Za’atar twisted bread … خبز الزعتر



For the sponge:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbs fast active dry yeast
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups Luke warm water

For the dough:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs plain yogurt

For filling:

  • 1 cup Za’atar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil mixed together

For egg wash

  • 1 egg yolk
  • Drop of white vinegar
  • 1 tsp water mixed together


1. For the levant, in a big bowl, mix together the 2 cups of all purpose flour, yeast, honey and water until combined. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

2. When sponge is ready, In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the sponge mixture, 3 cups of all purpose flour, olive oil, salt and yogurt at medium speed until a soft smooth dough forms and the dough pulls away form the sides of the mixing bowl about 5 minutes. (You can do this by hand, as well)

3. cover, and let it rise for 45 minutes or until double in size.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Divide it into two equal parts. Pat out each part into a rough rectangle shape. You can divide the dough into four equal rectangles, if you want to make two loaves of bread.

5. Take one of the rectangles of dough and roll it out into a roughly 24 x 8-inch rectangle. Spread it with 1/3 of the za’atar /olive oil mixture, then roll it up along the longest edge as you would if you were making cinnamon rolls. Repeat the same procedure with the other rectangle of the dough.

6. Take one of the cylinders and roll it on a flat clean working surface, lengthening it with your hands until the cylinder reaches about 34 inches in length. Cut it in half legnthwise and set the two long strips aside. Repeat with the other cylinder.

7. To form the bread, see pictures.

8. Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 1 hour or until double in size.

7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Lightly brush the bread with the egg wash and bake it in the middle rack of the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove it, cover lightly with foil, and bake another 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, uncovered, until the exterior of the bread is deeply golden and a thermometer inserted into the bread reads at least 190F.



Kibbeh bissinieh … كبة بالصينية



  • 2 lbs extra lean ground beef
  • 2 cups of bulgur soaked in water for 20 minutes and drained really well
  • 1 big onion cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbs marjoram

For filling

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 big onion diced
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbs summac
  • Vegetable oil, samneh (ghee butter) or crisco for brushing the top and the bottom of the kibbeh


  1. In the food processor add all kibbeh dough ingredients and grind for 2-3 minutes until a fine texture obtained
  2. Place the dough in a big bowl and cover with a plastic wrap
  3. To make the filling, in a sauté pan add the oil and onion, sauté until onion translucent.
  4. Add in the ground beef and the spices, brown until meat is no longer pink and most of the meat water is dried
  5. Turn the heat off and mix in the sumac
  6. Preheat oven to 375F.
  7. Brush a generous amount of oil or samneh (if used) in the bottom of a safe oven baking dish
  8. With your hands, press down half of the kibbeh dough until smooth
  9. Spread the ground beef filling on top and try to press gently with your hands
  10. Spread the rest of the dough on top and press down to smooth it out.
  11. With a sharp knife cut the kibbeh into the shape desired

Make a small hole in the middle.

12. Brush more oil oil or samneh on top of the kibbeh

13. Decoration the kibbeh with almonds or pine-nuts.

14. Bake the kibbeh in the middle rack of the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes

15. After baking let it cool down for about 10 minutes before cutting

Enjoy kibbeh with a squeeze of lemon juice and a side of yogurt cucumber salad.

Orange yogurt cake … كيك البرتقال و اللبن الرائب


Delicious moist cake loaf, drizzled with orange glaze and decorated with candied oranges.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of two oranges
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tbs freshly squeezed orange juice

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

For the candied oranges:

  • 1 orange thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


1 Preheat oven 350F. / 180C. Grease and flour a 8.5 inch x 4 inch loaf pan and set aside.

2 In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.

3 In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla. Whisk to combine. With the mixer on running on low, add in the dry ingredients into just combined. Then pour the vegetable oil into the batter and mix until it’s combined well.

4 Pour batter into loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

5 To make the candied orange slices, combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange slices to the mixture so that they are in a single layer, reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer about 20 minutes, turning the slices at least once so both sides are candied. Remove from the heat. Let air-dry on a cooling rack (place some paper towels underneath the rack to catch the syrup drips) until ready to garnish.

6 to make the glaze: When the cake is completely cool, combine the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice in a small bowl and whisk to blend until smooth. Adjust the consistency as needed with additional juice or confectioners’ sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake and garnish with the candied orange slices. Let stand briefly until the glaze sets. Slice and serve.

Butter chicken … الدجاج بالزبدة


A very delicious chicken dish with silky tomato gravy . Many versions of the recipe exist, typically dressed chicken, traditionally on the bone in India, served off the bone in the United States The chicken is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, but can also be grilled, roasted or pan fried. The gravy needs to be cooked until there is no raw tomato flavor. The sweetness and the color of this dish make it a kids favorite .


