Shmameet b laban – Poached eggs in yogurt

“Shmameet b laban” (شماميط باللبن) is a rural dish consisting of eggs cooked in goat yogurt and served with rice on the side. The recipe is prepared in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and other Arabic countries as well. It can be cooked with or without meat but the vegetarian version is more common.

“Shmameet b laban” is a rich and consistent meal, part of our Lebanese culinary heritage.

Total Servings: 4


1 kg of goat yogurt (laban)

1/2 cup of butter

1/2 cup of water

10 eggs

1 tbsp of flour

2 large onions

1 tsp of salt

1 tsp of white pepper

1 tbsp of cornstarch

Preparation steps

  1. Cut the onions into slices. Saute the onions in a saucepan with the butter on medium fire until browned
  2. In a small bowl, mix the water with flour then add them to the onions. Cook on a medium fire until the mixture thickens
  3. Add salt and white pepper to the mixture and stir well
  4. In a separate bowl, add the cornstarch to the cold yogurt and stir until the starch dissolves. The starch will keep the yogurt from curdling
  5. Slowly add the yogurt to the mixture and stir continuously until the mixture is homogeneous and it slightly boils
  6. Break the eggs one after the other, slowly on the surface of the yogurt and leave for about ten minutes without stirring allowing the eggs to cook without breaking
  7. When the eggs are cooked, the “shmameet” are ready to be served hot with rice on the side

Sfeeha or Lebanese meat pies

Enjoy the sfeeha with a dash of lemon juice
Enjoy the sfeeha with a dash of lemon juice

Sfeeha, a pastry filled with lamb meat, is typical to Heliopolis or Baalbeck the city of sun in the north of the Bekaa valley. One cannot visit the mighty Roman temples of Baalbeck without tasting its savory sfeeha served with a refreshing ayran drink.

Total servings: 35 pies

Caloric content: 110 calories / pie



3 cups of all-purpose flour

2 tsp of instant yeast

1 tbsp. of sugar

1 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp of salt

1 cup of warm water

Olive oil to stretch the dough

 Filling meat mixture

500 g of lamb meat, grounded

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp. of butter

3 tbsp. of tahini (secret ingredient)

3 tbsp. of labneh

⅓ cup of pine nut seeds, roasted (optional)

2 tbsp. of pomegranate molasses

½ tsp of allspice (7 spices)

Pinch of sumac

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp. of tomato paste

1 tbsp. of shatta or spicy red pepper paste

3 gloves of garlic, mashed

Preparation steps:


  1. In a small bowl, mix the instant yeast with the sugar and a bit of warm water. Leave to rest while preparing the other ingredients.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and water. Knead well and olive oil enough to make the dough stretch well. Be careful not to add too much oil.
  3. Add the yeast to the dough and knead again. Cover the bowl with a moist cloth and leave the dough to rest in a warm place for 2 hours or until the dough doubles its size.

Meat mixture

In a separate bowl, combine all the filling ingredients, mix well and put in the refrigerator until the dough is ready.

Pinch each 2 opposite sides to obtain the typical shape of the sfeeha (Picture from Wandering Spice)
Pinch each 2 opposite sides to obtain the typical shape of the sfeeha (Picture from Wandering Spice)

Making the sfeeha

  1. On a dusted surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 0.5 cm while making sure all air pockets are removed
  2. With a cup or cookie cutter, cut circles in the dough
  3. On each circle of dough, put 2 tsp of the prepared filling then pinch each 2 opposite sides to obtain the typical shape of the sfeeha
  4. While making the sfeeha, heat the oven to about 180 Celsius degrees
  5. Place the sfeeha on a greased oven pan and bake for 10 mns until the meat is cooked

Serve the warm sfeeha with a cup of laban (yogurt) or a glass of ayran (diluted and salty yogurt).



Shish Barak

The village of Rashaya el Wadi holds a high population of baladi goats which graze on the natural pastures on the feet of Jabal el Sheikh. Given its seasonal production, goat labneh is prepared late summer and frozen for later use during winter. Labneh is dissolved in water and then used to prepare shish barak and kebbeh labaniyeh.

shish barak

Total Servings: 6

Preparation time: 2 hours



2 cups flour

1 cup milk

½ tea spoon salt



½ Kg finely minced meat

2 finely chopped onions

½ cup margarine

¼ cup pine seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pepper

2 tbsp of chopped parsley


2 Kg yogurt

2 table spoons starch in ½ cup water

½ tsp salt

3 cloves of garlic

1 tbsp dried mint

Preparation Steps:

  1.  Mix salt, milk and flour together to form dough. Kneed for 10 minutes and leave it aside for ½ an hour.
  2. Fry the meat and onions in margarine for 15 minutes, then add the parsley and pine seeds.
  3. Roll the dough and cut it into little thin circles and stuff each with one spoonful of the mixture and close it tightly by pressing with your fingers.
  4. Cook the yogurt after adding the starch and garlic. While it is boiling, add the stuffed dough, one at a time. Leave on fire for 10 minutes. Add the mint before serving.
Eat Local

Goat Labneh Balls


A vital part of Lebanese culinary heritage, labneh is basically the by-product of yogurt straining, where yogurt is placed overnight in a cheese cloth bag, and left to drain its “water”, to form a kind of dense, spreadable cream, which is often adorned with extra virgin olive oil, accompanied by a mix of vegetables mainly tomatoes, cucumbers, mint and olives and  eaten with pita bread. Labneh can be made of cow, sheep or goat yogurt.


Goat labneh is mostly consumed in rural areas. With a stronger and sour taste, goat labne is highly appreciated by villagers and lebanese who have a strong link to rural areas.  Its dense consistency makes it easier for goat labne producers to mold it into small balls and conserve it for the winter season, when goat milk is scarce.



Wheat with Laban

 wheat with laban
This dish is popular in Akkar as well as other Lebanese regions where it is prepared on Easter Saturday. Given that during the lent period people fast on dairy products, people celebrate the end of Lent and the resurrection of Christ with this “white” dish. Wheat and laban called “labaniyeh” is savored with a boiled egg.
This recipe provides a great source of fibers – known for their benefits for the heart and for prolonging the feeling of satiety.
Total Servings: 5

Preparation Time: Overnight soaking + 30 min preparation of recipe


4 cups of pealed wheat

1 cup pf chickpea

3 kg of fresh plain yoghurt (Laban)

Preparation Steps:

  1.  Soak the wheat and chickpea in water overnight.
  2. Wash the wheat / chickpea mix the next day under running water and put it in a pot with twice as much water as there are grains. 
  3. Leave the grain mix on fire for around 30 minutes (decrease the fire once the water is boiling).
  4. Poor the plain yoghurt (Laban) on the grain mix and stir until the yoghurt spreads all over the grains.
  5. Leave it to cool for a bit and place it in the fridge as it is mostly enjoyed cold.