Akkoub (Akub) or Gundelia is a wild plant that belongs to the sunflower genus and found in the plain and mountainous of semi-arid regions for only few weeks every year. Akkoub is collected in the wild in early spring (February and March) when snow has metled. The thorny leaves are removed manually with a knife to uncover the stem and roots which are used for cooking. Akkoub is found in parts of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Palestine. In Lebanon, it is commonly collected in the southern part of Mount Lebanon: the mountains of Shouf and Dahr el-Baydar where is it used to prepare stews, omelets, salads, kebbeh and even pickles.
Akkoub is reported to have several health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and laxative properties.
Total servings: 5
1 kg of akkoub steams, washed, rinsed and finely chopped
500 g of lamb meat
1 cup of vegetable oil
The juice of 1 lemon
3 medium onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp. of salt
Black pepper and cinnamon according to taste
- In a large pan, stir-fry the onions and meat with 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil for about 5 min.
- Add 3 cups of water to the meat and cover them until they start boiling
- Once they start boiling, cook on a medium fire for 30 min.
- In another pan, stir-fry the akkoub until they wilt and become transparent
- Add the lemon juice, spices and salt to the akkoub and cook for 15 min; leave them covered on a medium heat and do not stir
- After 15 mns., add the meat and onions to the akkoub
- Serve hot with cooked rice on the side