Around the Lebanese culture

around the Lebanese culture

The road was long leading to the shores of Lake Leman. The odyssey began in the country of the Cedars, a long, long time ago... Europa, the Phoenician princess, trapped by her legendary beauty, was forced by Zeus to leave her city for an exile in Crete. Nostalgic for her homeland, she recreates and shares locally, refined recipes from her city of Tyre. Did those culinary wonders, then, spread from home to home and across the seas? the legend doesnt tell us nor the traditions….. We only know that today, the essence of the Lebanese culinary delights are served in the green pastures and under the lenient sun of the Vaud country.

Recipe from the fishermen of Tyre : Sayyadiyeh

Fry or roast fish..

Separate flesh from the bones.

In a little olive oil fry lots of onion cut in wings, till dark brown. Remove part of the onion and set aside to garnish. Add the fish head and bones to the onion, add salt, black pepper , curcum and cumin. Boil for half an hour. Remove from fire, drain. Set aside some of the liquid to which you add lemon juice, to make the sauce. With the rest of the liquid you cook the rice.

To serve garnish the rice with the fried onion, fried pinenuts and nuts, and top with the fish fillets. The sauce in a bowl apart. Sahtein.

Lebanon delights us with a cuisine in his image: A land steeped in history, culture and sun. This incomparable diversity is reflected in its famous “ mezze” (pronounced mezah), arabic term derived from the verb ymaz-mez, which means literally “ enjoy eating slowly in small morsels.”

The ”mezah” covers a multitude of small dishes as a starter, served usually with Arak, the traditional drink ( true emblem of culinary art, it is prepared from distilled water, grape juice , alcohol and anise seeds..) The Lebanese cuisine has a big variety of vegetarian dishes available nowhere else.nStuffed vine leaves, (the vegetarian variety served as a mezah).

Mix chopped parsley, onion { green if possible), cubed tomatoes, fresh mint leaves, rice, lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Roll in young and tender vine leavesnCover with water, add lemon juice and olive oil and cook for 30 minutes or so.

A Lebanese adage might be 'For every event, its recipe!' As everywhere else in the world, each feast has its own culinary traditions, and God knows how many feasts and holidays are celebrated by all of the communities living on Lebanese soil and the menus to go with.

For Christmas it’s the stuffed rooster with rice and mixed nuts. For New Year’s it is the turkey … for Adha (muslim eid ) it is the “ouzeh” or stuffed lamb.

On Easter all the women of the family gather together to prepare “maamoul” (sweets stuffed with walnuts or pistachio or dates). They prepare monumental amounts to distribute to parents, neighbors or friends.

On the eve of “Ashourah” ( muslim Shia feast), as well as on the Virgin Mary anniversary, young men and women gather on the village square to build a wood fire and cook, in huge pots, the “hrisseh”, a delicious preparation of mutton, whole wheat and spices. They spend the night stirring the mixture in turns, dancing the dabke and singing folk songs till the morning, when “hrisseh” is distributed to all the neighboring villages.

The Armenians have among their tasty specialties the popular kebbeh karazie, and the basterma, (charcuterie made from dried beef and spices). For the Lebanese all occasions are an excuse to revel in conviviality whether at home or abroad.

If each community has its specialty to accompany the holidays, all the Lebanese today prepare these dishes all year round, and the tabbouleh, hummus or stuffed vine leaves ornate all tables, whether Christian, Muslim, Druze or atheist, rich or poor.

The unavoidable “kebbe”, in particular, is prepared with as many variations as the local  traditions of the mountain villages, or coast  towns…. The two towns Zghorta, in the North , and Zahleh in the Bekaa  are so famous for their kebbe that  their competition has become legendary. Zghorta makes the most delicious Kebbe Mechouiyeh ( round balls stuffed with lard and spices and cooked over coal fire)nnZahle is proud of its kebbe balls of several layers, one inside the other like the famous Russian Baboushkan

Recipe for kekbbe dough

500g Minced meat (beef, mutton or goat meat)
300g Bourghol
One onion minced or grated.
7 spices
Black pepper
Mix all ingredients to make a sort of dough using cold water to wet your hands.
This dough may be used to prepare a great variety of dishes.

Recipe for Moujaddara

(as prepared in the high mountain villages of North Lebanon)

Cook presoaked red beans till tender. Chop onion and fry in olive oil till brown , add to the beans, add borghol , tomato paste and cook till done. ( should have a thick sauce)


Same recipe as above but instead of the borghol you add taliatelle to the beans.

Recipe of Moudardara

Cook lentils till nearly done, add rice or bourghol, add fried onion, olive oil and mix. Garnish with fried onion. salt and cumin

At KEYANN CAFÉ LIBANAIS every day is a Sunday and we invite you to share a moment of the joy of living and conviviality of which our country is famous, by serving you a fresh, tasty and varied Lebanese cuisine. On founding KEYANN CAFÉ LIBANAIS, our concern was  to  achieve the highest quality standards in terms of ingredients, cooking and taste, and to adopt affordable prices to make each visit a festive moment.