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Lebanese Meals in Minutes

Lebanese Meals in Minutes

Issue 1 Sept / Oct 2003

Lebanese Shish Kebab

(Lahem Meshwi)

These bright colourful shish kebabs are perfect for the summer barbecue - feel free to use different types of vegetables. Serves 4



900g tender lamb, cut into 5cm cubes

2 large red onions

1 large red pepper, cored and seeded

1 large yellow pepper, cored and seeded

2 courgettes

20 baby tomatoes, stems removed

8 skewers

250g of cous cous

Chopped coriander



2 tbsp olive oil

Zest of 1 whole lemon

Juice of 1 whole lemon

Freshly ground pepper


2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tsp of ground cumin

1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon


1.Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and whisk together.

2. Add meat and mix together, making sure each piece of meat is covered.

3. Refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours, maximum of 24 hours.

4. Quarter each onion and then half the quarter, so that you have 8 onion sections for each onion.

5. Half peppers and remove seeds.

6. Cut the half pepper into 3 strips and each strip into 3 squares.

7. Top and tail courgette and cut into 2 cm thick rings.

8.Thread the vegetables and meat onto the skewer, alternating the ingredients. Use about 2-3 pieces of meat per skewer.

9. Grill the kebabs for about 12-15 minutes, turning them so each side is browned well. Serve kebabs with cous cous mixed with chopped coriander.


Cinnamon-Pistachio Crescents

These pastries similar to the French croissant have a distinctive Lebanese flavour with the use of pistachios and cinnamon.
Makes about 48




18g of fresh yeast or 1 packet (6g) of dry yeast

2 tbsp caster sugar

275g flour

200g melted butter

2 eggs, beaten

1 egg, beaten for brushing the tops of the


10g finely chopped pistachios to garnish



2 tbsp ground cinnamon

100g light brown sugar

50g finely chopped pistachios


1. Combine 4 tbsp of lukewarm water with yeast. Leave to rest for 3 minutes and then stir in sugar

2. Allow to rest for a further 5 minutes.

3. Sieve flour into a large bowl.

4. Create a well in the middle.

5. Pour the melted butter, yeast mixture and beaten eggs.

6. Mix with hands until well combined.

7. Cover the bowl with plastic film and chill for minimum of 4 hours or overnight.

8. Preheat oven to 180?C/350?F/Gas Mark 4.

9. Combine filling in a bowl.

10 Transfer ball of dough onto floured surface.

11. Divide into 8 balls.

12. Roll one ball into a 20cm large circle.

13. Cut circle into eight wedges.

14. Take one dough wedge and place 1/2 tsp of filling onto the wider end of the wedge.

15. Spreading the mixture slightly towards to the end (but not too far).

16. Beginning at the wider end roll the wedge up.

17. Curve the ends to create a half-moon shape.

18. Brush beaten egg mixture over pastry and sprinkle a few finely chopped pistachios.

19. Repeat procedure with rest of dough. Leave the crescents to rest in a warm place for 20 minutes before baking.

20. Bake the crescents in batches on a well-oiled baking tray for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden.

21. Crescents can be frozen and warmed up at a later time.


Yoghurt Cream Cheese Dip


In Lebanon this dip is usually made of goat’s milk. A popular meze dish, the mild cream cheese dip can be turned into something more substantial by adding various different ingredients such as: spring onions, paprika, chopped cucumber, crushed black pepper… whatever you fancy.



1.5l of natural yoghurt

(preferably goat or sheep)

1 tsp salt - Paprika or another ingredient to


Pitta bread

1/2 metre of muslin cloth


Combine the yoghurt and salt in a bowl.

Line a colander with the muslin cloth.

Tip yoghurt into muslin lined colander.

Tie muslin together and hang over sink for 12 hours or overnight.

To serve put cheese into bowl.

Flavour with chosen ingredient.

Serve with pitta bread.


food stylist: Rachel  Khoo

images: Brent Darby

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