True or false: There is only one way to make Syrian Spice.
We’ll save you the guessing game and go ahead and tell you that the answer is false. Just like curry, each family has their own method of creating Syrian Spice. Some add an extra dash of this, others prefer not quite so much of that. We encourage you to experiment until you find your own signature spice blend as Syrian Spice is an integral component of most of the savory dishes on this blog.
If you’re looking to make the perfect sweet bread or cinnamon roll, this isn’t the dough for you. If your dinner plans include Meat Pies, Spinach and Lemon Pies, Zahtar Bread, or Lahmajoun, on the other hand, you’ve found the perfect recipe. Go ahead and bookmark this page now—this versatile dough for savory dishes is one you’ll use again and again.
Is there anything Yogurt Sauce doesn’t go with? In our opinion the answer is a resounding no, which is why we’ve labeled it a Foundational recipe. Use this Yogurt Sauce to create Ablama or Kibby Lebanieh, and other dishes. Whatever you do, just make sure that you use Bulgarian whole milk yogurt when creating your Yogurt Sauce. This style of yogurt contains additional cultures, which makes the flavor tangy and a bit on the sour side. It’s the closest thing you’ll find in stores to the top-shelf yogurt we compare every imitator against—the homemade Syrian version made by Stephen’s grandmother, Zakieh Cueter.
Replace homemade Tomato Sauce with (dare we say it) a jar of marinara from the grocery store? You must be kidding. The flavor profile of this sauce is worlds away from anything you may have sampled in Italy. Ciao, pasta. Hello, Vegetarian Grape Leaves and Sheikh-el-Mahshi.
Vegetarians and meat-lovers alike have called themselves fans of this Meatless Stuffing, which imparts a tomato-packed punch of flavor to every batch of Stuffed Grape Leaves it comes into contact with. With proteins including chickpeas and pine nuts in the mix, this stuffing is every bit as satisfying as its carnivorous cousin. Go on, non-vegs, and give it a try. While this stuffing probably won’t convert you, it just might make you consider adopting the practice of Meatless Monday.
Lamb Stuffed Grapeleaves. Koussa. Cabbage Rolls. They all share the common denominator of Rice and Lamb Stuffing. For the best, most flavorful filling possible, we recommend using a mixture of lamb and beef with a 90% lean, 10% fat ratio for both cuts of meat.
You can think of Kibby as the meatloaf of the Middle East, minus the ketchup. Lamb and/or beef, cracked wheat, and Hashwi combine to make Kibby Mixture, which can be used for both Kibby Tray and Kibby Balls. You can use 100% lamb or beef in this recipe, but we prefer an even mixture of both. Look for a 90% lean, 10% fat ratio for both cuts of meat to ensure optimum texture.
Found in many dishes, Hashwi is a foundational recipe component that is traditionally made from lamb. In the Kalil kitchen, however, we prefer an even blend of lamb and beef. Select cuts with an 80% lean, 20% fat ratio to impart extra flavor and moisture.