Tag Archives: traditional

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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Maakroun معكرون – St barbara traditional lebanese sweet

lebanese ma3krounDecember 4, Christians celebrate St Barbara. The great martyr Barbara, as known in the church was a christian saint and martyr. Barbara won particular fame for the horrifying fact that her death sentence by beheading was carried out by her own father, a wealthy pagan who had first isolated her in a tower and then denounced her to the Roman authorities when she became a Christian.

وُلدت القدّيسة بربارة في بعلبك. كان أبوها ديوسقورُس غنيٌّا ووثنيٌّا متعصّبًا. فأَحسن تربيتها بالعلوم والآداب. واستقدم لها أشهر المعلّمين ومن بينهم فالنتيانُس الذي أخذ يشرح لها أسرار الديانة المسيحيّة. شعر والدها بميلها إلى الإيمان المسيحيّ فسجنها في برجٍ حصين، وأقام من حولها تماثيل الأصنام لتعبدها. أمّا هي فظلّت تتلقّى التعاليم المسيحيّة من خلف الجدران على يد فالنتيانُس. وراحت تمارس الصلاة والصوم والتأمّل. ثمّ طلبت من خدّامها أن يحطّموا التماثيل الموضوعة في البرج. علم أبوها بالأمر فغضب وأوسعها شتمًا وضربًا وألقى بها في قبو مظلم. وفي اليوم التالي، استحضرها أمام الوالي مركيانُس علّها تخاف وتعود إلى عبادة الآلهة. فأمر بجلدها، فتمزّق جسدها وتفجّرت دماؤها وهي صابرة صامتة مسلّمة أمرها للّه. وفي الليل ظهر المسيح لها وشفى جراحها. وفي صباح اليوم التالي، استقدمها الوالي ورآها معافاة فقال لها: «إنّ الآلهة شفقت عليك وشفتك». فأجابته: «هو المسيح يسوع الذي شفاني، وهو سيّد الحياة والموت». فأمر بجلدها ثانية ثمّ بقطع رأسها فنالت إكليل الشهادة سنة 235

One of the Lebanese traditions on that day, is making sweets such as atayef (dough stuffed with cream or nuts), maakroun (flour and semolina fried cookies bathed in sugar syrup) , zlebyeh (fried dough with sugar or honey) and ameh (boiled wheat).

I will share with you the healthiest version of maakroun, baked.


To prepare maakroun you need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup fine semolina (thin ferkha as known in lebanon)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp mahaleb (optional)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp anise

For the sugar syrup:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Usually i start by preparing the sugar syrup, because i need them to be at room temperature when i want to soak in the maakroun.

In a pan let the sugar melt in the water on a medium heat. Then add the lemon juice and bring down to low heat for 10 minutes until it thickens. Turn off the heat then add the orange blossom water. Put aside to become room temperature.

To prepare the maakroun, mix flour, semolina, sugar, baking powder mahaleb, anise and oil. Then add the water slowly and knead the dough to the desired consistency and let it rest for half an hour.

There is another way also, my mum’s, she boils the water and anise and let it cool. She mix all dry ingredients and she knead the dough with the anise water.

how to do maakrounDivide the dough in small to medium balls (depending how big you like it to be), roll each ball on a grater to get the texture above in the picture. Some people like to deep fry it in oil but for a lighter and healthier result i bake it for 20 mns on 180°C.  Start checking on the minute 15 as you don’t want them to become hard but soft crunchy.

how to do maakroun in sugar

Soak it in the sugar syrup for 15 minutes then take it out and satisfy your sweet tooth. 3a2bel kel seneh!


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a welcome drink – traditional batrouni lemonade (laymounada batrounye)


Batroun is a touristic destination in North Lebanon. My home town, a major destination for the beautiful beaches and the vibrant nightlife.

Batroun is known for its fresh lemonade, which is sold by most of the cafés and restaurants in the town. This simple drink made from lemons, sugar and water has many variations in different parts of the world.




This version is the famous batrouni one:

  • juice of 4 big lemons (1 1/2 cup)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups cold water

All i can say It’s about the technique:


  • Wash the lemons and cut in four.
  • Add the sugar and squeeze the lemon wedges with your hands until they release half of the juice.
  • Add the zest of one large lemon and let the mix stands in the fridge for 15 minutes
  • Take it out and totally squeeze the lemons, strain the juice, add the water and mix until the sugar is totally melted. Et voila!


The most refreshing and succulent lemonade.

Some like it more diluted, or more sweet or less sweet… It’s subject to taste. You can add orange blossom water too if you want to take it to another level. As you can add few mint leaves, but the traditional one is the simplest basic one.

If you have people visiting, a pitcher of fresh homemade lemonade is a traditional welcome drink especially on hot summer days!


Daily consumption of 120 ml of lemon juice per day, when mixed with two liters of water, has been shown to reduce the rate of stone formation in people susceptible to kidney stone.

Batroun has the largest cup of lemonade (more than 5000 liters) to break Guinness world record! Enjoy and regards from Lebanon 🙂