Lebanese Cuisine Recipes

Some of our favourite original recipes that can be prepared with Adonis Spices.

Lebanese cuisine is more than just a collection of dishes - it is a festival of delicious appetizers, rich appealing tastes, enticing colours and warm hospitality. From the evergreen mountains to fields of Lebanon, each region brings its own unique flavors that transcend borders within the country and across the world. So it doesn’t matter how big the table is, a Lebanese mezze can pack a lot within a little!



Fatteh / Chicken with Yoghurt and Chickpeas

Fatteh / Chicken with Yoghurt and Chickpeas

Serves 4


Fatta means "break into pieces" in Arabic and dish is called fatteh because the first layer of this composite dish is made of broken up pieces of toasted or fried pita bread. There are many variations of fatteh, but the broken pieces of bread and the yoghurt topping are a constant theme.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Put the chicken in a sauce pan. Add 1.2 liters water and place over medium heat. As the water is about to boil, skim the surface clean. Add the Adonis cinnamon sticks and salt. Cover the pan and boil gently for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Rinse the chickpeas well. Drain and add to the chicken. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a frying pan and saute the pine nuts, stirring constantly until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a double layer of kitchen paper.

Mix the crushed garlic with the yoghurt. Add salt to taste and set aside. Break the toasted bread into bite-sized pieces and spread over the bottom of a serving dish.

Remove the chicken from the stock. Take the meat off the bone, discarding the skin, and shred into bite-sized pieces. Spread over the bread. Remove the chickpeas with a slotted spoon and spread over the chicken. Sprinkle with a little stock and spoon the yoghurt all over. Garnish with the sauteed pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Kaftah / Minced Meat Kebabs

Kaftah / Minced Meat Kebabs

Serves 4


Kaftah is traditionally molded onto skewers to make a kind of minced meat Sausage but you can just as easily shape it into patties or meat balls to either grill or cook over the stove, preferably in a non-stick pan.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Put the onion and parsley in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl; add the minced lamb, Adonis kaftah spices and salt . Mix well with your hands until well blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Divide the meat into 12 equal portions.

Pre-heat your grill to high, or prepare a charcoal barbecue.

Roll each portion of kaftah into a ball. Place one ball of kaftah in the palm of your hand, take a long skewer, preferably a flat one as the meat will hold better onto it, and start wrapping the meat around the skewer, squeezing it upwards, then downwards to bind it around the skewer in the shape of a long sausage. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the meat is done to your liking.

Mix the ingredients for the salad garnish together. Season with salt and Adonis Sumac to taste. Arrange the two layers of pita, one on top of the other, rough side up. Spread the garnish over the bread. Then slide the kaftah off the skewers onto the salad garnish. Serve immediately.

Kibbeh Bil-Saniyeh / Baked Kibbeh

Kibbeh Bil-Saniyeh / Baked Kibbeh

Serves 6


Kibbeh is one of Lebanon's great national dishes and until the arrival of the food processor, the meat was pounded by hand in a marble or stone mortar (jorn) with a wooden pestlem(m'daqqa). Because of the time and effort involved in its preparation, kibbeh was - and still is - a festive dish. It is a highly seasoned mixture of finely minced lamb, burghul and very finely chopped onion. When it is served raw, kibbeh is made with less burghul and a handful of crushed basil or mint leaves are added to give the meat a fresh, fragrant flavor. A little liyeh (fat from the sheep's tail) is also added to make it more velvety.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Melt the butter in a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Saute the pine nuts, stirring constantly until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a double layer of kitchen paper. Saute the chopped onion in the same butter until soft and transparent. Add the minced meat and cook until it loses all traces of pink. Keep mashing and stirring the meat with the back of a wooden spoon or fork so that it separates well and does not form lumps. Remove from the heat. Season with the Adonis Kibbeh Spices and salt to taste. Add the pine nuts. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside.

Put the quartered onion in a food processor and until very finely chopped. Add the minced meat, Adonis Kibbeh Spices and salt to taste and process together until smooth. Prepare a bowl of lightly salted water and have it on hand.

Wash the burghul in two or three changes of cold water. Drain well and add to the meat. Mix with your hand; dipping it every now and then in the salted water to moisten both your hand and the kibbeh. Knead until the mixture is well blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Grease a deep baking dish about 30x20x5 cm with a little butter. Preheat the oven to 180° C.

Divide the kibbeh in two equal parts. Moisten your hands in the salted water and pinch off a handful of kibbeh from one piece. Flatten it between your palms to a thickness of about 1 cm and place on the bottom of the baking dish, starting from one edge. Smooth it evenly with your fingers. Pinch off another handful from the same piece of kibbe. Flatten and lay next to the first piece, slightly overlapping it. Dip your fingers in water and smooth the pieces together until the joint disappears. Be sure to connect the kibbeh pieces well so that they do not come apart during cooking. Continue the above process until you have covered the bottom of the pan. Go over the whole layer with moistened fingers to even it out.

Spread the stuffing evenly over the kibbeh and make a top layer, using the other half of the kibbeh and laying it over the stuffing in the same way as with the bottom layer. You may find the top layer slightly more difficult to do as you will be laying it over the loose stuffing instead of the smooth surface of the baking dish. Do not worry. You will soon get the hang of it.

