Community Kitchens (CK)

Saint Mary Orthodox Society for the Support of Orphans – Al Mina, Tripoli

Saint Mary Orthodox Society for the Support of Orphans was established in 1905 in Tripoli, Al Mina with the aim to provide shelter to orphans in the area. Later through the years, the association launched a “Resto du Coeur” program where it used to serve hot meals to needy people.

The ladies of Al-Mina CK filling the pots with pasta before delivery
The ladies at Al-Mina CK filling the pots with pasta before delivery

Accordingly, IOCC & FHF approached the ladies leading this Society (around 20) –that is currently a foyer to female students- to revive and upgrade their existing kitchen in order to activate a food assistance program. In parallel, capacity building to the cooking team (Syrian and Lebanese ladies) was given by FHF on food safety, healthy nutrition, recipes’ standardization and menu development. Since December 2015, hundreds of Syrian and Lebanese families are fed on a daily basis in El Mina and Tebbaneh area.

Implementing Partners: IOCC

Funders: Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH)


Samkeh harra (Spiced fish)

Samkeh harra or spiced fish is a specialty of Tripoli el Mina par excellence! Tripoli is a coastal city in North Lebanon, famous for its sweets and old traditional souks.

Beautifully presented samkeh harra
Beautifully presented samkeh harra

Samkeh harra is usually prepared for special occasions and family gatherings, it consists of a baked fish served with nuts and tahini sauce.

This recipe was shared by Hana el-Zeini from Tripoli, Lebanon

Servings: 5

Preparation time: 1 hour


1 large fish, scaled and cleaned (about 1.5 Kg)

1 cup of tahini (sesame paste)

1 cup of coriander, finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup of lemon juice

2 cups of water

Olive oil

Lemon Slices

¼ cup of almonds, sliced, peeled and fried in vegetable oil

¼ cup of pine seeds, sliced, peeled and fried in vegetable oil

½ cup of walnuts, crushed

1 green pepper, thinly sliced

2 tsp of hot pepper, diced

Salt and mixed spices to taste


  1. To prepare the fish, clean it then rub it with salt and mixed spices then with a Tbsp. spoon of olive oil. Stuff the fish with thin slices of lemon, then cover it with lemon slices and wrap it in aluminum foil.
  2. Put the fish in oven tray with a little bit of water, in a heated oven for about 40 min or till done (check occasionally and add water in the tray if completely evaporated).
  3. In a cooking pot, mix the tahini with the lemon juice and 2 cups of water. Add the coriander, garlic, crushed walnuts, peppers and olive oil. Season with salt and mixed spices to taste.
  4. Put the pot over medium heat and bring to boil while stirring occasionally, until the sauce color darkens and the olive oil comes to the surface.
  5. Remove the fish from the oven, place in a serving dish as is or deboned and leave the flesh.
  6. Cover with the sauce and decorate with the fried almonds and pine nuts and lemon slices.