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Stuffed Grape Leaves

The origin of stuffed grape leaves goes back to the time when Alexander the Great besieged Thebes. Food became so scarce because of embargos, so people begin to cut meat into little bits and roll it in grape leaves.

Stuffed grape leaves is a popular dish known in Arabic as “Warak Enab” and it is served cold as an appetizer, as part of the mezes that precedes the main course. It is also an integrated dish of the Christian community, eaten during fast especially in warm months (vegetarian verion of it).

Sahlab Drink

Sahlab or salep is a popular winter drink in Syria and throughout the Middle East. It is white, warm and starchy creamy drink that is dusted with a little cinnamon

Sahlab is prepared using milk, mastic, orange blossom water and sahlab powder.  This White powder is made from the tubers of orchids (called sahlabiat in Arabic hence the name sahlab).

 

Ingredients:

1- 4 cups (1 Liter) milk

2- 4-5 tablespoons sugar (you can use more or less according to your preference)

Spinach and Meat Stew

Spinach is believed to be of Persian origin. By the 12th century, it spread across Europe, and it is a tender leafy green plant. Its leaves are consumed fresh, frozen, canned or dried.

Spinach has been a versatile and commonly used vegetable in the Syria. Eating and preparing spinach is simple and easy, since it tastes good raw or cooked. It can be easily incorporated into many dishes. It is easy to serve raw spinach in salads or sandwiches or as a complement to soups, meat, fish, or other vegetable dishes.

There are many ways to cook spinach, it can be prepared with vegetables such as olive oil, lemon juice, onions, and garlic, and it cooked with lamb meat and chicken are the most used, and with beef, goat and fish in some regions, as in coastal areas.

Awamat: Crisp donuts balls

Awamat is a dessert that dates back to the early medieval period and the 13th-century Abbasid Caliphate, where it is mentioned in several of the existent cookery books of that time. It is also mentioned in the One Thousand and One Nights, in the story of The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad.

Awamat is Syrian fried sweet dough that is known as luqma and is pastries made of leavened and fried dough, yeast, soaked in syrup or honey, sometimes coated with cinnamon or other ingredients.

In the Levant, they are called awameh and in Egypt zalabya.

These crisp balls, called awamat, are coated in simple syrup and are the perfect dessert for any occasion such as weddings, business events, house parties, and even funerals.

Marouk

If you walk into any bakery in Damascus in the morning, you will be enchanted by the smell of "Marouk" _these beautiful date filled bread rings still warm out of the oven. Freshly baked bread alone smells wonderful but it is the added cloud of spices that makes the scent irresistible. This sweet bread is flavored with mahleb, fennel, aniseed, and cumin, topped with sesame seeds and black seeds.

Marouk is quite popular all year long, but it is especially famous during Ramadan.

 

For the dough

1- 4 and 1/2 cups flour

2- 1/2 teaspoon mahleb

3- 1 tablespoon instant yeast

4- 1/2 cup sugar