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Shanklish Salad

Shanklish is the only "blue" cheese of Syria and Lebanon. it is blue because the cheese is left to age and develop a mould layer on the surface.

Proper Shanklish making is a complicated lengthy process. It starts by turning milk into yoghurt. The yoghurt is placed in a large container and shaken continuously for a good period of time to separate the butter that is then skimmed away. This creates a thin skimmed yoghurt called "Shenineh". The next step is to slowly heat the shenineh until it curdles. These curds are then drained in a cheese cloth for few hours to create "Arisheh", a delicately flavoured crumbly white cheese. Arisheh is then salted generously and rolled into tennis-ball sized cheese balls.

Daoud Basha

Daoud is Arabic for David and Basha is a Turkish Ottman class title equivalent to Lord. This title was given to high ranking personnel in the Ottman political system like governors and army generals. Dawood Basaha was a nobleman in the Levant and the dish was invented in his kitchen.

Daoud Basha dish is meatballs cooked in tomato sauce and served with rice or Bulgur in the Levant country, while it is served with pasta in Europe.


For the kafta balls:

1- 500 g. ground beef or lamb, or a mix of both

2- ½ cup parsley leaves, finely chopped

Sfiha (Meat Pie)

Sfiha dates back to the fifteenth century.

It is a delicious meat pie known in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and South America because of Middle Eastren immigrants.  

Sfiha is popular in all countries because it is cheap and easy to prepare. There are two ways to bake Sfihas in the oven: folded into a triangular pastry like Fatayer, and open-faced (4 inches round flat bread); with various toppings, including cheese, curd, lamb, beef or vegetables.

Sfiha has many other names such as: Arab Pizzas or Lahm Bi Ajin.


Muhalabia is a milk pudding, which has legendary origin dating back to Sassanid Persia (224-651). In a 19th-century English cookbook Muhalabia was called "Ramadan cakes".

The earliest Muhalabia recipes, dat back to the 10th century. It was introduced into Arab cuisine in the late seventh century by a Persian cook who served it to an Arab leader "Al-Muhallab ibn Abi Sufra". He liked it so much, and named it after his name.

Muhalabia is the favorite traditional dessert in the Syrian cuisine especially during Ramadan.

Qatayef Asaferi

Qatayef or Katayef   is a Syrian dessert commonly served during Ramadan, a sort of sweet dumpling filled with cream or nuts. It can be described as an Arabic pancake.Their history dates back to the Abbasid Caliphate.

There are two types of Qatayef , regular and mini Qatayef (also known as Qatayef asafiri). The regular ones are usually stuffed with a Cheese or nut filling, and then they are sealed and baked or fried. Regular atayef are then served drizzled with simple syrup and served without cooking. The mini Qatayef stuffed with Ashta (creem) with crushed pistachios on the top.