Sfouf (Turmeric Cake)

Sfouf is a Syrian semolina turmeric cake, made with simple ingredients, no eggs and no butter. It's vegan and a perfect light dessert or snack to go with your cup of coffee. The semolina in the cake gives a nutty texture that is just so hard to resist!

Sfouf is an Arabic word that means lines and it’s used here to describe the way this cake is cut into lines. The cake itself is a semolina-turmeric oil-based yellow cake. It’s a simple plain cake with mild flavors and not at all sweet. The flavor is incredible, the texture is crumbly but soft as well,  It is perfect to enjoy during the month of Ramadan.

Turmeric gives the cake the most delicious flavor and color, turmeric is considered a superfood, as it is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory effects along with so many other wonderful health benefits. It has been used in cooking as a spice and as a medicinal herb in Asia, especially India, for thousands of years.

Syrian Hushwee (Rice with Chicken)

Hushweet jaj is a classic Syrian recipe; .It is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine as a humble, flavor-packed dish. Hushwee means (stuffing). It is the foundation of many classic Syrian dishes such as stuffed Eggplant, sfeehas (Syrian Meat Pies) or shishbarak. At Christmas, we stuff the turkey with Hushwee and also we love to eat it on top of mashed potatoes with gravy.

Hushweet jaj is a ground beef mixture with long grain rice. It is cooked in ghee and seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice then topped with shredded chicken and toasted pine nuts.

Serve it with a Syrian Green Salad or cucumber yogurt with dried mint, garlic.

Syrian Spinach and Beef stew (Sabanekh w Riz)

In Arabic, this dish is called Sabanekh w Riz – which translates to spinach and rice. It’s a hearty, nutritious and wholesome meal made with simple inexpensive ingredients and mostly eaten in winter. While it is often served with beef, you can make it vegan by serving it with chickpeas.

Spinach has been a versatile and commonly used vegetable in Syria. Eating and preparing spinach is simple and easy, since it tastes good raw or cooked. It can be easily incorporated into many dishes. It is easy to serve raw spinach in salads or sandwiches or as a complement to soups, meat, fish, or other vegetable dishes.

Spinach is an extremely nutrient-rich vegetable. It packs high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium, and it prevents cancer, and reduces blood pressure levels.

Grilled Kibbeh

Kibbe refers to a variety of “meat balls” from Syria and the Middle East. Fine bulgur is the main ingredient for kibbeh, and it is mixed in different proportions with spices and raw meat of sheep or calf “habra” (Habra: Lean red meat). And that are either fried, baked, stewed, BBQ’d or eaten raw. There are many different ways of preparing and cooking Kibbe and there is a vegetarian Kibbe variety as well which are made from chickpeas or squash. Syrian villages boast dozens of different Kibbe recipes.

Almost any feast or any joyous occasion that enters any Syrian household does not overlook grilled kibbeh. It is prepared in Syria on religious holidays, whether Christian or Muslim, and when a family member travels, their bag must contain several pieces. When two families get to know each other and on the occasion of engagement or marriage, a large feast is prepared in which the origins of the two families are called and this tabletop has kibbeh of all kinds. Grilled kibbeh has become an important demand for Syrian expatriates, who are looking for its ingredients or somewhere to make it wherever they are.

Grilled kibbeh is a well-known dish in all Syrian regions and every region has worked to add special flavors to it according to the nature of the gourmet of the meal.

The preparation of the luxurious grilled kibbeh is a delicate process and requires teamwork for excellence and perhaps the preparation and making process creates very beautiful family ties.

Barazek “Honey pistachio sesame cookies”

Barazek is a delicious Syrian cookie and it is a typical Syrian culinary specialty -   very famous in Damascus. These cookies are also very popular in Homs and Aleppo, with sesame seeds and crushed pistachios, flavored with spices, vanilla and honey.

Barazek is originally a Syrian pastry, but the recipe has spread widely throughout the Middle East, including Lebanon and Jordan. It is now common to find the famous sesame biscuits in many Mediterranean countries, exploring local shops and tea shops.

Traditionally, it is in Syrian bakeries that you can find the best barazek. They are sold in a pre-packaged form in metal boxes, to maximize shelf life. These biscuits are known as a part of local culture and traditions.

These crunchy biscuits are made of fine sweet dough, very rich in butter and without egg. The texture is sandy and melting. Some barazek recipes use clarified butter or ghee.

Each cookie is generously covered with a layer of roasted sesame seeds on one side and crushed pistachios on the other. Honey syrup delicately coats the sesame seeds and brings back an extra sweet flavor.