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

How To Make Zaatar Spice Mix

Zaatar Spice Mix

Zaatar – a popular and flavorful spice blend from the Middle East

Zaatar (or Za’atar) is a blend of different herbs commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. Adding a small amount of Zaatar adds a unique dimension to dishes, and can turn a very simple dish to an interesting one. It is believed that Zaatar helps improve immunity and enhances mental function, making it a popular choice in households with children. Many parents make sure that kids consume zaatar before leaving for exams in the morning, to help them remain extra alert during the examination. It is also known for it’s anti-oxidant properties.

Zaatar is made with sumac, dried thyme, marjoram, roasted sesame seeds, oregano and salt. The ratio may differ from country to country, and household to household, depending on availability of quality ingredients, taste preferences, and prices. Popular zaatar blends available in the UAE are Palestinian and Syrian. You may be find blends from other countries too – and the only way to really find out what works for you is to buy a little bit of each and try them out. And remember it the next time you go shopping!

The main ingredient in zaatar is sumac which gives a tartness in the blend. Some varieties also have cumin, coriander, and fennel. In India – sumac is available in bigger metropolitan cities, and can also be ordered via Amazon. There is no good substitute for sumac but if you don’t have it then you may try using dried lemon zest.

If you are making your own spice mix then try to choose the freshest ingredients and then mix it in small quantities as fresh zaatar tastes significantly better. As a rule – do not buy this spice blend in bulk packaging. If you are making the blend at home – remember that the blend is coarse in texture and the sesame seeds are just pounded and added afterwards. Do not grind it in a fine powder.

Prep Time 5 minutes


1/4 cup Sumac
2 tbsp Thyme
1.5 tbsp sesame seeds /til
2 tbsp marjoram
2 tbsp Oregano
1 tsp Salt / Namak

Servings: 4


  1. Slightly roast the sesame seeds.
  2. Mix everything and coarsely crush in the mixer or just pound in a mortar and pestle. Using a mortar and pestle is preferred.
  3. Store in a glass jar and close it tightly and keep it in a cool place.
Source: Maayeka



Bake these Turkish spiced lamb and tomato flatbreads on a heated pizza stone in the oven so that the crust and topping cook evenly.



1 tsp. sugar
1 (1⁄4-oz.) package active dry yeast
2 cups flour, plus more
1 1⁄2 tsp. Kosher salt, plus more
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley
1⁄2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1⁄4 tsp. ground cumin
1⁄4 tsp. sweet paprika
1⁄8 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 oz. ground lamb
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 plum tomato, grated
1 small onion, grated
1⁄2 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced


Combine sugar, yeast, and 3⁄4 cup water heated to 115˚ in a small bowl; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Combine flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture and stir to form a dough. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth, about 6 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down dough, divide into 4 portions, and roll each portion into a ball. Transfer dough balls to a floured baking sheet. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rest for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping: In a large bowl, combine oil, tomato paste, parsley, cayenne, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon and stir vigorously with a fork. Stir in lamb, garlic, tomatoes, onions, and chiles and season with salt; set topping aside.

Put a pizza stone in bottom third of oven and heat oven to 475°. Working with one dough ball at a time, use a rolling pin to roll dough into a 10" disk. Brush off excess flour and transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper. Spoon 3–4 tbsp. topping onto dough and using your fingers, spread topping evenly to edges. Season with salt. Holding parchment paper by its edges, transfer to baking stone. Bake until dough is golden brown and topping is cooked, 6–8 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough and topping; serve warm or at room temperature.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...