava beans)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon Falafel spices
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • oil for frying


  • Soak the chick peas and the crushed beans separately in 2 bowls of water for 24 hours
  • Drain the water and place them, separately in a food processor and mix well
  • Mix the crushed garlic with the fresh coriander and the onion
  • Mix all the ingredients together, season with salt, Falafel spices and the baking soda
  • Heat the oil, take a small piece of the Falafel mixture and put it in the special dispenser (called aleb falafel) and deep fry them until brown color
  • You can eat them with all kinds of vegetables you like: tomatoes, parsley, onion, pickles and lettuce, but the most important is the dip for the Falafel, the taratour

The dip(Taratour preparation):

  • Crush 2 cloves of garlic with salt, add 1 cup of tahini and mix with about 2 cups of water, then press 1 lemon and mix it with them
  • Adjust the lemon and salt to your taste.