Cut the pie into quarters, then with a knife make shallow incisions to draw a geometric pattern across the top of each quarter. The decoration work is time consuming and can be omitted without affecting the taste, although the presentation will be less attractive and less traditional. Press your index finger in the middle to make a hole. Place a knob of butter over the hole and one knob of butter over each of the quarters. Insert a round-pointed knife between the edge of the kibbeh and the side of the pan and slide it all alongside the edge to detach the kibbeh from the sides of the pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pie has shrunk and the meat is just done. Serve hot or warm with a yoghurt and cucumber salad.

Mehshi Batenjan / Stuffed eggplants

Mehshi Batenjan / Stuffed eggplants

Serves 4-6


The recipe below is for eggplants but you can replace these with courgettes, bell peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots or potatoes, and of course vine leaves. Or you can prepare a selection of more than one of the vegetables to cook in the same pan.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Cut off and discard the stem ends of the eggplants and remove any husk still covering the skin.

Take one eggplants, pinch the skin between your thumb and index finger at the middle fat end and gently detach it from the bulb. Continue pinching, moving upwards to about 1 or 2 cm short of the top, then as far down as you can. Push the loose skin round to the firm side and continue pinching until it is loose all around.

Insert the corer into the cut top as lose to the edge as possible, about 2 or 3 mm inside the skin, and gently push in until it meets no resistance. Take the corer out, insert it again right next to the first insertion and repeat until you have cut a rosette all around the inside.

Hold the bottom end of the eggplants with your fingers, pinch the skin loose and slowly squeeze out the bulb- do this gently, or else the top of the eggplants will split open. Put the bulb on a plate and scrape the inside and bottom of the eggplants with the corer to remove the last pits of bulb, being careful not to pierce the skin.

Plunge the emptied hull in a bowl of cold water so it fills the inside. Core the rest of the eggplants and let soak in the water while you prepare the stuffing.

Wash the rice in two or three changes of cold water. Drain and put in a mixing bowl. Add the minced meat and squeeze the fresh tomatoes with your hands over the meat and rice, extracting as much juice and pulp as you can. Place the skins on the bottom of the pan in which you will cook the stuffed vegetables. If you are using canned tomatoes, use shopped ones and pour straight over the meat and rice. Season with the Adonis Cinnamon, Adonis Allspice, Adonis Black Pepper and salt to taste. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Line the bottom of a saucepan, which should be large enough to take the stuffed eggplants half standing comfortably, with the lamb bones (which should be rinsed under cold water). Spread the sliced or canned tomatoes and hall eggplants pulps (if any) over the bones.

Drain and rinse the eggplants under cold water. Take one and hold it up right, cupping your hand around it. Pick up a little filling with the other hand and gently push it inside the eggplants, using your fingers to force it inside. Every now and then shake the eggplants in a downward gesture to make sure the filling is well inside it (or push the filling in with your little finger). Fill three quarters of the eggplants -the rice will expend as it cooks - and put in the pan with the open end slightly raised.

Continue filling and arranging the eggplants, first around the side of the pan than on the inside - they should all fit comfortably in one half - standing layer. If you have any stuffing left, cook it separately in double its volume of water and serve on the side.

Add water to the pan, until about 2 cm short from the open tops. Add salt to taste, bearing in mind that the stuffing is already seasoned. Cover the pan and place over a medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and boil gently for 45 minutes or until the stuffing is done.

Once done, let the eggplants set covered for about 10 minutes before transferring carefully onto a serving dish. Ladle some juice and eggplants pulp (if any) into a sauce boat and serve hot with pita bread, the sauce and a bowl of yoghurt.

Moughrabiyeh / Spiced Lebanese Couscous with Chicken, Lamb and Baby Onions

Moughrabiyeh / Spiced Lebanese Couscous with Chicken, Lamb and Baby Onions

Serves 4-6


Lebanese couscous is quite different from the North African couscous. The grains are bigger, more like small beads, and you can buy them fresh, as with fresh pasta. However only the dried variety is available outside Lebanon. It is just as good as the fresh moughrabiyeh that is available in Lebanon.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Put the chicken in a large saucepan. Add 1.2 liters water. Put the lamb meat in another pan. Add 600 ml water to the lamb. Place each pan over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Just as the water is about to boil, skim the surface clean in both pans. Then add 3 Adonis cinnamon sticks and 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt to the chicken. Add 1 Adonis cinnamon sticks, ½ tablespoon salt and ½ teaspoon Adonis ground cinnamon to the lamb. Reduce the heat to medium under both pans. Boil gently for 1 to 1 ¼ hours.

Put the dried moughrabiyeh in a bowl, cover with boiling water and let it sit for 15 minutes. Stir as soon as you add the water so that grains do not stick together.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Drain the moughrabiyeh and saute in the butter until the grains are well coated. Set aside.

Fifteen minutes before the chicken is ready, add the baby onions to the chicken. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until the onions are tender and the chicken is done. Add the chickpeas to the lamb.

