Popular Lebanese Dishes

Ackawi – white cheese salty or not depending on choice. Usually used in Manaeesh (Lebanese-style pies)

▪ Adas Bil Hamod – Soup made out of lentils and lemon juice.

Baba ghanouj – a dip made of char-grilled aubergine (eggplant), tahina, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic puree.

Baklava – a dessert of layered filo pastry filled with nuts and steeped in attar syrup (orange or rose water and sugar) or honey, usually cut in a triangular or diamond shape.

Roastednuts – a mix of more than 20 types, mostly dry roasted.

Balila – known as cuminchickpeas.

▪ Barout del batata – spicy lamb served with potatoes

Batata harra – literally “spicy potatoes”.

Burghul Banadourabulgur and tomato

▪ Daoud Bacha – meatballs with tomato sauce

▪ Djaj Mechwi – grilled chicken with peas

Fattoush – ‘peasant’ salad of tossed greens with pita bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, chickweed, and mint.

Falafel – small deep-fried patties made of highly spiced ground chickpeas.

Fried cauliflower

Fried eggplant

Fatayer – a turnover pastry, often made with sbanegh (spinach)

Fuul (vicia faba) slow cooked mash of brown beans and red lentils dressed with lemon, olive oil and cumin.

Halva – a sweet sesame paste, usually formed into a slab and studded with fruit and nuts. Slices of the slab are served.

Hummus – dip or spread made of blended chickpeas, sesame tahini, lemon juice, and garlic, and typically eaten with pita bread.

Kunafi – either shoelace pastry dessert stuffed with sweet white cheese, nuts and syrup, or more commonly the version with semolina pastry served on a sesame seed bun with sweet sugar syrup (very popular for breakfast) made with rice vermicelli, butter, and pistachios or other nuts. Often found in sweet shops and bakeries.

Kibbeh – Finely minced meat mixed with bulgur (cracked wheat) that can be made in different forms including stuffed with ground meat/onions: layered, pan baked, fried balls/patties, and/or cooked in yogurt, or eaten raw.

Kibbeh nayyeh – raw kibbeh: finely minced meat mixed with bulgur (cracked wheat) and eaten like steak tartare.

Kafta – Paties, fingers, stars or a flat cake of minced meat, onions, parsly, and spices that can be baked or charcoal-grilled on skewers.

Kousa Mahshizucchini (many varieties are used) stuffed with meat and rice.

Kubideh – ground lamb or chicken threaded on a stick and grilled, served with pivaz (a mix of minced parsley, onions, ground cumin and sumac).

Labneh – strained yogurt cheese, spreadable and garnished with good olive oil and sea salt.

Lahm bil ajĩn – a pastry covered with minced meat, onions, and nuts.

Ma’amoul – stuffed cookies made from semolina with ground date, pistachio or walnut filling. Shaped in a wooden mould called a tabi, and made specially for Christian and Muslim holidays (such as Easter or Ramadan).

Mfaraket Koussa – spicy zucchini.

Makdous – stuffed pickled eggplant (usually with nuts) preserved in olive oil.

Manaeesh – Mini pizzas (usually folded) that are made in bakeries, traditionally garnished with cheese, Za’atar, spicy diced tomatoes, Lebanese kashk, or minced meat and onions. Some bakeries allow you to bring your own toppings and build your own or buy the ones they sell there. Served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Mujaddara (imjaddarra) – cooked lentils combined with wheat or rice, garnished with onions that have been sautéed in vegetable oil.

Mulukhiyah – A stew with made with leaves of the Nalta/Tossa Jute plant, chicken, beef, and garnished with raw chopped onions soaked in vinegar, served over rice. Sometimes, toasted pita chips are placed under the rice.

Mutabbel – a mix of slow cooked eggplant and tahini.

Pastirma – Tender cooked meat, usually served with vegetables.

Qatayef – a sort of sweet dumpling filled with cream or nuts.

▪ Qawarma – chopped lamb, salted and kept in the grease of the animal

▪ Samkeh Harra – grilled fish that has been marinated with chili, citrus, and cilantro

Shanklish – aged cheese balls

Shawarma – a sandwich with marinated meat (either lamb or chicken) that is skewered on big rods and cooked slowly, then shaved and placed in a 10-inch pita with pickles, tomatoes, and other tangy condiments.

Shish taouk – grilled chicken skewers that utilize only white meat, marinated in olive oil, lemon, parsley, and sumac.

▪ Siyyadiyeh – Fish cooked in saffron and served on rice with onions, sumac, and a tahini sauce (the most important part of the dish) and served on rice, which originated in the southern areas of Lebanon.

Tabbouleh – minced/chopped parsley salad with burghul (cracked wheat), tomatoes, onions, and mint.

Tahini – sesame paste

Toum – garlic sauce

Wara’ Enabgrape leaves stuffed normally with meat and rice or made lenten style with just rice with lemon sauce.

Za’atar – dried ground thyme, sesame seeds and sumac that can differ from region to region and from family to family. Most are made in house, but can be bought at Lebanese larders.

▪ Znood Es-sett – filo pastry cigars with various fillings.

▪ Lebanese “Seven Spice” Blend – a mixture of equal parts of allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, fenugreek, nutmeg and ginger. It is commonly used to flavor many Lebanese dishes.

Lebanese Sweets



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