Kebbet el Heele

On the last Friday before Easter Sunday, Christians all around Syria prepare to mark one of the most important holidays of the year.

In Syria, this time of year is filled with traditions that bring the family together.  Also  special food is served during this time .

Kebbet el Heele is a dish served also in the Levant.Its name includes the word Heele which translates into 'fake'. This is because "kebbe" is usually made of burghul (crushed wheat), onions and meat but with kebbet el 7eele, flour, vegetables, lentils, sumac and other spices are mixed together to imitate the taste of meat.

It is said that the dish was created when a woman living in Qalamoun, Syria,  wanted to serve her family traditional kebbe, but could not afford to buy meat, so she came up with something that tasted just as good.


Though a part of Arab cuisine for centuries, the dish originated in pre-Islamic Persia where it was known as  (joshpara ) which  means "to boil". The Arabic name shishbarak is thought to be derived directly from this name. it was then replaced by the modern Persian name (gosh e-barreh), meaning "lamb's ear", then the Finno-Ugric peoples in western Siberia who were exposed to the dish by Iranian merchants in the Middle Ages gave it the name (pelnan) meaning "ear bread". It was adopted from them by Russians in the 17th century, with its pronunciation changed to (pel'meni) and chicken broth used as a substitute for the yogurt broth.

There are several variations of the name in other languages including Azerbaijani (düşbərə), Uzbeki (chuchvara) and Uighur (chöchürä).

Shishbarak ‎ or shushbarak, also known as tatarbari in Iraq, is a dumpling dish made in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Hejaz, and Palestine which is similar to Italian ravioli. After being stuffed with ground beef or lamb and spices, thin wheat dough is cooked in yogurt and served hot in their sauce.

Stuffed Eggplant

Stuffed eggplant is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that consists of eggplant that has been cored and filled with a mixture of rice and minced meat.

Hollow out the core of eggplant using a vegidrill, and filled with a special stuffing of spiced rice and ground beef with tomatoes and fresh herbs, then the stuffed eggplant are cooked in red sauce until the filling is well cooked.

The plate of stuffed eggplant is served hot, as a main course.


It is popular in south syria, in horan and swaydaa. Besides the pomegranate being the main ingredient, the dish also consists of eggplant, lentils and garlic. Pretty interesting combination.


3/4 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed

1 medium size eggplant, cut into bite-size cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 garlic cloves, crushed

Pinch of coriander (optional)

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup pomegranate juice (substitute: 1/4 cup

Syrian Fig jam

Fig jam is a popular sweet in Syria; this is made with three simple ingredients-fresh figs, sugar, and lemon juice.

If you choose figs that are perfectly ripe, you should prepare them quickly, because they spoil quickly.

When you cut fig in half, the inside is soft and a beautiful bright coral color.

The jam needs to be cooked for a long time on low heat. It may take between 30-60 minutes, depending on the heat and the amount of liquid that need to be ready.

You can keep the Fig jam for 2 or even 3 months in the jars, and you can keep it for longer.