> Lebanese Recipes

Lebanese Recipes


Lebanese Original FALAFEL or Egyptian Ta'miah


Image source: Wikicommons

1 lb dried white or green Fava beans (Fool Nabed)

2 med red or Spanish onions, very finely grated or 2 green/spring onions very finely chopped 

1-2  tsp powder Coriander 

2 clove Garlic, crushed (or according to taste)  

1bunch Parsley, finely chopped 

1-2d tsp Cumin  

½ tsp Baking Powder  

To taste Salt

To taste  Cayenne Pepper

Sesame Seeds

Oil for deep-frying



Fava beans resemble Lima beans and can be found already peeled in Greek stores.  If you cannot find peeled ones, proceed as follows:

  • Measure one cup of uncooked Fava beans that you soak in cold water for 2 days. Change the water twice or three times.  By then the Fava beans will have softened and swollen. Discard all the water and remove the outer peel
  • Pass the pealed Fava beans through the food grinder using the fine screen
  • Add the remaining ingredients
  • Let dough mix rest for 20 or 30 minutes.  Pass twice more times through the grinder then knead to a paste
  • Shape paste into patties, using wet hands or a soup spoon, then dip each one covering both sides with sesame.  Place shaped patties on a tray, and allow to rest for 20 minutes
  • Heat oil making sure oil is hot but has no fumes
  • Fry patties a few at a time until deep golden brown, drain on paper  towels to remove excess oil


Wrap in a warm pita bread and serve with salad and Tarator. You can add tomatoes and onions as a tasty addition to the wrap.



½ cup Tahini

2-3 tbsp Lemon Juice

2-3 tbsp Water

5 g Parsley, chopped

1 clove Garlic  crushed

To taste Salt & Pepper


Traditionally, the falafel wrap has a Tahineh (sesame paste) mix that has some garlic, a little lemon juice and a little water to dilute it. Sprinkle some Cumin powder on the Tahineh.


Tahiné, tahina or Tahineh is ground sesame paste (looks like soft peanut butter) and can be bought at any Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food stores such as Adonis - Nevada - Akhawan.  The container comes in 2 lbs jars.  There are many brands. It is easier to use the Tahina if the jar is stored up-side down so when you want to use it, the paste that has settled at the bottom is mixed with the oil that usually floats on the top of the jar.  You can use an electric hand mixer that you insert into the jar to mix the paste with its oil together before you use it.


Falafel and Tahina salad are enjoyed in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt and in most of the Middle East.


Tabboulé / Tabbouleh; A Lebanese salad


¾ cup fine Bourghol / borgol / burgol *

1 large or 2 med not too ripe Tomatoes

1 bunch fresh flat leaf parsley (also called Italian)

½ bunch fresh Mint

½ med white onion or six green (spring onions)

Juice of 1 lemon  

Salt and some black pepper.

3 soup spoons olive oil

6-8 radishes sliced

1 Romaine lettuce


Image source: Flickr

Soak Bourghol in a large bowl with cold water until tender (10 minutes) then drain.


Dice the tomatoes then scatter over the Bourghol.  The Bourghol will soak more up and become tender in the juice of the diced tomatoes. Keep cool until the rest of the ingredients are ready to mix.


Remove the thick stems of mint and parsley; keep some tender stems with the leaves. Soak in cool water then wash and drain well in a colander.   To remove excess water shake the leaves in a dry kitchen cloth.  There should be no water when you chop the leaves. 


Chop parsley & mint leaves by hand with a sharp knife, it is better than using a processor.  If you must use a processor, use the pulse to chop them.  Each leave should be larger than ¼".  Do not chop too fine.


Peel onions and remove roots and part of the tails if you are using springs onions, then chop them fine.


Add the Bourghol, diced tomatoes, chopped leaves of parsley & mint and the onions.  Keep cool.


Just before serving mix all ingredients, add salt, lemon juice and olive oil according to taste.


Cut Romaine lettuce in it's length to wash it and get the water between the leaves. Soak for a while, then wash and let the two pieces drain in colander.


The Romaine lettuce leaves are used as a long spoon to eat the Tabboulé


* Bourghol / borgol / burgol is crushed wheat that has to be soaked before eating. There are four categories ; 1) finely crushed - 2) medium crushed - 3) Thickly crushed - 4)  Un-crushed.

Bourghol / borgol / burgol: There are different varieties of wheat, white and dark

Bourghol / borgol / burgol: Can be found in stores that sell Middle Eastern and Mediterranean foods.


In Lebanon, this is an afternoon snack, because of the climate, they have late suppers.


Lebanese Falafel differs slightly from Egyptian Ta'miah.  There is more Cumin in Ta'miah.  Cumin originates from Egypt and therefore they include it in most of their recipies.  The Egyptians make their Ta'miah with Fava Beans, the Lebanese use Garbanzo beans.  Both are deep fried in olive oil and include the same other ingredients such as cilantro, parsley, onions, garlic. It is eaten in the Middle East on the Eastern Mediterranean.  Even Israel calls it an "Israeli sandwich".  


Fattouch salad is basically made with stale Pita bread.  It includes diced dried bread, chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes, flat leaf parsley, chopped onions, garlic,. There is one ingredient that is a kind of dark green slimy kind of leaf called Baklé (Portulaca oleracea).  Add salt and Sumac just before mixing in the lemon juice & olive oil just before eating, usually served during Ramadan fasting.

Kebbé Nayeh (meaning raw in Arabic).is made with raw lamb meat.  The raw meat is put in a processor to ground it like a paste, then add fine burghoul that is previously soaked and drained for the water, a small onion, and a few basil leaves and salt & pepper.  When combined, the paste is spread in a plate, covered with olive oil and decorated with fresh mint leave, and eaten with white or spring onions.  It is usually an appetizer.  Lebanon & Syria are known for it.  Colder temperatures like the Lebanese mountains are reputed for their Kebbé Nayeh


Humus in Arabic means Garbanzo, and in Arabic it is called Humus bi Tahiné. Mashed he Garbanzos into a purée in the blender, then add lemon juice, garlic, salt and at the end the Tahiné (sesame seed paste). It spread in a plate, covered with olive oil and decorated with mint leaves. It serves as a dip and is eaten with Pita bread and green or white onions.


Baba Ghanouch is basically made with large grilled unpeeled Eggplant (aubergine). Once cooked the dark skin is peeled off, then squashed, mixed  with tahiné, lemon juice, garlic & salt. This is eaten like the Humus bi Tahiné as an appetizer or dip. Some people eat it without the Tahiné then it is called Bitinjan (eggplant) Raheb.


In the old days, the grilling was done over the stove top, making sure that the eggplant is not punctured. When cooked on one side, turn it around so all sides get cooked.  It is easy to peel when the skin is burnt.  The taste of the burnt skin gives it an exquisite flavour. Now 'adays they bake it in a hot oven so as to burn the skin off.


Reference: from the kitchen of Mouna Shawa


SFOUF      (A cake-like dessert that you have with tea or milk)


3 cups         Semolina
cup          Flour
2 tbsps        Turmeric
1 cup          Vegetable oil
cups      Sugar
2 cups         Milk
3 tsps          Baking powder
½ cup         Pine-nuts
                        Tahina (sesame seed paste)


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Mix Semolina, flour, turmeric and baking soda.
Dissolve the sugar in the milk then add this and the oil to the flour mix.

Smear a 40 cm pan with Tahina.
Pour the mixture slowly into pan then sprinkle the pine-nuts on top.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Let cool. Cut and serve. 


Image sources:  Gateau du Mouloud


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