Stuffed grape leaves are a traditional Lebanese mezze item. They are prepared with different stuffing; they can be either vegetarian or with meat. The traditional old version of this recipe uses qawarma (meat preserved in lamb fat), but for a healthier one, lean meat can be used instead.
Chickpeas help lower the risk of breast cancer, and protect against osteoporosis. It also minimizes hot flushes in post menopausal women.
Caloric content: 200 calories/serving
1 cup of chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
1 cup of short rice
2 tbsp. of qawarma
½ tbsp. of salt
½ tbsp. of pepper
Grape leaves soaked in warm water for 5 minutes
Peel the chickpeas and mix them with the rice and qawarma
Add the salt and pepper to the mixture
Stuff the grape leaves by putting one teaspoon on each leave, closing the leave from both sides then rolling it to obtain a cylindrical shape
Line the stuffed leaves in a cooking pot
Add water to the limit of the rolled leaves and put them on a medium fire until water boils
When water boils, lower the fire, cover the pot and leave to cook for about 25 mns
Mallow or malva (khebbeyze) is a wild edible plant known around the Mediterranean for its medicinal and culinary. It grows under a variety of climate and soils conditions. The edible leaves of Malva sylvestris, rich in minerals and vitamins A and C are harvested in spring. Stems are also used in the kitchen. Cooked green leaves create a mucus very similar to okra’s, and the dried leaves are used for tea making.
Total Servings: 5
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
1 kg of mallow leaves
1 cup of chickpeas, soaked overnight
¼ cup of vegetable oil, or olive oil
½ kg onion, chopped in julienne
½ cup of lemon juice
1 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
Wash the mallow leaves and chop them finely
Drain the chickpeas, and with a pestle, gently squash them to de-hull them (remove the skin) and separate the two cotyledons
Boil the chickpeas in water until half-cooked. Drain excess water
In a saucepan, fry the onions with the oil until gold then add the chickpeas and stir in the mallow leaves
Add ¼ of a cup of water and let simmer on medium fire while stirring from time to time
Season with the salt, pepper and lemon juice
Remove from fire once the mallow leaves have completely wilted
Serve cold with pita bread and an extra dash of lemon juice
A consistent breakfast to kick-off your day, as most nutritionists would say, should consist of a meal balanced with proteins, fat, starch and fiber. And that’s what is provided by a traditional Lebanese breakfast of foul mdammas, balila and fatteh!
Pulses, more specifically fava bean and chickpeas, are at the base of this old-styled breakfast consumed not only in Lebanon but in other neighboring countries like Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Egypt etc.
In Lebanon, this popular breakfast which has been served in specialized restaurants only, is gaining popularity and being listed on the menu of many Lebanese cuisine restaurants. Following the migration of Syrian refugees to the country, new restaurants have been established, serving Syrian versions of foul and hommous.
Besides being eaten for breakfast, these dishes are also served as hot mezze or side dishes for lunch.
Foul mdammas or mudammas (foul pronounced “fool”) is prepared with cooked fava beans (broad beans) seasoned with garlic, olive oil, cumin and lemon juice, and served with vegetables such as fresh mint leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and green onions. Chili pepper is added according to preference, and tahini sauce is sometimes added. Foul mdammas is better enjoyed with pita bread.
Historical findings show evidence of the production and use of foul back to Ancient Egypt, and historians suggest that Egypt is more likely the place of origin of this dish.
Balila or hot chickpea salad consists of boiled chickpeas combined with olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice and cumin. It is usually served hot with pita bread. Fresh parsley is sprinkled on top before serving.
Another vegetarian option for breakfast – or lunch – is Fattit hommous which combines cooked chickpeas, minced garlic, fresh laban or yogurt and baked pita bread. Fried pine nuts and cashew nuts can also be added. A different version would include Tahini sauce instead of yogurt.
Msabaha is another plate to be added to this series: it is similar to Hommous b tahini but while the chickpeas are grounded for the first, the pulses remain whole for the msabaha, giving this dish a crunchier texture.
Nutritious facts about chickpeas:
Chickpeas are popular little legumes that make a tasty and healthy treat! These peas have long been prized for their high protein and fiber content, as well as their exceptional levels of iron, magnesium and vitamin B6. Most of the fiber found in chickpeas is “insoluble” fiber which is excellent for blood sugar regulation, digestive health and hunger control. Indeed, given their nutritious composition, chickpeas can help you control your weight by making you feel full for a longer period of time.