Transfer the chicken onto a carving board. Cut into 4 or 8 pieces. Discard the skin and keep warm. With a slotted spoon, transfer the onions from the pan and add to the moughrabiyeh. Strain the chicken stock. With a slotted spoon, remove both lamb and chickpeas and add to the moughrabiyeh. Add 150 ml chicken stock to the moughrabiyeh and season with Adonis moughrabiyeh spices and salt to taste. Mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly. If the moughrabiyeh is too al dente, add more stock and cook until it is done to your liking. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a preheated serving dish. Arrange the chicken pieces over the moughrabiyeh. Serve immediately.

Samkeh Harrah / Spicy Baked Fish

Samkeh Harrah / Spicy Baked Fish

Serves 4-6


Samkeh Harrah is specialty of Tripoli, a coastal city north of Beirut and Lebanon's second largest city. The fish is served at room temperature, making it an ideal dish to include in a cold buffet or summer meal. Any of the following fish are suitable for use here: Sea Bass, Sea Bream, Grey Mullet, Cod, Grouper, John Dory, and even Pike, which, although a fresh water fish, has a delicate, firm white flesh that works very well with the stuffing.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Pull the gills out of the fish without damaging the head. Rinse in cold water. Pat dry with kitchen paper and rub with a little salt, inside and out.

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Put the garlic cloves in a food processor, together with the Adonis Hot Fish Spices ground coriander and a pinch of salt. Process until fine. Add the nuts and grind until medium fine - do not pulverize into a fine powder, as the stuffing should retain a nice crunch. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the chopped coriander, onion, tomato, olive oil and lemon juice. Add salt to taste. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Sew up about 5 cm of the fish belly, starting from the tail end, to begin forming the pocket for the stuffing. Use a thick thread and prick the needle well inside the edge of the flesh so that it does not come apart during cooking. Put as much stuffing as you can inside the fish and into its mouth, then sew up the rest of the belly to close it. You can use tooth picks or mini metal skewers to close the fish but the presentation will not be a nice as with the sides sewn.

Grease a large baking dish with a little olive oil. Place the fish inside it. Wrap left over stuffing in aluminium foil and place next to the fish. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until the fish is done to your liking.

Fill the prepared tomato halves with the cooled extra stuffing. Arrange around the fish and serve at room temperature.

Sayadiyeh / Lebanese Fish

Sayadiyeh / Lebanese Fish "Risotto"

Serves 4


You can turn this plain sayadiyeh into a "Sayadiyeh Royale" by adding 60g pine nuts - saute the nuts in a little butter until golden brown and stir into the rice just before serving.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Rinse the rice under cold water, then let soak in cold water for about half an hour.

Put the fish heads in a saucepan. Add 900 ml water and place over a medium heat. Just as the water is about to boil, skim the surface clean. Boil gently for 15 minutes.

Rinse the fish filets or steaks in cold water. Pat them dry with kitchen paper and rub them lightly with salt. Fill a large, non-stick frying pan with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 cm. and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot - dip a piece of bread in the oil; if the oil bubbles around it, it is ready - fry the fish for 1 minute on each side to seal it. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a double layer of kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil.

Add more oil to the pan to deep fry the onions and wait until the oil is very hot before adding the sliced onions. Fry until they caramelize and turn a rich brown - be careful not to let them burn. Remove with a slotted spoon onto several layers of kitchen paper to drain off any excess oil. Spread the onions thinly to drain well and become crisp.

Strain the fish stock. Return to the pan and add three quarters of the fried onions. Reserve the rest for the garnish. Bring back to boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the stock takes the color of the onions. Strain the brown stock. Liquidize the onions and return to the stock.

Put the stock and onions in a clean saucepan and place over medium heat. Drain the rice and add to the stock together with any loose fish flakes from the fried filets or steaks. Season with the Adonis Fish Spices and salt to taste and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the rice is done and the liquid is fully absorbed. Place the fish filets on top of the rice. Wrap the lid of the pan with a clean kitchen towel and replace over the pan. Let it sit for a few minutes, or until the fish is done to your liking. Carefully transfer onto a serving dish, making sure you place the fish in top of the rice. Scatter the reserved crisp onions all over. Serve hot or at room temperature with the lemon quarters.

Shish Kebab / Lamb Kebabs

Shish Kebab / Lamb Kebabs

Serves 6


Sunday is kebab day in the Lebanese mountains and these kebabs are often on the menu, served with hummus and salad.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Put the meat in a mixing bowl. Add the Adonis seasonings and salt and to taste. Let it marinate for about 2 hours.

Thread the meat onto 8 skewers, inserting a peeled baby onion in between every two pieces of meat. Grill over high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until done to your liking. Arrange the two layers of pita bread one on top of the other. Slide the meat off the skewers onto the bread. Serve immediately.

Shish Taouk / Chicken Kebabs

Shish Taouk / Chicken Kebabs

Serves 4-6


Here is a wonderful variation on shish kebab, which you can also prepare with drumsticks or chicken wings.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken. Mix in well. Let it marinate for about 2 hours.

Put the chopped garlic and a little salt in a mortar and pound with a pestle until reduced to a very fine paste. Drizzle in the oil very slowly, stirring constantly as if you were making mayonnaise. You should end up with a dip with a consistency that is a little looser than mayonnaise. If you find the dip too strong, add strained yoghurt or mashed potatoes or a combination of both. You can also make the dip in a food processor if you have a small enough bowl for the amounts given above.

