Tag Archives: lebanese food

Fish tagine in Tahina sauce


fish tajine in tahina sauce |marmite et ponpon

A very simple recipe where Tahina is the main ingredient for the sauce, in which the baked fish will bathe. Onion and lemon juice come to add the deep flavor and sour kick. The added bonus here are the roasted almonds and pine nuts that creates the contrast with its crunchiness.

Whether you are planning to serve it as an appetizer or main dish, you will have everyone licking their lips in anticipation.

fish tagine in tahina sauce |marmite et ponpon

You will need:

  • 500g fish fillet or whole fish to be baked, could be sea bass, hamour or red snapper or any available white fish of your choice.
  • 1 cup tahina (sesame paste)
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon
  • 2 medium onion cut a la julienne
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • roasted almonds and pine nuts for topping
  • chopped coriander for garnish

fish tagine in tahina sauce |marmite et ponpon

First start by oven baking the fish. Set aside the fillets (or deboned whole fish) to prepare the sauce.

Cook the onion with olive oil until tender, keep stirring while cooking as you don’t want them to brown. In a bowl mix together tahina, water, lemon and salt before pouring over the onion, you want the sauce a bit runny because it will thicken a bit while on heat. When you see the first bubble forming, turn off the heat and stir in the fish.

On a serving plate, sprinkle the top with roasted almonds and pine nuts. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve. You can have it warm, at room temperature or cold.

fish tagine in tahina sauce |marmite et ponpon

If you want to eat like a lebanese, then serve it with pita bread to seal the deal.

fish tagine in tahina sauce |marmite et ponpon

A middle eastern/Lebanese specialty dish that’s full of flavors with few ingredients. If  you never cooked your fish this way, you should consider trying marmite et ponpon recipe and you will never regret.

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fish tagine in tahina sauce |marmite et ponpon

Fatteh hummos – chickpeas, yogurt and pita


fattet-hummos-chickpeas-yogurt-and-pitamarmite-et-ponpon

Fatteh, a wholesome levantine dish, varies from one country to other; could be vegetarian or featuring meat, but the main ingredients are chickpeas, yogurt and crushed toasted pita.

The arabic word “Fatteh”means “crushed”, so fatteh or fattet hummos has its name after the crushed toasted pita and so other middle eastern dishes with crushed toasted pita like “Fattoush”.

For this simple dish yet flavorful you will need: (yield two portions)

  • 3 pitas toasted and crushed in medium pieces
  • 500g yogurt (or two cups)
  • 2 tbsp tahina
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2 cups chickpeas boiled
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves crushed

For garnish:

  • 50g butter
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • chopped parsley or mint for decoration

fattet-hummos-chickpeas-yogurt-and-pitamarmite-et-ponpon

You first start with a layer of toasted pitas, some people likes it fried, but i prefer to keep it light and healthy.

After boiling the chickpeas, or if you are using canned ones, add the garlic (cloves or powder) while it’s still hot and pour it over the bread, of course after removing its water.

To prepare the yogurt sauce, mix it with tahina and salt then top the chickpeas with it. Fry the pine nuts with butter and drizzle over the yogurt and garnish with finely chopped parsley or mint.

fattet-hummos-chickpeas-yogurt-and-pitamarmite-et-ponpon

It can be served as healthy breakfast, appetizer or main dish. You can always save leftovers in the fridge as you can eat it cold, at room temperature or hot. There are many variations to it, but this way is my favorite. Some people add lemon juice to the yogurt, fry the pitas or add cumin powder to the chickpeas, fried ground beef or chicken… no harm in trying!

This vegetarian version is very easy and quick especially if you are using canned chickpeas, it will be served on your table in less than 20 minutes. It’s an ideal dish to keep you full for a long time during lent, for people abstaining from meat.

fattet-hummos-chickpeas-yogurt-and-pitamarmite-et-ponpon

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fattet-hummos-chickpeas-yogurt-and-pitamarmite-et-ponpon

Minted yogurt pasta a la libanaise


minted yogurt pasta

A very easy and quick Lebanese dish perfect for busy moms, so quick that it’s ready on your table with less than 20 mns. It tastes amazing and kids love it too, it could be served as light dinner as well.

You need (2 servings)

  • 250g pasta could be fusili or penne
  • 500g yogurt
  • 2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 garlic clove crushed or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • salt to taste

Cook pasta as per pack directions and set aside to cool. Mix yogurt, tahini, garlic, mint and salt until creamy. Pour over the pasta and toss. Sprinkle on top more dried mint before serving.

minted yogurt pasta|marmite et ponpon

If you hesitate which type of pasta to use, check my pasta guide for more information to help you choose the right one.

This hint of tahini gives it the deep and lebanese flavor. I love to serve it cold, so refreshing, light and suitable for people abstaining from meat.

minted yogurt pasta |marmite et ponpon

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kibbet batata (lebanese vegan potato kibbe)


kibbet batata |marmite et ponpon

It’s one of the most popular Lebanese vegetarian dishes during lent. A versatile dish, with open ended versions, associated to each village customs.

Basically it’s mashed potato with bulgur (cracked wheat) and the additions or the presentation are various. My version calls for:

  • 500g potato boiled and mashed
  • 2 tbsp bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • a handful chopped walnut plus 4-5 whole walnuts for garnish
  • 2 big onion cut a la julienne
  • 5 tbsp olive oil divided
  • salt to taste

kibbet batata |marmite et ponpon

Fry the onion in 2 tbsp olive oil until golden brown and set aside.

Boil the potato in salty water, drain and mash. While still hot add the bulgur and mix well. Then add the dried mint and salt and combine. Fold in 3 tbsp olive oil and finally add the chopped walnut.

Spread the potato dough in a plate or shape it as balls or cylinder. Sprinkle the fried onions on top and garnish with whole walnut.

kibbet batata |marmite et ponponkibbet batata |marmite et ponpon

Most of vegetarian dishes (side dish or mezza) are eaten with lebanese bread. You can serve it with vegetables (tomato, cucumber, radish, mint…) and olives. But if you want to have a complete filling meal, present this kibbet potato with the famous adas bhamoud soup, they really pair well.

It’s a delicious and wholesome dish, we also make it at home at least twice a month even when it’s not lent, and none of us is vegetarian 🙂 I pair it also with hard boiled eggs.

kibbet batata |marmite et ponponkibbet batata |marmite et ponpon

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Moghrabyeh (semolina dough grains)


moghrabyeh

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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Ingredients:

  • 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.

broth

Step4: Preparing the moghrabyeh grain and the sauce

Ingredients:

  • 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.

moghrabyeh

Astuces:

  • 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.

moghrabyeh

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.

moghrabyeh

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