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.

Stuffed Grape Leaves (Yalanji)

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 there on every occasion and every celebration, in Ramadan, Christmas, wedding parties... in all versions of it).

The Syrian cuisine however has two ways for cooking grape leaves, as Wara' Enab, cooked with meat; whereas Yalangi which is stuffed with a vegetarian mix with olive oil and regarded as a main part of Syrian table appetizers and does not include any meat in the filling.

Some people call the stuffed grape leaves "Dolma"; which contains additional filling like: raisins, walnuts, pine nuts and tomatoes with rice and spices.

Grape leaves are both low in calories and high in fiber. They also have high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin K. They have a very high antioxidant content.

Malban … handicraft made from grape juice in Homs

Syrian towns and regions are often famous for the cultivation of a specific crop, therefore, making Malban in Homs is one of them, the specifically, in the village of Al Mutadarad in the western countryside of Homs, it is the most unique in Syria.

Malban traditionally comes from the grapevines of Al Mutadarad village that is famous for making this type of handicraft.

Thickened with starch and flavored with rosewater, it is mainly used to make traditional Arabic sweets that have been around for many centuries.

Qudrat Qader (Chocolate flan cake)

Chocoflan recipe, also known as chocolate flan cake is a delicious two in one type of dessert. The bottom part is a chocolate cake with a rich, deep flavor and  more like a brownie with a sticky consistency while the upper is a creamy flan with luscious caramel.

This cake mix is also known as the impossible cake and in the Arab region, it goes with "Qudrat Qader" which literally translates to the word impossible. This is because you put bother batters in and they bake separately into a wonderfully delicious cake. It is often made with chocolate cake to highlight the contrasting colors and make it look more appealing.

Aubergine salad with tahini

Summer is just about to end, we'll soon say our goodbyes to the beautiful sunny skies, hot weather and cold dishes.

This cold eggplant salad recipe with yogurt and tahini dressing is full of flavors and textures.  It is a delicious Syrian and Middle Eastern salad. Simple chopped veggies dressed in yogurt and tahini, and topped with crunchy pita pieces.

It is easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients handy. The dressing in this recipe is so tasty and delicious. It is a combination of flavors like extra version olive oil, lime juice, garlic, tahini, salt and yogurt. Some people do not like adding garlic

Pita bread pieces are optional for the salad. So either bake them with some olive oil for 10 minutes in a 400F oven or use the traditional method which is deep frying.

It is a popular Syrian mezza that is adaptable to your liking.