Turn your grill on to maximum heat or prepare a charcoal fire-the latter being an unbeatable way to grill the meat.

Thread equal quantities of chicken cubes onto 8-12 long metal skewers. Dont cram the pieces too close to each other to allow them to cook evenly. Grill for 5 minutes on each side, or until done to your liking. Arrange the two layers of pita bread one on top of the other. Slide the chicken kebabs off the skewers onto the bread. Serve immediately with the garlic dip.

Baba Ghannouj / Grilled Eggplant Dip

Baba Ghannouj / Grilled Eggplant Dip

Serves 4


Some tips to help you produce a superior Baba Ghannouj. Grilling the eggplants over an open fire will produce the smoky flavor that is so typical of this dish, though the smoky flavor will come through to a certain extent if you cook them under the grill in your oven. It is important to let the grilled flesh drain for a while to get rid of the excess liquid; and finally, once this done, you need to mash the flesh with the back of a fork to retain texture. The dip will be too smooth if you use a food a processor.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Prick the eggplants in several places with a small knife to stop them from bursting during cooking. Place them on a non-stick baking sheet and cook under a hot grill for 25 minutes on each side. The eggplants are ready when they have become very soft to the touch. By then, the skin should have become slightly charred for a smoky taste.

Remove the grilled eggplants onto a large chopping board. Cut each in half lengthways, and with a spoon, scoop out the flesh. Place the flesh in a colander to drain the excess liquid. Let it drain for a least half an hour.

Put the eggplants in a wide mixing bowl and mash with a masher or the back of a fork. Be sure not to crush them too much, as you want the dip to have texture. Add the tahini and salt to taste. Mix well. Then add the lemon juice and crushed garlic. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Transfer the dip to a shallow serving bowl and with the back of a spoon; spread it the same way as with hummus. The garnish can be the same as that of hummus, using mint instead of parsley; or you can use pomegranate seeds, arranged in a star shape in the middle and at regular intervals along the edge. Olive oil is of course used with both garnishes.

Balila / Chickpea salad

Balila / Chickpea salad

Serves 4-6


You can vary on the recipe below by replacing the chick pea with dried, small broad beans, in which case the dish is known as ful mudammas. If you choose to use broad beans, follow the same instructions as below but crush the beans lightly when you are mixing them in with the dressing.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Rinse the chickpeas under cold water. Put in a saucepan and cover well with water. Cook for 1-1 ½ hours, or until very tender. Drain and put in a salad bowl. If you are using ready-cooked chickpeas, rinse them under cold water. Put in a saucepan with water to cover and place over medium-low heat. Simmer for a few minutes, then drain and put in a bowl. The dressing will be better absorbed if the pulses are heated.

Mix the crushed garlic with the olive oil and lemon juice and add to the chickpeas. Add the chopped mint and salt to taste and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Garnish with more chopped mint and serve with trimmed spring onions. You can also serve the salad at room temperature.

Fatayer bil-Sabanegh / Spinach Triangles

Fatayer bil-Sabanegh / Spinach Triangles

Makes 25-30


The dough for these triangles is used with a number of fillings to make both the triangles below, and the fried crescents known as sambusak in the following recipe. You can vary on the spinach filling here by using purslane (leaves only), sorrel, Swiss chard, dandelion or wild thyme. Whichever you chose, the quantities and instructions will be the same as below.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the oil to the well and, with the tip of your fingers, mix the oil with the flour until well incorporated. Gradually add 90-100 ml water (it is difficult to measure the exact amount of water as it depends on the brand of flour you are using), knead until you have rough dough.

Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3 minutes. Invert the bowl over the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. Knead for another 3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball, cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Put the chopped spinach in a mixing bowl, sprinkle with a little salt and rub the salt in with your fingers until the spinach wilts. Squeeze the spinach dry and place in a clean bowl. Separate the leaves.

Put the chopped onion in a small bowl. Add a little salt and Adonis ground black pepper and rub the seasoning in with your fingers to soften it. Add to the spinach together with the Adonis sumac, pine nuts, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. The filling should be quite strongly flavored to offset the rather bland pastry. Cover with ac clean kitchen towel and set aside.

Divide the dough into two balls. Place one on a lightly floured surface. Flatten it slightly and sprinkle with a little flour. Roll out into a large circle, about 2 mm thick, turning over the dough regularly and sprinkling with a little flour every now and then so that it does not stick. Use a 7 cm round pastry cutter (if you do not have pastry cutters, use a thin edged glass or cup) to cut the flattened pastry into as many circles as you can. Pick up the excess pastry, knead together and let it rest under the damp cloth.

Preheat the oven the oven to 230 degree.

Turn the circles over, put a teaspoon of stuffing in the middle of a circle. Lift two sides each one third of the circle, and with your thumb and index finger pinch them together half way down, making a thin raised joint. Lift the open side if the circle and pinch it equally to both loose ends to form a triangle with a thin raised inverted y in the middle-make sure you pinch the pastry tightly together so that it does not open during baking. Carefully transfer the filled triangle onto a non-stick baking sheet, or one lined with a silicone pastry mat or parchment paper, and makes the remaining triangles until you have finished both dough and filling. Brush them with a little olive oil.Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. These freeze very well, either before baking or after. All you have to do is to let them thaw and either bake them as above, or reheat in a medium oven.

