“Balghassoun” fritters

“Balaassoun” in the wild. Photo ©

Balghassoun or Balaassoun (بلعصون) known as garden Anchusa is a wild edible plant that grows in the mountains of Lebanon and Syria where it is collected during spring. Anchusa is native to Europe and western Asia and eastern Maghreb. It is a bristly perennial plant that can grow up to 50 cm in height. Its leaves are straight and lance-shaped with a hairy and rough texture. The flowers are small and tubular of bright violet-blue color.

Balaassoun can be prepared by boiling it then stir-frying with olive oil and some garlic gloves. But the most common way to cook it is in fritters and omelette.

Balaassoun fritters


Balaassoun leafy stems

2 free range eggs

1/2 cup of Flour


Vegetable oil

Preparation steps:

  1. Wash the Balaassoun leaves and stems
  2. Dip them for 30 seconds in hot water to remove the small hairs on the leaves
  3. In a bowl, combine the eggs, flour and salt to make the batter
  4. In a frying pan, heat the oil
  5. Dip the Balaassoun in the batter and fry in the hot oil
Balaassoun beautiful flowers. Photo ©wikimedia

Potato and fennel fritters

Potato and fennel fritters ©Taste&Flavors

This type of omelet with fennel is prepared and served in the beautiful village of Zawtar, Nabatieh (South of Lebanon). The small patties combining eggs, fennel and potatoes are fried and consumed with tarator (tahini sauce).

Caloric content:

  • for the patties: 395 calories / serving of 3 patties
  • for the tarator: 89 calories / tablespoon


The patties

4 medium sized potatoes, shredded and juice squeezed out

1 bunch of wild fennel leaves, washed and chopped

½ cup of flour

4 cloves of garlic, smashed

3 eggs

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of allspice

1 tsp of hot pepper (optional)

Vegetable oil for shallow frying

The tarator (tahina sauce)

1 cup tahini

2 garlic cloves, smashed

Juice of 2 lemons

Water for dilution


  • In a large bowl, mix the shredded potatoes, flour, eggs, fennel, garlic and condiments
  • Shape the mixture into palm-sized patties
  • In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil on medium fire
  • Fry the patties in the hot oil, for about 2 minutes on each side
  • Remove with a slotted spoon or a fork and set aside to cool
  • In another bowl, combine the tarator ingredients and add water until the sauce is consistent and not too watery
  • Serve the little omelets while still warm and enjoy them with the tahini sauce