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.

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


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


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 Croquette

When I was about ten years old, I spent one summer day with my 2 cousins and my aunt in her house in the mountain. Me and my cousins were playing very loudly and my aunt got annoyed at us. She offered to cook potato croquette, something we loved as kids, on a condition: we help her make them. Very interested to help cooking something we love, we stopped playing noisily and did as she asked.  We had to boil the potatoes, peel them and mash them with a fork since we didn’t had any masher to use. It took us a lot of time to prepare but when the potato croquettes were ready, we enjoyed eating them thinking that it was the best meal we ever had  🙂


  • 1 kilo potato
  • 1 or 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups frying oil


  • Boil the potato, peel them and mash them
  • Place the egg in a shallow plate, mixed with salt and pepper and the bread crumbs in another shallow plate
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan
  • Shape a medium sized ball from the mashed potato and flatten it, dip it in the egg then in the bread crumbs
  • Fry the breaded potatoes in the hot oil until golden brown, then drain it on a kitchen towel to remove the excess oil


Mdardra (Rice with Lentils)

I like the sound of the word “Mdardra”, I think it is musical. I remember when I was a little girl, I made up a song for this dish. And every time my mother used to cook it I sang it for her, making up words to a known Lebanese tune. My mother thought it was cute at first and sang along with me, but after the millionth time, she threatened to never cook it again unless I stop! I think I was singing badly or something…

This is a very simple meal in that its made with two main ingredients: rice and lentils, the same ingredients used to make mjaddara. Like most old Lebanese dishes, it originated from the villages where food was scarce. Somehow it remained very popular and is now a common dish to be had in a Lebanese home.


  • 1 cup of lentils
  • 1 cup of rice (long grain)
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt + a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 1 cup frying oil


  • Place the lentils in a pot, cover with about 5 cups of water and boil until it is half-cooked then discard the water
  • In another pot, heat the olive oil and fry the onion finely chopped until transparent
  • Add the half-cooked lentils to the onion with the rice, salt and cumin; cover with 2 cups of water and let it cook on a very low heat until the rice is cooked and the water absorbed
  • In a saucepan, heat the frying oil to fry the sliced onions until brown. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt for crispiness but be careful not to burn them
  • In a serving plate, place the rice with lentils and add the fried onions on top
  • Enjoy eating with plain yogurt or salad


Fried Zucchini and Eggplant with Egg Free Shakshouka

Today I felt nostalgic for the good old days, when I was young and my grandmother used to make delicious food for me and my siblings. Maybe because it is Mother Day in many countries (we celebrate in Lebanon on the 21st of March with the beginning of spring). I remembered that I didn’t like the fried zucchini so grandmother dipped them in a batter before frying, which I found made it delicious.

Before posting, I did some research on Google to find  out about the meaning of Shakshouka, and I found that this is a very popular dish in a lot of Mediterranean countries. Many dishes of Lebanese Cuisine have a Turkish source. I assume that during the Ottoman occupation of these countries, some of their plates passed around. Most of these countries make the Shakshouka as a main dish with eggs on top, and that in Syria they call it Jaz Maz. But, in my family we have it as a side dish along with the fried zucchini, eggplants and other fried vegetables, sans egg. Whatever the source of this dish is, it will always be associated with nice memories from my childhood.

Ingredients for the Shakshouka:

  • 2 green peppers
  • 4 red tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried coriander
  • a pinch of chili pepper (if you like it more spicy, you can put more chili)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil



  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for 2 minutes
  • Dice the green pepper and fry with the onion for 3 extra minutes
  • Peel the tomatoes and dice them very small and add over the green pepper and the onion, reduce the fire and cover the casserole and let it simmer
  • In the meantime mix the garlic with salt, dried coriander and the chili and add it over the tomatoes and green pepper, mix well all the ingredients and let it cook for about 5 minutes
  • Serve it as a side dish with fried zucchini and eggplants

Ingredients of the batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation of the batter:

  • Mix all the ingredients together
  • Cut all the vegetable you want to fry: zucchini, eggplant, dip in the batter and deep fry for about 5 minutes until golden
Fried zucchini

Fried eggplant


Vegetable Spring Rolls

If you like Spring Rolls like me, and have been looking for an alternative way to having them other than deep fried without compromising the taste….then this is the post for you!


  • 1 packet spring rolls wrapper ( about 450 grams)
  • 500 grams shredded cabbage
  • 400 grams bean sprout
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of sweet pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • Heat the oil and fry the onion with garlic until golden, add the carrots and leave it for about 10 minutes, then add the cabbage and bean sprouts, season with salt pepper and soy sauce
  • Drain these vegetables in a colander over a bowl and leave it until completely cold, keep the liquid because we will use it to make to sauce
  • Place one spring roll wrap and put in the center 1 tablespoon of the vegetable filling ten roll it
  • These spring rolls can be eaten raw with the sauce

For the sauce:

  • Take the liquid from the drained vegetables, add 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon corn flour, mix it well then bring to boil
  • When it starts boiling add to the sauce one clove of garlic crushed, and 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts
  • And if you like you can have them deep fried as well, with the sauce you like


Stuffed Vine Leaves in Oil ( Warak Inab Bilzeit)

This is a vegetarian recipe, and I must say that Stuffed Vine leaves in Olive Oil is an essential dish from our rich Lebanese Mezze. It is so delicious and light that you can easily eat a small plate alone before having your main meal. Last week when I brought a large quantity of fresh vine leaves to make them stuffed with meat and cooked with lamb cutlets, I  was left with a lot. So I put the remaining in the freezer, where they can usually last up to six months. When we had the family lunch I took a pile from the vine leaves and made them the vegetarian way. And believe me my children made them disappear within just few minutes.


  • 100 grams of vine leaves, blanched and ready to cook ( you can use the preserved ones too)
  • 1/2 cup of short grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil+ one extra tablespoon for cooking
  • your choice of thinly sliced vegetable, such as onion, tomato, carrot or even potato (I used sliced onions)


  • Prepare the stuffing by mixing the washed rice with the parsley, onion, tomato, salt, spices lemon juice and the olive oil well
  • Place a vine leave face down and stuff it with one teaspoon of the mixture of rice for filling in the center, fold the two sides toward the center then roll it in a cigar shape
  • When you finish all the quantity of the vine leaves and stuffing, prepare the pot, place the tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of the pot, cover the base of the pot with your choice of sliced vegetable, place all the stuffed vine leaves in the pot
  • Pour water to cover the vine leaves by about one inch, place a plate upside down over them to prevent the vine leaves from opening during cooking. Adjust the salt and lemon as desired
  • Cook on a medium heat and when it starts boiling reduce the fire and let it cook gently for about 25 minutes until the rice is cooked and tender
  • Turn upside down on a plate and it’s ready to serve


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