Fatttush / Mixed Herbs and Toasted Bread Salad

Fatttush / Mixed Herbs and Toasted Bread Salad

Serves 6


Fattush is also on its way to becoming a global salad and, as with tabbuleh, the version you are likely to be sold in shops, or served in restaurants or western homes will be quite different from the Lebanese / Syrian Fattuch. Some families make their fattush without lettuce and use the herb leaves whole. Other families add lemon juice and garlic and let the bread soak in the dressing before mixing the salad. In Syria, they fry the bread before mixing it with the salad. This has the advantage of keeping it crisp, but the disadvantage of making the salad rather heavy. I prefer to toast the bread, and I mix it with sumac and olive oil before adding it to the salad to keep the bread crisp. The oil coats the bread and protects it longer from the salad juices.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Put the broken up toasted bread in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the Adonis sumac all over. Add the oil and mix well. This should stop the bread from quickly becoming soggy once it is mixed with the salad.

Put the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add salt to taste. Add the seasoned bread. Mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately.

Hummus

Hummus

Serves 4-6


Hummus is a staple of the mezze table. It is served plain, or with a variety of typically Lebanese toppings, such as Qawarma, (a kind of lamb comfit) and toasted pine nuts.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Drain and rinse the cooked chickpeas (or canned or jarred) put in the food processor. Add the tahini, lemon juice and garlic and process until very smooth.

Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add salt to taste. Mix well. If the hummus is too thick, thin it by adding a little water, or lemon juice, if it is not already tart. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Spoon the hummus into a shallow serving platter and with the back of a spoon spread it across the dish, raising it slightly around the edges and in the center, so that you have a shallow groove in between. Sprinkle a little Adonis paprika over the raised edges. Heap the chopped parsley in the center and drizzle a little olive oil in the groove. Serve with pita bread.

Meat Crescents / Sanbusak bil-lahmeh

Meat Crescents / Sanbusak bil-lahmeh

Makes 25-30


You can vary on the taste here by replacing the lemon juice with either vinegar, verjuice or pomegranate syrup. Each


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the oil to the well and, with the tip of your fingers, mix the oil with the flour until well incorporated. Gradually add 90-100 ml water (it is difficult to measure the exact amount of water as it depends on the brand of flour you are using) knead until you have rough dough.

Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3 minutes. Invert the bowl over the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes. Knead for another 3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball, cover with a damp cloth and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and saute, stirring constantly until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a double layer of kitchen paper to drain of the excess fat. Cook the minced meat in the same butter, stirring and mashing it with the pack of a wooden spoon or fork so that it separates well and does not form lumps until it loses all traces of pink. Season with Adonis cinnamon, Adonis Seven Spices, Adonis ground black pepper, and salt to taste. Add the lemon juice (or vinegar, very juice or pomegranate syrup) and sauteed pine nuts. Cook for another minutes or so. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside.

Divide the dough into two balls. Place one on a lightly floured surface. Flatten it slightly and sprinkle with a little flour. Roll out into a large circle, about 2 mm thick, turning over the dough regularly and sprinkling with a little flour every now and then so that it does not stick. Use a 7 cm round pastry cutter to cut the flattened pastry into as many circles as you can. Pick up the excess pastry, knead together and let it rest under the damp cloth.

Turn the circles over. Then take one and lay it on the fingers of one hand. Put a tea spoon (or less if you are making smaller crescents) of the meat filling in the middle and fold the dough over the meat, aligning the edges to form a half circles. With your free thumb and index finger, pinch the edges together into a thin flat edge, starting at one end of the half circle. Slide the filled pastry onto the tips of your fingers so that the flat edge is on the outside. Pinch the end that is furthest from you to flatten it even more and fold it towards you into a little diagonal pleat. Continue pinching and pleating the edge until you form a fluted edge (or until you form a border resembling a twisted cord)- this is done to decorate as well as to seal the pastry tightly together so that it does not open during frying. Place the finished crescents until you finish the first lot of circles.

Fill a large frying pan with enough vegetable oil to deep fry the pastries and place the pan over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot - test with the corner of one pastry; if the oil bubbles around it, it is ready - slide in as many crescents as will fit comfortably in the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon onto several layers of kitchen paper to drain of the excess oil.

Take the oil of the heat and roll out the remaining dough. Knead the cut outs together. Cover and let rest while you make and fry more crescents. Roll out the left over dough and finish making the crescents - you should end up with 25-30 pieces. It is important you make and fry the crescents in batches so that the dough does not dry up or rise too much. As with fatayer, sambusak freeze well, but here it is best to freeze them raw and fry them frozen. Serve hot or warm.

