karabij halab ( Aleppo cookies)

It is a sweet especially from Aleppo, karabij halab is a semolina flour cookie filled with a crunchy nut mixture and flavored with rose and orange blossom water. This sweet treat is typically made with semolina flour dough, topped with a mixture of ground pistachios or walnuts, sugar, ghee, cinnamon, and fragrant water, pinched closed, and then baked until nicely colored.

Karabij halab, named after Halab - Aleppo’s ancient name, is typically shaped by hand, but it can also be molded in special, carved molds. The dessert is usually accompanied by natef - a type of white cream made from soapwort root - and is traditionally prepared on special occasions and holidays, such as Eid Al-Fitr.

Although these Syrian cookies can be made at home, they are more commonly bought in many pastry shops selling them throughout the country.

Swar as-sitt

Swar as-sitt is a delectable Syrian dessert that is a variation of Middle Eastern baklava and is commonly known as baklava bracelet. It consists of very thin and crispy phyllo dough that is rolled and folded into a round pastry treat with a small cavity in the middle.

These little phyllo treats are typically brushed with melted ghee and then baked until golden and crispy. Once baked, they are covered with hot sugar syrup and filled with ground or sliced pistachios. The round shape of this sweet dessert resembles a bracelet, which is probably how this dessert got its name, which translates to lady’s bracelet.

With crispy phyllo layers and crunchy pistachios, all drenched in sweet sugar syrup, swar as-sitt is one of the most beloved Middle Eastern sweet treat

Mahshi Betengan (Stuffed Eggplant)

Mahshi is the name used for a wide group of dishes which include a variety of vegetables stuffed with rice, vegetables, and meat. It is similar to dolma dishes, but the name is primarily used in Syria, North African, and Eastern Mediterranean countries.

The most common vegetables used as a container are cored zucchinis, squash, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, onions, potato, and in some regions even cabbage and vine leaves. The stuffing for the vegetables typically uses rice as the base, which is usually flavored with region-specific spices.

They can include mild Mediterranean spices such as parsley, dill, and bay leaves, or the more Oriental ones such as cinnamon, allspice, or mint. Already browned minced meat is occasionally added to the rice, but it can be omitted to create a vegetarian version of the dish.

In some countries, the stuffing mixture is commonly combined with tomato sauce. Vegetables are usually cooked in broth until the rice is thoroughly cleaned and the stuffing entirely infuses all the fragrant spices. Depending on the choice of ingredients, mahshi can be served as a nutritious main dish, as a healthy vegetarian meal, and even as an assorted starter.

It is a dish with centuries-long tradition, which is held in high regard in all the regions and countries where it is prepared and consumed.

Ballorieh with pistachios

Ballourieh consists of a rich pistachio filling that is placed between two layers of shredded kataifi dough—similar to the one used in kunafah. This ballourieh variety is lightly baked because it needs to retain its typical white color.

When baked, it is doused in syrup and left to set, and it is then traditionally served cut into large squares. Although it is invented in Aleppo, ballourieh is commonly found in Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan.

What many don't know is that Ballourieh dates back to the 8th century BC.  The reason it is Syrian authentically is because Ballourieh by nature is in the Middle East, requiring a pistachio called Red Aleppo that originated from "Halab".

Syrian Pea Stew with Rice (Bazella W Riz)

This pea stew with rice (Bazella W Riz) is a classic Syrian dish made of peas, beef, tomatoes, onion and garlic served over syrian-style rice. The combination of vegetables and tender beef and rice makes this a healthy, hearty meal for kids and adults, as it is so filling and quite healthy from all the vegetables.

It is such a versatile dish, that it is made not only in every household in Syria, but throughout various households in the Middle East and Northern Africa. The flavors vary a bit from country to country, but the idea of these stews is basically the same.

You can also make this dish vegetarian by not using a protein at all, and using vegetable broth instead of beef or chicken broth.