For chicken marinade

• 1 tbs ginger garlic paste

• 1 tsp red chili powder

• 1 tsp coriander powder

• salt

For gravy

• tomato ketchup ( optional )

• cilantro leaves

• 1/2 tsp Crushed Fenugreek Leaves

• 2 slices green chillies

• 1 tsp ginger garlic paste

• 100 ml fresh Cream

• 4 pieces cashew nuts

• 1/2 tbs Sugar

• 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

• 1 tsp red chili powder or less    (depends on how spicy you like it )

• 200 grams tomato diced

• butter 100 grams

• salt to taste

• 1 tsp ginger garlic paste

• 1 medium onion diced

• 500 grams raw chicken slices

• saffron soaked in 2 tsp of hot water for color


1 1. cut chicken into thin slices and apply ginger garlic paste, salt, chili powder and  coriander powder . shallow fry in oil and set aside .

2 Keep the oil and the scraping in the pan and add cumin seeds, onion, ginger garlic paste .

3  Fry until onion translucent . Add tomatoes, cashews and other spices and cook covered with little water till everything is mashed up .

4 Let the sauce cool . In a blender purée the sauce until fine and thick in texture .

5 In the same pan add butter and let melt . Add the sauce and some water . Cook on a medium flame . Add sugar, ketchup and cream .

6 To have a beautiful orange color add couple of tsps of Saffron that was soaked in hot water .

7  Now add chicken and let cook for 5 minutes .

8 Decorate with cilantro leaves .

This recipe adapted from chef Vahrehvah.

Sesame cookies … ka’ak bsimsim



  • 1 tbs fennel seeds crushed
  • 1 tbs anise seeds crushed
  • 1 tsp mahlab powder
  • 125 gr. or 9 tbs butter softened at room temperature
  • 6 tbs powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs (1 egg white will be used to brush the top)
  • 2 tbs vinegar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour.

For coating:

1 egg white and 1 cup toasted toasted sesame seeds (optional).


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a big bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, water, vegetable oil and vinegar.
  3. In another bowl mix flour, salt, mahlab, fennel seeds, anise seeds and baking powder.
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture slowly and carefully while mixing with your hands,
  5. Knead everything with your hands until you get a soft non-sticky dough.
  6. Divide the dough into egg size balls.
  7. Roll each ball into a 4 to 6 inches rope.
  8. Connect the ends of the rope together by pressing with your fingers to seal.
  9. Or cut each rope into diamond shape like I did in the first picture
  10. In a small round dish have the egg white ready, and in another big dish add the sesame seeds.
  11. At this point, if you choose not to use sesame seeds for topping, then just dip them in the egg white.
  12. Otherwise dip them in the egg white first and then in Assamese seeds to coat.
  13. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  14. Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown.
  • Enjoy with a cup of tea!😊

Tahini and walnuts pastries … معجنات الطحينة والجوز


Flakey  soft dough filled with tahini and walnuts


  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbs active dry yeast
  • 1/2 warm water
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

 For filling

  • 3 tbs tahini
  • 1 stick (8 tbs) butter
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1 cup of finely crushed walnuts

For egg wash

  • 1 egg and a drop of vinegar

For topping:

  • Apricot preserve

To make the dough:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough attachment, add yeast, sugar, water, milk and oil. Mix to combine
  2. Add flour and salt. Start kneading the dough on medium speed for 4 minutes or until a soft elastic dough obtained. You might need more flour if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl.

3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest in an air draft place until double in size (30-45 minutes).

4. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan and on a medium heat stove melt butter.

5. Stir in tahini and sugar until combined. Set aside.

6. On a well floured surface, knead the dough with your hands to form a log.

7. Divide the log into 16 equal size pieces.

8. Form the dough pieces into balls, arrange them in a floured dish and cover them with plastic wrap.

9. Unroll each ball into a thin disk. Divide the balls into two stacks of 8 disks

10. Spread 2 tablespoons of the tahini mixture on top of the disk

11. Sprinkle 1 tsp of walnuts on top.

12. Repeat the same procedure with the other stack of the 8 disks.

13. Unroll the stack of the 8 layers dough to form a big rectangle

14. With the pizza cutter, divide the rectangle into 8 columns.

15. Twist each column and roll it as in picture.

16. Arrange the pastries in cookie sheet and set aside to rest for 10 minutes

17. Mean while, preheat your oven to 425F.

19. Brush pastries with the egg wash

20. Bake them in the middle rack of the oven until golden brown

21. Microwave the apricot preserve for 30 seconds

22. Brush pastries with the apricot preserve and keep them in an air tight container to maintain freshness.


Pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes



  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray two 12-count muffin pans with non-stick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda,chocolate chips, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs together until combined. Add the pumpkin, oil, milk, and vanilla until combined. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do NOT overmix the batter.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into 14 cups; fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping. Bake for 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Decorate with Any frosting you like, here I used cream cheese frosting.