Mussaqaa  / Eggplant and Chick Peas in Tomato Sauce

Mussaqaa / Eggplant and Chick Peas in Tomato Sauce

Serves 4


Despite sharing the same name, this dish is quite different from its Greek namesake. The Lebanese version is usually prepared with small whole eggplant and chick peas. It is Arabic name indicates Mussaqa'a means cooled down.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Cut the stalks of the eggplant to approximately 1.5 cm, and then trim the husk that caps the eggplant. Peel the eggplant lengthways leaving 1 cm wide strips of skin, to create a striped effect. If you are using large eggplant, peel these in wider strips and cut them in quarters lengthways.

Fill a wide frying pan with enough vegetable oil to deep fry the eggplant and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot - to test the heat, dip in one end of an Eggplant; if the oil bubbles around it, it is ready - fry the eggplant until golden on all sides. With a slotted spoon, remove the eggplant onto several layers of kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil.

Put the olive oil, sliced onion and garlic in a saucepan that is sufficiently wide for the eggplant to fit in one layer. Place over medium heat and saute until golden. Add the chickpeas and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt to taste. Cover the pan and boil gently for 15 minutes. Then, carefully arrange the eggplant in one layer in the tomato sauce. Add more salt if necessary. Cover the pan and boil gently for another 20 minutes or until the tomato sauce has thickened. If the sauce is still too runny, uncover the pan and boil for a few more minutes until all excess liquid has evaporated. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth and let cool. Transfer carefully onto a serving platter. Serve at room temperature.

Tabbuleh

Tabbuleh

Serves 4-6


Tabbouleh is global now, sold or served everywhere, from the little corner deli to the fanciest restaurant. In some places, it is made as it would be in Lebanon, where it is one of our national dishes. In other places, it is so different that you wouldn't know you are eating tabbouleh except by name.
Here is the recipe for the true Lebanese tabbouleh.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Rinse the burghul in several changes of cold water. Drain well and put in a bowl. Stir with a fork every now and then to fluff up the burghul.

Drain the tomatoes of their juice and put in a large bowl. Add the spring onion and herbs. Sprinkle the burghul all over. Season with the Adonis Cinnamon, Adonis Allspice and Adonis Black Pepper Ground. Add salt to taste. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and mix well. Taste and adjust the Adonis seasoning if necessary. Serve immediately with the quartered gem lettuce.

Salatet El Raheb / Grilled Eggplants Salad

Salatet El Raheb / Grilled Eggplants Salad

Serves 4-6


As with baba ghannouj, you need to drain the grilled eggplants of all excess moisture before chopping and mixing them with the other salad ingredients. Some restaurants in Beirut make it with only soaked pine nuts and olive oil. It is just as delicious as the more common version below.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Prick the eggplants in several places with a small knife to stop them from bursting during cooking. Place them on a non-stick baking sheet and cook under a hot grill for 25 minutes on each side. The eggplants are ready when they have become very soft to the touch. By then, the skin should have become slightly charred for a smoky taste.

Remove the grilled eggplants onto a large chopping board. Cut each in half lengthways, and with a spoon, scoop out the flesh. Place the flesh in a colander to drain the excess liquid. Let it drain for a least half an hour.

Chop the eggplants in medium-sized chunks and place in a salad bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and carefully mix together. You want to mush the eggplants as little as possible. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tajensamak / Fish in Tahini sauce

Tajensamak / Fish in Tahini sauce

Serves 4-6


Tajen comes from the world "tagine", which describes the famous Moroccan stew point the traditional way is to stew the fish in the tahini sauce, but fish tends to overcook this way. I prefer to cook the sauce and fish separately and then slip in the seared fish at the last minute.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Mix the tahini with the garlic in a medium bowl. Slowly add the lemon juice, stirring all the time. At first, you will notice the tahini becoming quite thick despite the fact that you are adding liquid but do not worry; it will thin out as you add more liquid. Gradually add 200 ml water, still stirring, until you have a thin creamy sauce. Set aside point.

Put one table spoon of the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and place over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, slide in the fish pieces, skin side down and cook for about 2 minutes, until the skin is crisp and golden. Turn the fish over and cook for another minute or so, until it is just done. Remove onto a plate.

Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and vary lightly golden. Add the tahini sauce. Season with the Adonis Cumin and, Adonis White Pepper Ground and salt to taste. Mix well. Then, let bubble for 3 - 4 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the tahini just start to separate and you see a little oil coming to the surface.

Take the sauce of the heat and slide the fish in. Scatter the pine nuts all over. Gently shake the pan back and forth to coat the fish with the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Mehshi Waraq Enab Bil-Zeyt / Stuffed vine leaves

Mehshi Waraq Enab Bil-Zeyt / Stuffed vine leaves

Serves 4


You can use the stuffing below with Swiss chard leaves (Which you will need to blanch before using), or with eggplant, courgettes, peppers and tomatoes. Peppers and tomatoes are the easiest and quickest to prepare, though be sure to choose them small for an elegant presentation.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Rinse and drain the rice. Put in a mixing bowl. Add the tomatoes, onions, parsley and mint. Add the Adonis seasoning, lemon juice, olive oil and salt to taste. Mix well. The stuffing should look like a salad. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Line the bottom of saucepan with the potato and tomato slices.

