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Sayadieh (Fish with spiced rice and caramelized onions)


•    2 pounds fish fillet (or four fillets)

•    1 fish head

•     3 big onions

•     3 sliced gloves garlic + 3 gloves of mashed garlic

•     1 teaspoon fresh ginger

•     1 teaspoon whole cumin + 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

•      1 teaspoon whole cracked cardamom

•     1 Cinnamon stick

•     1 teaspoon whole cloves

•     1 teaspoon coriander

•      1/2 teaspoon paprika

•      6 tablespoons vegetable oil

•      2 tablespoons sauteed pine nuts (optional)

•       2 cups rice (medium grain or basmati)

•       salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Method

1.   Wash the rice and soak in warm tap water for half an hour. Then drain and set aside

2.    Slice the onions and thinly slice the garlic. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pot and saute the onions until caramelized (but not burnt). Reserve 1/3 of the onions for garnishing, then add the garlic and saute for one minute.

3.     Add 3 cups of water on medium heat.

4.            In a cheese cloth, add the whole spices (ginger, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper and cloves). Tie and dip into water with 1 teaspoon salt.

5.      Add the fish head and bring to a boil (you can replace the fish head with fish bones, a fish fillet or just use ready-made fish stock instead of water). Let the stock simmer for 15 minutes.

6.     Remove the spice pouch and fish head. The stock should have a brown color from the caramelized onions. In a blender or food processor, puree the onions and return to the stock. Some people skip this stage.

7.      Meanwhile, mix together 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, paprika, coriander, salt and black pepper. Paste fish fillets with mashed garlic then season with spice mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

8.      Add the rice to the stock and bring to a boil. While still wet, reduce the heat to very low, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until the rice is cooked. You may need to add 1/4 cup of water half way through.

9.     Add 3 tablespoons to a frying pan. When the oil is hot, add fish fillets and fry on each side for 4 minutes. You can also grill, bake or even add the fillets to the stock to cook with the rice.

10.    To put the dish together, pile the rice in a serving platter and top with fish fillets. Garnish with caramelized onions and sauteed pine nuts.



Lemon-Garlic Thin Steaks


  • 1 pound lamb or beef thin steaks (see directions)
  • 5 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

 Preparation Method

  1. The choice of steak is very important for this dish. Cut thin steaks into (about 1/2-1 cm) or just like Philly steaks
  2. When you have tender lamb thin steaks, sprinkle them with some salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons of canola oil in a skillet and sauté the steaks on medium heat for 2-4 minutes on each side until well done. You can prepare them in batches, just do not overwhelm the skillet.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together lemon juice, mashed garlic and a pinch of salt.
  4. With all steaks in skillet, add the lemon-garlic mixture all at once. You should hear it sizzle right away; hence they're named "Quenched steaks" or Sharhat Mtafay. Make sure the mixture gets to all steaks. Turn off the heat in two minutes and serve immediately.
  5. Now if you're using beef steaks or less tender lamb steaks, you need to do one extra step. After sautéing the steaks, add 1/2 cup of water or stock to the skillet, turn the heat to very low, cover, and leave for 30 minutes until all liquid evaporates. Then proceed to the next step.




Moussaka eggplant sautee

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 3 medium size eggplants (about 1.5 lbs total)
  • 1 medium size garlic head
  • 2 large onions (yellow or white)
  • 2 large tomatoes (1.5 lbs)
  • 1 large green peppers
  • 1/2 cup of quality olive oil
  • a dash of cayenne pepper
  • a dash of salt

Preparation Method

  1. Chop the vegetables in chunks as in the photos. The eggplant in cubes of about 1.5 inches, onions cut in length, tomatoes in chunks.
  2. Add the eggplant and onions with the oil and salt to a stew pot and sautee on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and green peppers to the
  1. ·  pot, mix , lower the heat, and then let simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. ·  Add the tomatoes and cayenne pepper, mix in, close the lid, and let simmer for 20 minutes while mixing the pot every few minutes. The lid has to be closed so the juice doesn’t evaporate as quickly from the tomatoes.
  3.   Once ready, let cool down and serve cold (hence the name) along with pita bread and an optional side of garden veggies such as mint, and green onions.

Butheina Al-Nounou

Fasolia Beans Stew Recipe


  • 2 cups of pinto beans (fasolia)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 medium head of potato, cut into tiny cubes
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons of tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
  • 8 cups of water


  1. Soak the beans overnight in fresh water so that they soften and cook faster.
  2. In a deep cooking pot, sautee the garlic, onions, potatoes and beans in the olive oil for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add 8 cups of warm water to the pot along with the salt and stir well
  4. Cover the pot and let gently boil/simmer on low heat for 1 hour
  5. Add 2 teaspoons of tomato paste to the pot, stirr well, boil for another 15 minutes and serve hot with a side of pita bread.

Butheina Al-Nounou

Hot Garlic Potatoes


  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 garlic head (or 13-15 cloves)
  • 1.5 lemons, freshly juiced
  • 5 Table Spoons of olive oil
  • 1/3 teaspoon of salt
  • 2/3 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or hot chilli pepper)
  • A pinch of dried mint power (Optional)

Preparation Method

  • Garlic Sauce: in a food processor, grind the peeled garlic, salt and the lemon juice at high speed for 2 minutes. Then add the olive oil, and let the processor go for another 3-5 minutes.  Alternatively, you could also use the garlic dip instead if you have it premade and handy.
  • Boil the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes, preferably leaving the center a bit crunchy and not fully cooked.
  • As soon as the potatoes are done and while still hot, strain the water then cut the heads into disks of about 2/3 inch. You may need to wear gloves as the potatoes would be extremely hot.
  • Lay a layer of potatoes on your serving plate, cover it with the garlic sauce, then put another layer and cover it with the sauce. Let the heat from the potatoes cook the garlic sauce for 3-5 minutes.


Butheina  Al-Nounou