Weekend Breakfast Ful bi Laban (Bean with yoghurt sauce)

Friday is the weekend and the day of rest for Syrians. On Friday morning, breakfast is served late in the morning, more like a brunch, before people head for Friday's prayer around midday. Friday's meal is usually breakfast items: olives, white cheese and labneh. But it would not be a proper weekend breakfast if it didn't include Hummus Fatteh, FulMudamas or Ful bi Laban.

FulMudamas is a vegetarian warm broad bean salad dish eaten as a filling breakfast or a nice supper. Although FulMudamas is the official name of the dish we hardly ever use this name. We simply refer to it as a generic Ful or we call it by the name of its two variations, Ful bi Laban (youghurtFul) made with a youghrt sauce or Ful bi Ziet (oil ful)which looks more like a salad and uses more olive oil.

Khobeizeh (Sautéed Mallows With Onions and garlic)

Sauteed mallow with onions. This Syrian and Middle Eastern dish is easy to make, delicious and healthy, it's simple, light and it's packed with nutrients! Served with Arabic bread and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice

It’s this time of the year when Syria is filled with mallow leaves.

Khobeizeh means mallow in Arabic. Mallow or malva leaves are herbaceous plants with hairy stems, pink or purple flowers, normally harvested in the early months of January and February or during spring depending on the temperature of the area. They are only available during that short period of the year, and that’s when we collect them to either cook right away or freeze to be enjoyed later in the year.

Many people confuse mallow or malva leaves with jute mallow leaves, and in fact, these 2 plants are completely different! We use Jute leaves to cook Molokhia and that’s also the Arabic name for jute leaves, while mallows are called Khobeizeh. Jute mallow doesn't grow in the wild, it’s normally planted and harvested during the summer. But Mallows grow on their own and are picked during early spring.

Mallow leaves are picked when still young, older leaves become tough and not considered edible so we never pick them. When mallow flowers appear during springtime, they look like pink carpets covering the green fields.

Reshtayeh soup

Reshtayeh is a brown lentil soup with bright lemony notes. It is very good soup for vegetarians. 

Lentils are a very famous ingredient in the Syrian and Mediterranean recipes. They are cheap, easy to cook and filling.

This soup contains a variety of vegetables with the lentils like potato, Chard and celery. So it is low in calories, rich in iron, folate and an excellent source of protein. Chard is an excellent source of potassium, calcium and magnesium, minerals that help maintain healthy blood pressure.

The uniqueness of this soup lies in the intense lemony taste. It is not cooked in a lemon broth, but the most authentic thing to do when eating this dish is to add loads of lemon juice to your bowl.

Potato Mufarakeh

Mufarakeh is one of the generic names of various vegetable dishes.  Some dishes are vegetarian like Mufaraket Kusa (courgettes mufarakah), some use eggs, and some are cooked with ground meat. The only common factor is the simplicity of these dishes. They are usually easy to make, quick, simple.

The word Mufarakeh could be roughly translated to rubbed or massaged.

Potato Mufarakeh is a simple dish of potatoes, onions and minced meat. Traditionally the potato is cut into small cubes, fried and cooked with the meat in a pot. The result is a yummy dish but not great looking.

Syrian Pickled Turnips

Syrian pickle (Mukhlal ) are those neon-pink turnip slices you find on every Syrian table. The gorgeous pink color comes from a small beet, tucked into the jar with the turnips.

Syrian pickle is a perfect complement to all middle eastern fare. It is another wonderful recipe from the land of Syrians. The crunchy, tangy and slightly sweet veggies are so enticing and help you delve deeper into the rich culinary traditions of the middle east region. Served with most appetizers, grilled chicken, kebabs, Falafel sandwiches, shawarma, smoked meat and fish, these Syrian pickles are popularly known as Shawarma Pickles or Arabic pickles.

Syrian food is quite versatile and easy to prepare. Hummus, Toum (garlic), Mediteraanean style vegetable salad, arabic Bread, Shawarma, Falafel all are popular.  Syrian pickle can be prepared with various vegetables like beetroot, carrot, cucumber, radish, turnip and carrot.