Take one vine leaf, cut away the stem, if any, and lay it flat on your work surface smooth side down, with the stem and nearest to you. Arrange from ½ to 1 ½ tea spoons stuffing (depending on the size of the leaf) in a thin raised line across the top of leaf. The line should be thinner than your little finger and should be about 1.5 cm away from the tip of the stem, and the same distance short of the sides. Fold the sides over the rice, in a line that tapers slightly towards the bottom. Then fold the top edge over the stuffing and roll neatly but loosely - you need to leave space for the rice to expand during cooking. Place the rolled vine leaf on the tomatoes, loose and down. Continue filling, rolling and arranging the vine leaves, side by side, doing one layer at a time until you have finished them - if you have any leftover stuffing, cook for 20 minutes in a small pan, adding an equivalent amount of water to serve on the side.

Pour some water into the empty stuffing bowl, swirl it around to extract the last bits of flavorings and pour over the leaves so as to barely cover them. Add salt to taste. Place an overturned heatproof plate over the stuffed leaves to stop them from unrolling during cooking. Cover the pan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and boil gently for 1 hour, or until the vine leaves are done. It is a good idea to taste one before taking off the heat to make sure the rice is cooked.

Let the vine leaves cool in the pan, then carefully transfer them to a serving dish. Garnish with thinly sliced lemon wedges. Reserve the potatoes and tomatoes to eat separately. They are delicious but not pretty enough to serve. Serve at room temperature.

Falafel

Falafel

Makes 3 sandwic


Falafel is very much part of the Lebanese repertoire and Lebanese Cuisine.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Mix the content of the Adonis Falafel Mix with 200 ml of cold water. Stir to make viscid dough of falafel mixture. You can add little water to adjust the viscosity of the dough especially if you let the mixture for a little bit to prepare other stuffs.

Put the tahini in a mixing bowl. Gradually, and alternately, the lemon juice and 100 ml water, stirring constantly. The tahini will first thicken despite the fact that you are adding liquid. Do not worry, it will soon start to dilute again. Taste the dip before you use up on the lemon juice. This way you can adjust the tartness to your liking. If you use less lemon juice, make up for the loss of liquid by adding more water. Stir until the sauce has the consistency of double cream. Add the crushed garlic and chopped parsley point season with salt to taste and mix well.

Get the falafel mixture, pinch a handful and shape between the palms of your hands into a fat round cake with papering sides, about 5 cm in diameter. Place on a plate and continue making the cakes until you have finished the mixture. You should end up with about 16 falafels, depending on how fat you have made them. You can also use a falafel mould, in which case you will drop the falafel straight from the mould into the oil as you make each.

Heat enough vegetable oil in a large frying pan to deep fry the falafels and when the oil is hot - test with a piece of bread, if the oil bubbles around it, it is ready- drop in as many falafel as will fit comfortably in the pan. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Remove with a slotted spoon onto several layers of kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil. Lay another double layer of paper towels on top and pat the falafels to absorb as much oil as you can. Continue frying and draining until all the falafels are done.

Open up one pita bread at the seam and lay one layer over the other, rough side up. Line for falafels down the middle crushing them open a little, drizzle as much tahini as you like over the falafels, being careful not to use too much, as it will drop out of the sandwich. Garnish with diced tomatoes, pickled cucumbers, sweet chili peppers and turnips to taste. Roll tightly and wrap the bottom half with a napkin. Serve immediately.

Shawarma Lahmeh / Lamb Shawarma

Shawarma Lahmeh / Lamb Shawarma

Serves 4-6


Shawarma is a very large, fat "kabab" that can be made with lamb or chicken. The lamb meat is sliced into wide, thin pieces, marinated overnight and threaded onto a long skewer In between every few layers, there will be slices of fat, in the case of chicken the skin is used. The skewers are then fixed in front of a vertical grill and left to rotate over a moderate heat for 2-3 hours until the meat is cooked through. Shawarma is not usually prepared at home, but here is how some Lebanese butchers prepare it for home use.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Put the meat in a large mixing bowl; add the onion, lemon juice, olive oil, Adonis Shawarma Spices, thyme and salt to taste. Mix well. Let marinate for at least 2 hours.

Put the tahini in a mixing bowl. Gradually, and alternately, add the lemon juice and 100 ml water, stirring constantly. The tahini will first thicken despite the fact that you are adding liquid. Do not worry, it will soon start to dilute again. Taste the dip before you use up on the lemon juice. This way you can adjust it to your liking. If you use less lemon juice, make up for the loss of liquid by adding more water. Stir until the sauce has the consistency of double cream. Add the crushed garlic and chopped parsley point season with salt to taste and mix well.

Place the meat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and wait until the pan is very hot. Add the meat and saute for a couple of minutes, or until done to your liking.

Tear the pita breads open at the seems to have six separate circles. Arrange equal quantities of meat down the middle of each piece of bread. Garnish with equal quantities of tomatoes, onion, gherkins and herbs, and drizzle with tarator to taste. Roll each sandwich tightly. Wrap the bottom halves with paper napkins. Serve immediately.

