Creamy freekeh with mushrooms and chicken

Freekeh (pronounced free-ka or free-keh) is one of the ancient grains popular in Syria, the Levant and in North east Africa.

Simply put, Freekeh is roasted green wheat. The grains are harvested while still soft, young and green, then parched, roasted, rubbed to get rid of burnt husks then the grains are dried.

The name Freekeh is actually Arabic for (that which is rubbed)

Freekeh has at least four times as much fibre as some other comparable grains, and consists mostly of insoluble fibre. It also has a low glycemic index and is very high in protein.

These kinds of fusion recipes are quite popular in fancy restaurants here in Syria. This one in particular is either called Freekoto (a play on freekeh and risotto) or (freekeh bil fakhara) which means freekeh cooked in a clay pot because restaurants often serve this in clay pots for that traditional Syrian touch.

In this dish, the freekeh adds texture and a nutty earthiness that balances the cream well. The mushrooms and chicken add layers of flavor.

Baklava Baked Apples with Nuts and Honey

Baklava Baked Apples is a sweet apple cored in the middle and filled with baklava dough, nuts and honey, then baked perfectly.

It is Syrian classic flavored healthy dish which combine the smooth taste of honey with walnut and of course, the pure joy of pistachio. It is heavenly aromatic and tastes very very delicious.

These easy baked baklava apples are the perfect combination of spices, nuts, honey, and of course apples. Be sure to make more of the filling and serve it on the side, probably with an extra scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Semsemeyah (sesame seeds bars)

Chewy sesame seeds bars are pretty and delicious crunchy treat for sesame lovers made with few ingredients.  They are common in many Mediterranean countries with a variety of names, Pasteli in Greece and Semsemeyah in Syria.

These sesame honey candy is a great gluten free snack that can be ready in less than 30 minutes.

It is so common in Syria during religious celebrations.

You can make it with almost any nut of your choice (pistachios, almonds, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts or a combination of nuts), but sesame seeds is the original.

Sugar and honey are the main sweeteners here and make the glue to hold all the seeds together.

A little bit of water to help sugar dissolve in honey and the lime juice to help prevent crystallization.

Vanilla extract is optional.

Breakfast Egga

Egga is the Syrian version of the famous Italian frittata.

A breakfast Egga is an easy, fast and hearty egg dish that is loaded with herbs and perfect for any meal. Beat the eggs with some herbs, flour, onions and season with salt and pepper then bake in a pie tray, baking tray, or pyrex baking tray.

Breakfast Egga dish is very popular in Syria, it is full with protein and you can add mozzarella cheese or heavy cream.

Kawaj (Syrian Summer Vegetable Medley)

Kawaj is the Syrian twist of the famous Middle Eastern Kufta…it’s called Kawaj.

This dish is full of flavor, color and very healthy.

Kawaj combines all the best of summer bounty: sweet, succulent eggplant, bell peppers, fresh tomato sauce, and flavorful, tender meat pieces. They’re all roasted together until soft and juicy.

To take advantage of the flavor from in-season tomatoes, you can make a sauce to coat all of the veggies, as opposed to just adding chopped tomatoes.