Thursday, October 26, 2017

Lebanese Savory Lamb Fatayer Recipe

Lebanese Savory Lamb Fatayer

Try a simple and exotic Lebanese lamb fatayer with a simple dough and an incredible spice mixture. This is a Lebanese version of a calzone and will be a family favorite and fun to make too!

Course Main dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 4  pieces


1 3/4 cup flour all purpose
3/4 cup warm water (about 100'F)
2 tsp yeast rapid rise
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt

8 oz lamb ground
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion dices
2 garlic cloves minced
1 Roma tomato cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp zatar
1 Tbsp curly parsley chopped for garnish
1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp. water for egg wash
1/2 tsp nigella seeds for sprinkling


  1. In a large bowl place flour and salt and mix well.
  2. In a small bowl place the warm water (the water should be between 100-110'F)). Add the yeast and sugar, stir lightly and let it sit until frothy ( this will take about 5-10 minutes).
  3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and blend well until a soft dough forms.
  4. Rub a deep bowl with olive oil and place the dough inside the oven. Cover and let it sit until double in size (between 1-2 hours).
  5. Preheat oven to 400'F
  6. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Punch down and knead for about 5 minutes.
  7. Roll dough into the shape of a cylinder, and cut into 6 equal parts.
  8. To make the filling, heat the oil in a non stick skillet and saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the tomatoes, and the ground lamb.
  9. Use a spatula to break lamb into small pieces, and sprinkle in the salt, allspice and zatar.
  10. Cook completely.
  11. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts, and roll out each part into a 9" x 3" oval.
  12. Place filling down the center of the oval and then brush around the edges with the egg wash.
  13. Pinch the top and bottom of the oval to create a boat shape, and fold sides inwards.
  14. Place individual fatayer on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle each individual fatayer with nigella seeds.
  15. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until fatayer appears golden and crispy. Garnish each fatayer with chopped parsley.

Lebanese Meat Pie Recipe - Sfeeha - Lahm bi Ajeen

One traditional way of making such pies is to bake them on a “saaj,” a dome-shaped metal oven fired by wood or gas (see photo below).  My late grandma in the village of Douma used to have one, and back in the day, every other weekend her neighbors would come over and they’d all bake bread for their families on the “saaj” along with delicious meat and zaatar pies, just like the aunties in the photo below. Good ole’ days.

Lebanese Meat Pie

The meat pie recipe we’re featuring here is the recipe that mom makes at home.  Apparently it can be made differently but we LOVE this version! It’s the flat open one that you could also find in most Lebanese bakeries.  It can be simply called Lebanese Meat Pie, or sometimes they use the Arabic name in various spellings like Lahmajun, Lahmajin, or if you have it at a Turkish place it’d be Lahmacun or Pide eventhough that may be slightly different.

Our meat pie recipe is easy to make especially if you use pre-made flat bread or thin-crust pizza dough to save you some time.  So here we go:

Lebanese Meat Pie Recipe - Sfeeha - Lahm bi Ajeen

Author: Esperance Sammour

Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Prep time:  30 mins
Cook time:  13 mins
Total time:  43 mins

Lebanese meat pies are flavorful flat bread pies with spicy ground meat toppings.


Meat Topping Ingredients (5 servings)
1 lbs lean ground beef (no fat)
1 large red onion finely chopped
1 large ripe tomato, finely chopped
¾ cup of pine nuts
2-3 tablespoons of Pomegranate Molasses
1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
½ cup of finely chopped Parsley leaves
2 teaspoons of 7-spices
1-2 teaspoons of salt
a dash of cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Dough Ingredients
6 cups of multipurpose flour
½ teaspoon of yeast melted
2 and ¼th cups of warm water
1 and ¼th teaspoon of salt


Dough Preparation Method

  1. To save time, you could substitute with fresh thin-crust pizza dough. But if you’re more adventurous, here’s how to make this simple dough from scratch.
  2. Melt the yeast in ½ cup of warm water along with a tiny bit of sugar (1/8th of a teaspoon)
  3. Add all dough ingredients to your food processor, and let it knead for a few minutes until you get a dough. Alternatively you could also knead by hand by mixing all ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes as you now prepare the meat fillings.
Baking the Pies
  1. Preheat oven to 500-520 degrees F
  2. Once dough is ready, make it into rounds of 8 inches in diameter and ⅓ inch thick
  3. Place dough on baking tray that has had some flour sprinkled on
  4. Spread 3-4 tablespoons of meat topping evenly on every dough
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until dough turns a bit golden. You could also end it with a 2-minute broil on High.
Serve hot along with any of the following side toppings: additional cayenne pepper, freshly squeezed lemon juice or even Tabasco sauce! You could also offer a Ayran Yogurt drink with it if available, this is basically plain yogurt watered down a bit and blended with some salt and ice. In Lebanese parties, meat pies and other similar pastries are sometimes served as Hors D’oeuvres and appetizers. You would typically find them made into small “mini-pizzas” of about 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter and served along a rainbow of other appetizers and mezza.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Lebanese Nights Dessert Recipe – Layali Lubnan

