Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Libyan Kitchen

When I was a kid I remember being in the school cafeteria and seeing the other students pull out Lunchables or turkey sandwiches on white bread for lunch. My lunch would be more....Libyan. I would pull out a cheese sandwich made from my mom's hearty and healthy wheat bread or some left over rice with a pea stew (Tabikhit Bazalya). While I was once ashamed of bringing my Libyan food to my American cafeteria, as an adult I can't get enough of my cultural cuisine.

As with anything else, I have my favorites. Braak (stuffed grape leaves) and Roushda Emgata3a (a homemade pasta) are of course top contenders. My friends and I often ''rank'' the best Libyan cooks we know based on who was best at making which dishes. We constantly get together for coffee and dessert as is the social norm for Libyans. We have monthly, if not weekly, dinners together. We love food. In particular we love Libyan food. After constant nagging to our mothers to make our favorite dishes we thought it was high time we learned to make the dishes we loved so much by ourselves so that we could enjoy them when we wanted.

The biggest problem with Libyan cuisine is that more often than not the person cooking does NOT measure anything or any ingredient. As our mothers always say عينك ميزانك or ''your eye is your scale.'' Of course this is impossible for a new or unexperienced cook. So I made a list of all the Libyan foods I can think of and will create a recipe for them.

 I am in no shape or form an expert cook, I just love food, cooking and being Libyan. Hopefully those three things will be enough to gain your trust in using my recipes for your dinner table. I am a first generation Libyan American who has a mother who can cook your pants off MashaAllah. I want to be as good as her one day and I will be, inshaAllah, one can of tomato paste at a time.



  1. Salam Assia!
    Just wanted to say I'm you new biggest fan.

    Love the layout and the details.. insh'a Allah I'll be dropping by often, you've inspired a few of my friends to start something of our own - and maybe you should consider video blogging too!

    Keep up the awesome work! :)

  2. Can you put up a recipe for asbana?

  3. Thank you, thank you for this site! My book club just read a book about Libya and our tradition is for the host to cook the food mentioned in the book (The Return). I used this site to cook Libyan food for the first time. We had sharba Libyia, macroona bil boosla, and sharmoosh. I now have bzaar in my spice pantry. The directions were easy for a complete novice like me. The dinner went off very well and everyone loved the food. Thank you for this site!

  4. I have referenced your website over the years for dishes to cook. Its been a while since you posted but I am looking for some translation help from arabic to english of some spices. I hope you get this and can you help?