Moghrabyeh (semolina dough grains)


Lebanese cuisine gained its reputation for the mezzeh, tabbouleh and raw meat…. But if you are fan of hard core Lebanese food, Moghrabyeh should be one of your favorites.

Moghrabyeh, are grains (shaped like small balls) made of semolina, available as dry or frozen. This dish is deep in flavor due to caraway and cumin seasoning. You can prepare it with chicken (thighs or breast) or beef shank (aka mawzet) or even both. My recipe calls for chicken, the most common one.

For those who thinks it’s hard to prepare this dish, follow me step by step you will change your mind.

Step1: cooking the chicken


  • 1 1/2 kg chicken (10 pieces approximately), thighs or breast
  • 1tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground caraway
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Season the chicken pieces with salt, caraway and cumin. Fry in butter and oil until golden brown (about 5 minutes each side). The reason to mix butter with oil beside the lovely taste, the oil helps the butter not to get burnt quickly.

fried chicken

Step2: cooking chick peas and onions


  • 10 small onions
  • 2 cups chick peas canned
  • 1 tbsp butter

Fry onions with butter until tender and fragrant, then add the chick peas and fold together for about 2 minutes.

chick peas and onions

Step 3: making the broth

Add the onions and chick peas to the chicken. Pour 6 cups of water. Put a small cinnamon stick and simmer for 30 minutes to get a chicken broth.


Step4: Preparing the moghrabyeh grain and the sauce


  • 1kg of dry moghrabyeh
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups of the chicken broth
  • 5 cups of hot water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground caraway
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder

Remove the chicken from the broth. In a deep pot put the moghrabyeh grains and cover with 3 cups of the chicken broth already prepared and 5 cups of hot water. Put the butter, salt, caraway and cumin. Cover the pot and put it aside until the moghrabyeh gets tender in texture like pasta.

moghrabyeh soaked

With the remaining broth, add one tbsp flour and 1/2 tsp of cumin powder, cook on medium low heat to thicken. Keep in it the chick peas and onions.

Serve the moghrabyeh grains with the chicken and sauce.



  • Put the sauce on individual portions as the moghrabyeh absorb the sauce if it stays long time in it.
  • If you are cooking frozen moghrabyeh, it’s the same method but requires half of the quantity of broth/water
  • If you are not willing to use canned chick peas, soak the dry chick peas in water a day before until it doubles in size.


Enjoy this full flavor dish, it’s one of the dishes you can’t enjoy cooked light, make it as it should be done without counting calories. Anyways it’s not an everyday dish.

Recipe courtesy of my mum.


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