Lebanese Nights, aka “Layali Lubnan” is an amazingly aromatic dessert that is quite refreshing in summer time.  It has a rich complex taste stemming from subtle hints of  Mastic (aka Mistika, or Mastika in Greek, or “Arabic Gum” (not to be mistaken with “Gum Arabic”) , orange blossom water and rose water.  The bottom layer is made of the actual pudding, topped with a layer of whipped cream and a layer of coarsely ground fresh pistachios and sugar syrup.

Lebanese Nights Dessert

You can serve Layali Lubnan in small cups/shots or you can lay the pudding in a tray as shown in the photos and then cut it into pieces. The pudding can last 3-5 days in the fridge but if you’re planning on keeping it that long you may want to keep the whipped cream in a separate container and add it only for serving. Whipped cream is known to lose volume after a few hours.

Recipe type: Dessert

Cuisine: Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Prep time:  30 mins
Cook time:  20 mins
Total time:  50 mins

Lebanese Nights aka "Layali Lubnan" is an easy-to-make, amazingly aromatic semolina pudding that is quite refreshing in summer time.


Pudding Ingredients (10 servings)

8 cups of whole milk
¾ cup of semolina
1 teaspoon of ground Mastika 
6 to 8 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of rose water
3 tablespoons of orange blossom water
1 cup of coarsely ground fresh pistachio
Sugar Syrup Ingredients
1 cup of brown or white sugar
¾ cup of water
¼ teaspoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of orange blossom water
Whipped Cream Ingredients
2 cups of Heavy Cream (preferably pasteurized, but ultra-pasteurized is also ok)
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
Vanilla extract (optional)


  1. Mix milk, semolina and sugar well in a cooking pot then bring to a boil on medium to high heat while continuously stirring and scalping the bottom (this is important so the semolina doesn't clump or stick).
  2. As soon as it boils, lower heat to minimum, add ground Mastika all while stirring.
  3. When the pudding starts to thicken, remove from heat, add the rose water and orange blossom water, stir a bit so they are well dissipated and then immediately pour the hot pudding into your serving containers.
  4. The serving container could be a 2 inch-deep pyrex tray or small serving cups/bowls. Make sure to leave some room on the top for the whipped cream.
  5. Let rest and cool down at room temperature for about 40 minutes and meanwhile you can prepare the sugar syrup and the Whipped Cream.
  6. Mix water and sugar well then bring to a boil in a saucepan on medium heat.
  7. When boiling occurs, lower heat, add ¼ teaspoon of lemon juice and let it simmer for 10 minutes after which you remove from heat, add orange blossom water and let rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  8. Place Heavy Cream in a chilled stainless steal bowl (or place bowl on ice) and with a whisk whip your way through it for a few minutes vigorously.
  9. If you are using an electric whipper, start on low speed then increase the speed gradually.
  10. After a few minutes of whipping the Heavy Cream will increase in volume and turn into whipped cream as soft peaks start to form. At which point add the sugar and optional vanilla and whip a bit more to mix it in. Don't over-whip the cream so it doesn't turn into butter. Keep whipped cream chilled.
  11. Once the pudding has rested and cooled down place it in the fridge for a few minutes to chill, then top it with a ½ to ¾ inch layer of whipped cream, add a sprinkle of coarsely ground Pistachio and serve with sugar syrup (optional).

Easy to Make Lebanese Baklava Rolls Recipe

Baklava, aka Baklawa is a Middle-Eastern dessert whose origins may go as far back as B.C times to the Assyrian civilization.  Through the centuries, many neighboring countries adopted the delicacy and created their own versions.  Today there are dozens of types of “Baklava” grouped in Lebanese Cuisine under “Arabic Sweets”.  In its basic form, Baklava is made of fillo dough, nuts, and sugar syrup and in this post, we’re going to feature a simple recipe of walnut Baklava “fingers.”