Baklava / Baklawa

Baklava / Baklawa

Serves 6


Baklava is a general term describing a whole range of sweets such as kol wa shkor (eat and be thankful), borma ( golden bird's nest roll) and balluriyeh (white bird's nest squares). Most of these are the preserve of commercial sweet makers and not usually made at home. However, the baklava below is very simple to prepare. The main difference between the commercial and home-made versions is the pastry. At home, baklava is usually prepared with commercial filo, while the sweet-makers make their own pastry, which is even thinner and softer. You can replace the walnuts with almonds, pine nuts, pistachios, or cashews.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Put the sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let it boil for 3 minutes. Add the rose and orange blossom water. Boil for a few seconds more and take off the heat. Let it cool.

Preheat the oven to 200 degree.

Put the walnuts (or any other nut of your choice) in the food processor and process until medium fine. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, Adonis Cinnamon Ground, orange blossom and rose water. Mix well.

Grease a medium baking dish measuring about 18x32x3 cm with a little butter. Spread one sheet of filo pastry on the bottom of the baking dish-keep the other sheets covered with cling film and a kitchen towel so that they don't dry up. Brush the filo with melted butter, lay another sheet, brush with more melted butter and lay another 4 sheets, brushing each with butter until you have 6 layers of filo pastry.

Spread the nut filling evenly over the filo and cover with 6 more layers of filo, making sure you brush each with melted butter. Pour any leftover butter over the pastry and cut into 5 cm diamonds; or cut into 5*2 cm rectangles.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown. Take out of the oven. Let it sit for a minute or so, then pour the cooled syrup all over the pastry. Serve at room temperature.

Buza / Arabic Ice-cream

Buza / Arabic Ice-cream

Makes about 1.5


The salep and mastic give this ice-cream a luscious, chewy texture that lengthens the pleasure of savoring the subtle exotic flavors. You can vary on the rose water by using orange blossom water or real vanilla seeds.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Put milk in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then strain the milk and let it cool until warm.

Add a little of the warm milk to the ground Adonis mastic. Mix well and set aside.

Pour the warm milk in a clean saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and add the Adonis plain salep, little by little. If you add it too quickly it will not dissolve properly and will form lumps. Keep stirring over the heat for about 8-10 minutes. Then, add the sugar and stir for another 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Transfer to a freezer-proof bowl. Let cool a little. Then add the diluted mastic, cream and rose water. Mix well and let it cool. Freeze following the manufacturer's instructions of your ice-cream machine. Serve garnished with the chopped pistachio nuts.

Kaak el Eid / Party Cookies

Kaak el Eid / Party Cookies

Makes about 50


Ka'k el-eid are delicious ring-shaped cookies with a rather exotic taste imparted by the mastic and spices. They are particularly associated with Easter, but are also made for other feasts-"eid" means feast in Arabic.


Ingredients



Cooking instructions

Mix the semolina, Adonis mastic, Adonis nutmeg, Adonis mahlab and yeast into a mixing bowl. Add the softened butter and, with the tips of your fingers, rub together until the fat is fully incorporated.

Mix the sugar and milk in a small jug until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Add the sweetened milk to the semolina mixture and knead until you have a smooth and malleable pastry. Cover with a wet, although not dripping, kitchen towel and let it rest for 1 ½ hours.

Preheat the oven to 120 C°.

Pinch off a small piece of semolina pastry and shape into a ball the size of a small walnut. Roll it into a thin sausage about 1.5 cm thick and 11 cm long. Bring both ends together and slightly press one on top of the other to make a ring, about 5 cm in diameter. Lift delicately onto a non-stick baking tray or line on a silicone pastry mat or parchment paper. Continue making the cookies until you have finished the pastry. You should end up with about 50.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden and crisp. Leave to cool before serving or packing in an airtight container, where they will keep for about two weeks stored in a cool place.

Mezze (Lebanese Appetizers)

A history influenced by a rich culture

The worldwide known Lebanese mezze is small plates, dips, and salads shared in social occasions when friends and family gather to enjoy appetizer courses or light meals and conversation before dinner. It is our favorite way to eat.

  • Baba Ghannouj / Grilled Eggplant Dip
  • Balila / Chickpea salad
  • Fatayer bil-Sabanegh / Spinach Triangles
  • Fatttush / Mixed Herbs and Toasted Bread Salad
  • Hummus
  • Meat Crescents / Sanbusak bil-lahmeh
  • Mussaqaa / Eggplant and Chick Peas in Tomato Sauce
  • Tabbuleh
  • Salatet El Raheb / Grilled Eggplants Salad
  • Tajensamak / Fish in Tahini sauce
  • Mehshi Waraq Enab Bil-Zeyt / Stuffed vine leaves
Read More

Main Dishes & Sandwiches

Naturally healthy with plenty of flavors

It is with food that the Lebanese express their generosity and hospitality. The main dishes are cooked to perfection with lamb, poultry, fish and vegetables. The secret to mastering Lebanese cuisine lies in the preparation and organization of the menu and in the fact that Lebanese dishes store and reheat well.
Sandwiches made from Lebanese bread are also very popular.

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Sweets & Desserts

Wide range of delicacies

Lebanese sweets are varied, ranging from pastries, cookies, pudding and even cakes. Making Lebanese sweets is a simple process since all of them use nearly the same ingredients. The Lebanese sweets are actually made with simple ingredients which make it very easy to prepare at home. These ingredients produce a wide range of sweets collection that has unique styles and flavors.

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