Monday, November 21, 2011

Mahshee-- Stuffed Bell Peppers

Although stuffed bell peppers is not a uniquely Libyan dish the mixture of this stuffing has all the hallmarks of Libyan cooking. Olive oil, tomato paste, parsley, and the blend of spices makes it ours. This recipe is awesome in a number of ways. First, its delicious. Second its flexible in that once you have the mix you can stuff anything you'd like, not just bell peppers. I love to use the same mix and stuff onions, zucchini and even tomatoes! You'll note this recipe calls for Cilantro. I know there are a lot of people who do not like cilantro and believe it to have a soapy taste. Although I disagree with you, feel free to omit it--it will still taste great. Two final notes: First-- In the recipe I used 3 bunches of parsley and 2 bunches cilantro. After chopping I measured the cup value. Second-- make sure you wash your herbs VERY well to avoid grit from sand and soil.

What you'll need:
- 12 bell peppers
-12 oz small cubed lamb
- 5 cups chopped parsley
- 3 cups chopped cilantro
- 12 chopped green onions
- 1/2 diced onion
- 2 medium sized tomatoes diced
- 12oz can tomato paste
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup short grain rice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Bzaar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cups water (Differs depending on pot).
- Deep bowl to mix

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sharba Libyia--Libyan Soup

Sharba Libyia will always remind me of Ramadan. At least in my family, it is mandatory all 30 days. If we dont eat Sharba Libyia our fast is incomplete. This soup is so delicious and flavorful. Its incredibly close to the Tabeekha or sauce we use in every other dish. When I first learned to make it, I was afraid thinking I had messed it up and created sauce not soup. Sharba Libyia is defined by its fresh parsley and dried mint added at the end. This soup is a crowd pleasure, I have never in my entire life met a person who didnt love it!

What you'll need:
- 9oz medium cubed lamb +bones
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon Tomato paste
- 1 cup garbanzo beans
-1/2 onion petite diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Bzaar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup Orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 3 tablespoons dried mint
- 10 cups water (divided)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


This thin unleavened bread is similar to an Indian roti prata. I love Ftaat more than most people. It makes me happy and I mentally hug my cousin in Libya who showed me how to make it every time I whip up a batch. I have to warn you, this recipe is seemingly easy, the catch with it is: as with any dough recipe, its about consistency. There are two tricks with ftaat. 1. You knead the heck out of it. I dont think its possible to over knead it. 2. Let it rest. The longer it rests, the yummier it is.

What you'll need:
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour. (Tip: Use Pillsbury) 
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups PLUS 1 tablespoon water
- Olive oil 
- Piece of paper
-Flat skillet


Whenever my mom gets a bunch of meat, she always picks a few choice pieces and makes us Glayit Laham. Its super simple but so delicious. Its great for a quick and simple dinner. It can be used as a filling for sandwiches  as well!

What you need:
- 12oz meat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 onion
- 1 Jalapeño


This salad is a Libyan essential. It can compliment a meal or stand alone as a meal with some fresh hot bread. I hesitated to post this recipe as simple as it is, but I think it wont hurt to standardize the salad that all us Libyan girls are forever forced into dicing. Having said that, from the years of chopping I make a tiny request when you chop this salad: Please petite dice (Jalapeno is the except so people can fish them out if they want to avoid the heat). It makes it look so nice and it can be scoped up with a spoon making it so much easier to eat. My OCD and peace of mind thank you in advance!

What you need:
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Salt
- 1 small onion
-1 cucumber
-3 tomatoes 
- 1 Jalapeño (Deseed if you want to lessen heat)