Lebanese Baklava Rolls

Summary: Our Lebanese Baklava Rolls recipe is very easy to prepare at home and it yields delicious authentic Baklava fingers.

Baklava Rolls Ingredients (12 servings)

1 pack of Fillo Dough, thawed
1 cup of coarsely grinded walnuts*
1/3 cup of finely grinded pistachio
7 drops of Orange Blossom Essence**
1/3 lb of sweet/unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons of sugar
optional: A tiny hint of nutmeg powder, ground cloves and ground cardamom
* You can substitute walnuts with pine nuts, pistachio, cashew or your favorite nuts ** You can substitute Orange Blossom Essence with twice the quantity of Orange Blossom Water

Baklava Sugar Syrup Ingredients

1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of  Orange Blossom Water
Brush Butter on Fillo Dough
Add Nuts to Fillo Dough
Roll Into a 3/4 Inch Thick Dough
Cut Into 2-inch Pieces and Place in Tray
Bake For 30 Minutes at 350F
Add Syrup and Decorate With Pistachio

Preparation Method

Baklava Stuffing: Mix the ground walnuts or your favorite nuts with 2 teaspoons of sugar and a few drops of Orange Blossom Essence. Alternatively, you could use 1 teaspoon of regular Orange Blossom Water.

Baklava Rolls: Place one sheet of thawed fillo dough on a cutting board then lightly brush it with melted butter. Repeat the process by placing 3 more fillo dough sheets on top of one another while buttering each sheet prior to placing the next one. Add 4-5 teaspoons of the Baklava Stuffing along the width of the dough. Roll tightly until the thickness of the roll is about 3/4th of an inch. Cut along the roll to separate it from the leftover fillo dough sheet, which could be used for another roll. Cut the Baklava roll into a few pieces, a couple of inches each then place in a buttered baking tray and brush rolls one last time with a bit of butter. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. The color of a perfectly cooked baklava dough should be light brown/golden, but not too dark as the taste can change.

Preparing the Simple Sugar Syrup: While the Baklava is baking, mix 1 cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of water, place in a pot on medium heat stirring occasionally. Once it starts to boil add the lemon juice then lower the heat to the min and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Once done, add the Orange Blossom Water at the end and let it rest and cool down. In our case and since we like to avoid bleached products, we used brown sugar in preparing the syrup which yielded the dark brown color. However you can make it with white sugar which would yield a transparent syrup with a lighter flavor.

Soaking the Baklava: After the Baklava is baked and while it’s still hot, immediately pour a few tablespoons of simple sugar syrup all over the rolls and let the dough absorb it. Sprinkle a bit of pistachio on each piece for decoration and let rest for 45-60 minutes prior to serving. Baklava can be stored at room temperature (in an air-tight container) for 2-3 weeks.

Preparation time: 1 hour(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 12
Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern

Source: Mama’s Lebanese Kitchen

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Zaatar Manakeesh – A popular bread from Middle East.

Manakeesh/ Manoosheh is a popular Middle Eastern bread which is originally from Labanon.It is a version of arabic pita bread topped with the very delicious and flavourful spice blend -Zaatar. Zaatar is a blend of different spices like -thyme, oregano, sumac,coriander,toasted sesame seeds,Marjoram,cumin and salt. This zaatar mix is mixed with generous amount of olive oil and applied on the zaatar mankeesh before baking.You can have this zaatar manakeesh any time of the day.It is a very popular any time breakfast and snack item of Middle east like the  Falafel sandwich.

Zaatar Manakeesh can also be served as a wrap filled with fresh tomato and cucumber slices,fresh mint leaves ,pickled jalepenos and olives or can be as experimental as you can,You can serve this with Muhamara ,tzatziki, with plain yogurt or with just a cup of tea or coffee.

You can make zaatar manakeesh either by applying zaatar mix on top or can top the zaatar with Halloumi cheese, akkawi cheese,kashkaval cheese,Feta cheese,or a mix of halloumi and mozzrella. Can make the topping with any of your favourite cheese mix . It taste almost like a cheese pizza and taste so awesome.


