Lebanese Ingredients (Glossary) Recipe

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Some of these items may already be in your
pantry, while others may be a new addition.
A few of the items listed below will need to be
refrigerated or frozen as directed on the package.
Items can be found at specialty markets or
online. I suggest specialty Middle Eastern, Leba-
nese, Greek, Persian, Armenian, or Mediterranean
markets. Google any of the above and include
your zip code in the search to find stores near you.

Ackawi cheese Ackawi is a soft, smooth-
lexlured white cheese prepared from cow’s milk
with a slight salty flavor. A delicious cheese for
breakfast or served with fresh melons and fruit.

Allspice (bahar hillou) Allspice (whole or
ground) is not a mixture of spices. The pea-sized
fruits are picked from small evergreen trees when
they are green, then dried. They resemble large
peppercorns. The flavor is a combination of
cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and is slightly

Almonds (louz) Whole or ground nuts.

Anise (yensoon) Anise (whole seeds or ground)
is a relative of dill, fennel, caraway, and cumin.
Sweet and aromatic, it is the true taste of licorice.
Anise flavoring is used in alcoholic beverages
such as araq in Lebanon. Jordan. Iraq, and Syria;
ouzo in Greece: or sambuca in Italy.

Basmati rice (riz basniati) A variety of long-
grained rice, basmati is known for its fragrance
and delicate flavor. The Hindi word basmati
means fragrant. My preferred brands are im-
ported from India or Pakistan.

Bulgur (burghul) Bulgur is wheat that is
cooked (parboiled or steamed), removing the
outer layers of bran, then ground into various-
sized grains that are sun-dried. For tabbouli and
kibbi. I recommend using bulgur {burghul) ff 1.
fine. Larger grains can be steamed and prepared
like rice.

Caraway (craivya) Caraway (whole seeds or
ground) has an aromatic spicy, pungent anise-
like flavor and aroma. It is used as a flavor in
cooking, confectionery, and liqueurs.

Cardamom (hale) A member of the ginger
family, cardamom produces green pods that can
contain up to twenty aromatic seeds. The strong
lemonv flavor enhances both savorv and sweet
dishes, and is also found in varieties of Turkish
coffee. Ground cardamom loses its flavor quickly,
so it is best to keep the pods whole and grind
the seeds as needed. Avoid purchasing brown
cardamom pods: they are not true cardamom
and differ in flavor.

Clarified butter This is butter that has had ihe
milk solids and moisture removed (see recipe on
page 196). It has a much higher smoke point,
so il can lolerale higher temperatures without
browning or burning. (Note: Ghee is a type of
clarified butter that may be purchased; however,
it may be infused with herbs or spices.)

Coriander (kizbara) Coriander (whole seeds or
ground) has a slight hint of fresh cilantro leaves
and an aromatic scent that is soothingly warm,
nutty, and slightly fruity.

Cumin (camoon) Cumin (whole seeds or
ground) has a strong, heavy, and warm aroma
that is spicy-sweet. The flavor is pungent, power-
ful, and sharp, and when used in excess quantity
can be bitter.

Curry powder Although there are many variet-
ies of curry powder, this blend of spices usu-
ally includes coriander, turmeric, cumin, and
fenugreek, along with additional ingredients. My
favorite blend is ca ri ni an do-d&d gold MADRAS
curry POWDER, found 81 specially Asian markets
or online.

Deglet Noor dates These are dates that are
harvested from palm trees. They are the chewy
bread-like dale familiar lo most, a bit drier than
Medjool dates, and an excellent choice in baked
goods, such as semolina dale cookies (page 202).

Dibs ruman This concentrated pomegranate
molasses adds a powerful sweet yet tart and
savor.’ flavor when added to recipes.
Farina This milled wheal cereal grain may
already be familiar lo you as cream of wheat.
Feta cheese This slightly grainy-textured curd
cheese is commonly produced in blocks and
stored in brine. Traditionally made from goal’s or
sheep’s milk, it can also be made from cow’s milk.
Bulgarian feta cheese, made from sheep’s milk, is
my favorite variety—sharp, rich, and creamy.

Fillo dough (phyllo dough) These paper-thin
sheets of raw. unleavened flour dough are used
to prepare baklava (page 176), buraks (page 35),
bastilla, and a large variety of other recipes. My
favorite brand is Apollo.

Foul A variety of fava beans, foul are cooked
and mixed with garlic and lemon juice lo yield a
dish known as foul moudammas.

Freekeh Freekeh is a highly nutritious grain
made from fire-roasled green wheat. The grains
are harvesled while still young, therefore freekeh
contains more protein, vitamins, and minerals
than the same mature grains and has up to four
limes Ihe fiber of brown rice. Il is an excellent
alternative to pasta, rice, or potatoes.

Garbanzo beans (hoummos haab) Also
known as chickpeas, these delicious nutty-
tasting, buttery-textured beans are the main in-
gredient when pureed in hummus. They
are available canned or dried.

Grape leaves (warac inab) Whether fresh
off the vine or from a jar, grape leaves may be
sluffed with vegetables or ground meal
and rice , then steamed until tender.

Halloumi cheese This white sheep’s milk
cheese has a layered lexture and a salty flavor.

Kashkaval cheese Also known as achaouaine,
kashkaval ranges from mild to sharp varieties
depending on the brand, it is a firm cheese made
from sheep’s milk and has a yellow hue.

Kataifi Consisting of very thin hair-like strands
of shredded fillo dough, Kataifi is traditionally
used in a variely of desserts. It is very versatile
and can be used to prepare appetizers and main
dishes also. My favorite brand is Apollo.

Kholengen Dried galanga (a member of the
ginger family), kholengen has a sharp sweet
taste and is used to flavor both sweet and savory
dishes. I use it to flavor spicy rice pudding,
giving it an extra bite.

Kishk (or kashk powder) This mixture of fermented
milk, salt, and bulgur, dried and ground
into a cornmeal- to powder-like form with a tart
flavor. It is used in preparing savory dishes and
soups. Mixed with olive oil, sesame seeds, and
spices, it is spread over dough and then baked
into delicious red pepper pizzettas.

Mahlab powder Drop-shaped mahlab kernels
are the pits of black cherries, beige in color.
When ground, they produce a rose-scented
powder that is slightly bitter with a faint almond-
like taste.

Maward Rose flower water distilled from rose
petals, maward is used to davor sweets.

Mazaher Orange blossom water distilled from
orange blossom flowers. mazaher is used to fla-
vor sweets. and is added to hot water to prepare
white coffee.

Zahtar An aromaiic blend of ihyme. sumak.
and sesame seeds, zahtar is offered as a lable
condiment throughout the Middle East. Mixed
with olive oil and onions, it is spread over flat
dough and baked into delicious thyme pizzettas
or flat bread.

Zaher lamoon These delicate bright orange or
red candied orange blossom petals are used to
garnish sweets and are added to syrup, typi-
cally sold as zaher jam or orange blossom jam
in Specialty markets, or as orange blossom jam
online. You want the variety that actually has
small candied petals.

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