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Mtashtash – Tabbouleh Kezzebeh

Mtashtash (متشتش) is a satiating salad with an abundance of bulgur, commonly prepared in the Akkar region of Northern Lebanon. It is also known as blileh or even “fake tabbouleh” (tabbouleh kezzebeh – تبولة كذّابة). The word mtashtash means soaked and refers to the bulgur that is mixed with the other ingredients. This traditional recipe is typically prepared during Lent and is served with cooked or fresh cabbage leaves, or it can be scooped with fresh lettuce leaves.

Mtashtash Recipe:
(Recipe courtesy of Rose Bitar from Fneidik, Akkar)

Serves: 5 people
Calories: 650 calories per serving
Preparation Time: 30 mins


2 cups of coarse bulgur
5 tbsp. of chickpeas (cooked)
1 tbsp. of tomato paste
1 tsp. of chili paste
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 cup of olive oil
2 medium sized tomatoes
2 bunches of parsley
1 bunch of mint
4 green onions
Juice of 1 squeezed lemon
Salt to taste

Preparation Steps:

  1. Wash the bulgur thoroughly.
  2. In a bowl, rub the bulgur with the garlic, olive oil, tomato paste and chili paste; mix the ingredients well and leave them aside.
  3. Finely chop the parsley, mint and green onions and add them to the bulgur mix.
  4. Dice the tomatoes and add them to the bulgur mix.
  5. Finally, add the chickpeas, lemon juice and salt and mix well.
  6. Serve cold with boiled or fresh cabbages or with fresh lettuce leaves.

Vegan chard kebbeh

Vegan chard kebbeh is a vegetarian Armenian kebbeh that is traditionally prepared during the lent season. It is a particular kind of kebbeh as it is boiled in salty water instead of being fried and it contains semolina and bulgur together. Vegan chard kebbeh can be served either with a hot dip sauce or with yogurt.

Vegan chard kebbeh served with a hot dip sauce
Vegan chard kebbeh served with a hot dip sauce

Preparation Time: 1 hour



1 cup of fine burgul

¾ cup of semolina

1 tsp of grounded hot chili




1 cup of swiss chard leaves, finely chopped

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 tsp of tomato paste

½ tsp of hot chili paste

1 tsp of vegetable oil

1 tsp of pepper



Spicy dip sauce

1 tbsp. of hot chili paste

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced


1 tsp of cumin

Preparation method:


In a large bowl, mix the burgul, semolina, grounded hot chili and salt with 1 cup of water. Knead well and put aside


  1. In a saucepan, add the chopped onions to the vegetable oil and let simmer on low fire for 10 minutes
  2. Add the tomato and hot chili paste, the cumin, pepper and the chopped swiss chard and stir while cooking

Make the kebbeh:

  1. Form balls the size of a golf ball. Hold the meat ball in one hand and with the index of your other hand make a whole it the ball. Widen the hole by turning the kebbeh and pressing its inside walls gently against your palm. Make sure the kebbeh is uniformly thin.
  2. Moisturize your hands in cold water as you work to avoid the kebbeh from sticking to hour hands and to give it a smooth finish
  3. Fill the kebbeh with the stuffing and close it. Make an oval shape with 2 pointed ends.

Cook the kebbeh:

  1. In a large cooking pot, add water with salt and bring to boil
  2. When the water starts boiling, add in the kebbeh balls
  3. When the kebbeh is well cooked when it floats to the water surface

Make the dip sauce:

  1. Mix the hot chili paste, minced garlic, salt, cumin and olive oil

Serve the Kebbeh with the sauce on the side