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Lebanese Cooking by Madelain Farah & Leila Habib-Kirske

Lebanese Cooking by Madelain Farah & Leila Habbib-Kirske
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If you love Middle Eastern cuisine, Lebanese Cooking by Madelain Farah & Leila Habib-Kirske published by Hatherleigh Press is a great reference as it has more than 185 simple, delicious, and authentic recipes in its chapters on Sauces, Bread & Bread Dishes, Soups, Salads, Fish, Entrées, Kibbi, Mihshi, Rice Dishes, Vegetarian Dishes, Laban (Yogurt) Dishes, Condiments, and Desserts & Beverages. Originally written by Madelain Farah in 1972 to honor recipes from her mother, the book was updated and expanded in 2023 by Madelain Farah’s daughter, Leila Habib-Kirske. Written with love with delectable recipes and stunning photographs, this cookbook is a treasure for Middle Eastern cuisine.

Madelain Farah wrote the original book in 1972, and fifty years later, her daughter Leila Habib-Kirske expanded upon her mother’s book adding recipes that honor her mother and her grandmother. There are many delectable recipes in each chapter of the cookbook including the recipe for Spinach Triangle Pies (Sbanikh bil- `Ajin) from the Bread & Bread Dishes chapter. Another interesting recipe is Lentils with Dried Beans and Rice (Makhlouta) from the Soups chapter. From the Entrées chapter we especially liked the Lamb-Vegetable Casserole (Masbat ad-Darwish). Kibbi is an important part of Middle Eastern cuisine, and there are fifteen interesting Kibbi recipes in that chapter.

For Vegetarians, there are twenty-six mouthwatering recipes in the Vegetarian Chapter including recipes for Garbanzo Bean Dip (Hummus bit’Tahini), Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves (Mihshi Waraq `Inab Siyami), and Eggplant Appetizer (Baba Ghanoush). As the perfect finale to the cookbook, there are delectable dessert and beverage recipes including the recipe for Filled Pastry (Ma’mul).

To provide a tempting look at the cookbook, Hatherleigh Press graciously provides permission to Luxury Experience to reprint the recipe for Nut Filled Pastry (Ma’mul) from the Lebanese Cooking by Madelain Farah & Leila Habib-Kirske.

Nut Filled Pastry (Ma'mul) - Lebanese Cooking by Madelain Farah & Leila Habib-Kirske

Recipe for Nut Filled Pastry (Ma’mul)
from the Lebanese Cooking by Madelain Farah & Leila Habib-Kirske

Makes 6-7 Dozen


Ground Walnuts, Almonds, or Pistachios
Rose Water


Clarified Butter, congealed
Farina or Cream of Wheat
Lukewarm Milk
Powdered Sugar

Instructions: Thoroughly mix the filling ingredients with a spoon and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until light. Add the farina and flour, working with your hands until the dough is well blended. Gradually add the milk, kneading to a soft dough. Place a walnut-sized chunk of dough in the palm of your hand. Using your forefinger, press and expand the hole in the center of the dough by rotating and pressing the dough against the palm of your hand until the shell is one-quarter inch thick and about three inches long. Place a teaspoonful of filling into the shell. Carefully close, forming a sphere. Other shapes can be formed using a tabi’ (a wooden cookie mold).

Place the spheres on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20-25 minutes, until the bottoms are light brown. Sift powdered sugar over the cookies while still warm. Let them stand on the baking sheet until completely cooled. Remove.

Note: Date filling (page 246 of the cookbook) may be substituted. For a softer cookie, add one teaspoon yeast to the farina mixture. These cookies may be kept for 2 weeks in an airtight container if placed in a cool place. They also freeze well.

Until next time, Bon Appetit!

Websites where you can purchase Lebanese Cooking by Madelain Farah & Leila Habib-Kirske: Hatherleigh Press, Penguin Random House, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and others.

Hatherfleigh Press

Lebanese Cooking by Madelain Farah & Leila Habib-Kirske
Published by Hatherleigh Press
Website: www.hatherleighpress.com
December 26, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-57826-949-5
Hardcover US: $25, Canada: $30
e-Book: $12.99
© 2023

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