This recipe is considered one of the 2 main dishes that were traditionally served during wedding ceremonies in Northern Bekaa, especially in the village of Aarsal where chickpeas are one of the major cultivated field crops. The other two recipes are “Shekriyye” or “Laban emmo w rez” and “Fasolia w rez” or bean stew. This “sweet” recipe rich with starch is served with rice.
Total Servings: 5
490 calories / serving
Preparation Time: 1 hour
300g of chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 big onion, cut in julienne
500 g of potato, coarsely diced
500g of lean meat, cubed
2 liters of water
Black pepper and salt to taste
Boil the meat, chickpeas and onion in 1.5 liter of water for 30 minutes
Add the remaining water quantity and the diced potatoes and cook on low fire until the potatoes are done
Chickpeas, one of the oldest legumes cultivated in the world, especially in the Middle East, belong to the Fabaceae family like other protein-rich legumes such as peas and beans. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans and Egyptian beans constitute the main ingredient in many recipes worldwide.
[quote]Nutrition corner: Chickpeas are popular little legumes that make a tasty and healthy treat! These peas have long been prized for their high protein and fiber content, as well as their exceptional levels of iron, magnesium and vitamin B6. Most of the fiber found in chickpeas is “insoluble” fiber which is excellent for blood sugar regulation, digestive health and hunger control. Indeed, given their nutritious composition, chickpeas can help you control your weight by making you feel full for a longer period of time. (1 Tablespoon = 46 calories)[/quote]
In Lebanon, chickpeas or “Hommous” in Arabic, are an important ingredient in a variety of dishes, mainly vegetarian ones, such as falafel, fattit hommous, balila, eggplant moussaka,Mansoufit Kolkas (Taro with tahini sauce), khebbeyze (mallow) etc. Come to think of it, it is often the protein rich ingredient in these vegetarian dishes, a substitute for meat. Chickpeas are also consumed green and called “Oumm Klaybani” (أم قليبانه) or “Hmmous akhdar”. Roasted chickpeas known as “Qdameh” can be coated with spices/ salty flavors and consumed with “bzourat” (Qdameh safra) or coated with sugar and called “Mlabbas aa Qdameh”.
Chickpea turnovers or fatayer b hommous are an appetizer commonly prepared in the Shouf region, one of the many pastries this region is known for. The pastry filling usually contains “kawarma” or lamb meat preserved in fat; however, for a lighter version, “kawarma” can be substituted with pan-browned ground beef.
Total servings: 10
Preparation time: 2 hours
5 cups of flour
1 tbsp. of yeast
2 cups of water
1 cup of pounded chickpeas
2 onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp. of kawarma
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper
In a bowl, mix the dough ingredients
Keep aside to ferment for 1 hour
While the dough is resting, fry the onions with the kawarma for 1 minute, then add the pounded chickpeas, salt and pepper and turn over until they are cooked
Pat the dough thin using a rolling- pin. Cut into circles using a cup
Inside each circle place 1 spoon of the stuffing and close it by bringing the 2 ends together, in a half-moon shape
Press the ends together with your fingers to close them tight
Preheat the oven to 240˚C, with the fire from the bottom side
Place the turnovers on an oven pan covered with parchment paper
Bake for 15 minutes or until the bottom of the pastries turn golden in color
“Zenkoul” is a traditional Lebanese recipe mainly known in West Bekaa, prepared during Lent and on Good Friday. The method of preparation varies from one village to another: some add sumac instead of pomegranate molasses, others use vinegar instead of lemon juice; dried mint is sometimes sprinkled at the end.
Zenkoul is a similar recipe to Kebbit el Rahib (Monk’s Kebbeh) and Mansoufeh all prepared with the simple basic ingredients bulgur and flour but vary with their sauce.
All in all, Zenkoul is a nutritious and delicious dish.
Total Servings: 5
Preparation Time: 1 hour
For the dough
1 cup of bulgur (fine)
½ cup of flour
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
¾ cup of water
For the sauce
½ cup of chickpea, soaked overnight
2 medium onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups of water
Juice of 2 lemons
1 pinch of rice
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
Mix flour, burgul, pepper, salt and water and knead to form dough
Take small pieces of dough and make balls or zenkoul with the palm of your hands, leave aside
In a large pot, put the chickpea with 2 cups of water and leave to boil
In a pan, fry the onion until soft, add the minced garlic
When the water of the chickpea starts boiling, add the 2 remaining cups of water, the fried onion and garlic and the zenkoul
Add the rice and cook for 20 minutes until the “zenkoul” is done and the sauce is thick
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