Servings 11 Manakeesh
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes


3 cup Refined Flour / Maida
2.25 tsp Active dry yeast
3 tbsp Olive Oil / Zeitoun Ka Tel
1/2 tsp Sugar / Chini
1 tsp Salt / Namak
Zaatar Topping
3/4 cup Zaatar spice Mix
1 cup Olive Oil / Zeitoun Ka Tel


  1. In a bowl add 1 cup of luke warm water and mix sugar and yeast.
  2. Stir to mix and cover the bowl and keep aside for about 5 minutes or till it froth well.
  3. Combine flour and salt in a bowl and mix ,now add the olive oil and mix well with your finger tips.
  4. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and mix it well.
  5. Add some more water if needed to make a soft dough.
  6. knead the dough for about 5-8 minutes till it turn smooth.
  7. Keep the dough ball in a greased bowl and let it rest for about an hour or till it become double in size.
  8. Preheat the oven at 200 degree C .
  9. Make 11 equal size balls from the dough or depends on how big or small you want to make.
  10. Let the balls rest for about 15 minutes till they become double in size.
  11. In a bowl mix olive oil and zaatar mix for the topping.
  12. Dust the dough balls with dry flour and roll to make a flat bread ,like a thin crust pizza.
  13. Press it all over with your finger tips to make slight indentations to absorb the topping.
  14. Spread zaatar mix all over it ,just leave the edges slightly.
  15. Arrange in a baking tray and bake for about 7-10 minutes ,depending on the size and tempearture of your oven or remove as soon as the sides start turning golden.
  16. Serve hot with your favourite dip or just with a cup of tea or coffee.
Recipe Notes


It can be served as it is and can also be served as a wrap filled with fresh tomato slices, cucumber, fresh mint, pickled jalepenos and olives

Source: maayeka



Pita bread or khubz is flatbread made with all purpose flour or with wheat flour.This is the most common staple food in the Arab world

I tried making these filling and easy cheesy pita pockets /triangles with three types of pita bread available ,thin like a chapati,medium and thick like a pizza base ,all turn out good ,but  personally I like the thicker version best for making these pockets or triangles.

Try and enjoy these delicious pita pockets/triangles


Servings Prep Time
5 people 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes


Pita bread-5
Corn kernals-3/4 cup
Capsicum-2 medium
Chopped jalapeno -1 tbsp
Cottage cheese or tofu-1 cup
Sliced  black olives-1/2 cup
Grated mozzarella cheese-1 cup
Oregano-1 tsp
Salt-1 tsp
Chili flakes-1tsp


  1. Cut and open pita bread from one side and make a pocket.
  2. Pressure cook corn kernals for 2 whistles.drain and keep aside.
  3. Make small cubes of cottage cheese / tofu or crumble it.chop capsicum into small pieces.
  4. Mix every thing for stuffing in a bowl
  5. Stuff this mixture in the pita pocket  and apply some butter or olive oil over  the pita bread.
  6. Grill it till golden and crisp
  7. Slice into 4 triangles and serve hot.
Serving tips: serve with tomato ketchup or salsa dip

Source: maayeka


Zaatar Roasted Potatoes – Crispy stir-fried potatoes with Zaatar spice mix

Zaatar is a Middle Eastern spice mix which has very delicate tangy flavours. It is mainly used as a topping for different types of Middle Eastern bread. The most popular is Zaatar Manakeesh, the generous sprinkle of olive oil mixed zaatar takes this manakeesh to a different level.

Yesterday when I was planning for my lunch I didn’t have many vegetables in the refrigerator. I love the flavour of Zaatar spice so much but there are not many recipes to use the spice blend. I did have a few boiled potatoes, so I tried making stir fried potatoes with zaatar and it turned out so awesome. Everybody loves it so much that nobody waited till lunch and the potatoes are finished as a snack with labneh. Such an easy,quick and delicious recipe with just two ingredients!!

Zaatar spice mix is very easily available in the gulf region and in metro cities of India, if you want you can easily make this spice mix .

Crispy potatoes stir fried with zaatar spice mix

Servings 3 people

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes


4 medium Potatoes / Aloo boiled
3 tbsp Zaatar spice Mix
To taste Salt / Namak
4 tbsp Olive Oil / Zeitoun Ka Tel

  1. Peel the boiled potatoes and chop into medium size cubes.
  2. Heat oil in a heavy bottom frying pan.
  3. Add the potato cubes and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat till they get a nice golden colour (you can also deep fry the potatoes )
  4. Now add salt and zaatar spice mix and stir for a minute on low heat.
  5. Serve hot as a starter with labneh or your choice of tangy sauce.
Recipe Notes
Serving suggestion- serve as a starter or side dish .

Source: Maayeka


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