Traditional recipes

"Labaneh" with za'atar

From the series of appetizers with "labaneh" I still acquaint you today with 3 new variants.

  • 2 liters of fresh pasteurized milk
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • olive oil
  • a piece of muslin cloth
  • green parsley leaf
  • za’atar
  • green olives

Servings: 6

Preparation time: over 120 minutes

METHOD OF PREPARING THE RECIPE "Labaneh" with za'atar:

Yogurt preparation ("laban")

Heat the milk over low heat until boiling; let it cool, but not at all, just be warm.

Mix 4 tablespoons of warm milk with yogurt and add to the rest of the milk; mix well to homogenize.

Transfer to a glass or clay pot and place in a warm blanket; leave for 6-8 hours until hardened.

Preparation of “labaneh”

The yogurt thus obtained is mixed well with salt and put in a piece of muslin; it binds and hangs on the sink faucet, letting it drain well of whey for about 10-12 hours; creamy labaneh is thus obtained.

Place the labaneh on a plate and sprinkle with za'atar and green parsley leaf.

Serve with Arabic stick.

Good appetite!

Tips sites


“Za’atar” is a spice specific to Arab countries prepared from dried oregano, lemon, marjoram, fried sesame seeds, salt. It is generally prepared at home by most housewives in the villages and the spices used are kept secret. You can add a variety of other spices such as: thyme, cumin, coriander, fennel. In Palestine the recipe includes sweet cumin (caraway or fennel). In Lebanon, sumac is often added, a spice that gives a dark red color. In Egypt this spice is prepared with cinnamon, cloves and rose buds. It is used in many foods and doughs.

Moroccan style turkey hearts with Maille mustard sauce

You are probably used to finding more original recipes or ingredients with too little use, but which are excellent in my opinion. I was challenged again by my friends from Maille, to cook a different recipe, but with my personal touch.

This time I chose to put on the & # 8220stage & # 8221 turkey hearts, which is a source of protein with a very good nutritional intake. At the same time, they are perfect for the winter season, and the spices give a special note.


8 pieces of turkey hearts cleaned very well
1 teaspoon Maille Mustard with honey
1 teaspoon of fine Dijon Mustard berries
1/2 white or red onion
2 cloves of garlic
A few crispy almonds
2 peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil

Method of preparation
Pour oil into pan or saucepan. Cut the onion into strips and the garlic into 4, then harden until caramelized.
The turkey hearts are left 30 minutes before in cold water and salt. Then wash them well and strain them.
Add them to the pan and sauté. Add the diced tomatoes and mix well.
Put all the ingredients and mix well. Pour 300 ml of chicken stock or water. Season with salt and pepper. Leave on medium heat for 30 minutes, with a lid. It can be served with white rice, couscous or polenta. At the end, put some crispy almonds and a crush of olive oil. It can be decorated with various leaves. You can opt for pine buds instead of almonds, pulled a little in the pan.

Za'atar - spice mix

Specific to the Middle East, Za'atar is a spice that is prepared by mixing herbs (dry or fresh).

Zatar comes primarily from the Middle East: Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Syria, but is also known in Turkey and North Africa. It differs in color and taste depending on its origin and the specific components of each country.

As a mixture of spices it can contain: thyme, oregano, marjoram, over which salt and roasted sesame seeds are added, thus obtaining za'atar verde

In Lebanon, zatar also contains sumac (Smelling Vinegar - Rhus coriaria) which gives it a reddish brown color and a sour taste, known as za'atar rosu.

Depending on the country where the recipe comes from, it may also contain pepper, occasionally lemon juice and fried chickpeas.

It differs in color and taste depending on its origin and the specific components of each country, so the red zatar has a more sour taste due to the sumac, while the one with thyme only has a pleasant bitter taste.

In short about za & # 8217atar

Za & # 8217atar, or za & # 8217tar, zaatar, zatar, zatr, zahatar, satar etc. is a generic name for a family of aromatic herbs related to the well-known oregano refers mainly, however, to a variety of wild oregano (Majorana syriaca, or Origanum syriacum).

However, the term za & # 8217atar most often refers to a mixture of herbs and seeds. The mixture called za & # 8217atar is a mixture of wild oregano, calamintha (an aromatic plant that is, as a flavor, a combination of basil and thyme), garden thyme, thyme, thyme, etc. with sesame seeds, dried sumac, salt and sometimes a few spices. This mixture is used as a seasoning in cuisines influenced by Arab culture, being widespread and very popular especially in the Middle East.

Ancient written history mentions the plant za & # 8217atar. Unfortunately, it does not contain any very old reference to za & # 8217atar as a mixture of herbs and seeds, although historians suspect that some unidentified terms are certainly from the Yale Babylonian Collection (the largest collection of documents, seals and artifacts in ancient Mesopotamia). and one of the richest in wedge-shaped tablets (about 45,000 tablets, some 5,000 years old), could even refer to this mixture.
According to some researchers, an Akkadian word, which reads "sarsar", could refer to the mixture za & # 8217atar. This word could be followed in Syriac, "satre", and Arabic, "sa & # 8217tar", possibly in Latin "satureia". It is said to be the origin of the name Satureja thymbra, which is called a species of thyme.

There is also the Arabic term "za & # 8217atar barri", which means "wild oregano", identified as Origanum vulgare, known in Europe as oregano, wild marjoram or winter marjoram. This plant is very common in Palestine, Jordan and Israel and is used by Palestinians in the preparation of a local variety of za & # 8217atar mixture.

It seems that the plant za & # 8217atar was known and used in ancient Egypt, although some historians question this the name of the plant in question could not be determined precisely. Remains of thymbra spicata have been found, a variety of thyme still used today in Tutankhamun's tomb, and according to Dioscorides, this plant variety was called "saem" by the ancient Egyptians.

Pliny the Elder mentions, much later, in the first century AD, that the Parthian kings used a perfume, historically called "regale unguentum", which contained the same plant.

Several medieval Jewish sages, well versed in traditions, such as Saadiah (d. 942), Ibn Ezra (d. C. 1164), Maimonides (1135–1204) and Obadiah ben Abraham (1465–1515) claimed that the plant "ezov" , mentioned in the Old Testament, was called by the Arabs with the term "za & # 8217atar".
It is known that, along with other spices and herbs mixed with salt, za & # 8217atar was widely used in Arabic cuisine, not only in the Middle Ages, but also much later these seasonings have not disappeared, in fact, even today cuisines influenced by Arab culture.
Palestinians, for example, see the symbol as a symbol of Palestinian housing. Even today, for Palestinian refugees, plants and food like za & # 8217atar are symbols of the house, the village, the region they come from.

Interestingly, za & # 8217atar as an aromatic herb is widely used in Israeli cuisine today. Some companies that distribute it on the market call it "hyssop" or "holy hyssop", although hyssopus officinalis is not found in the wild in Israel, while origanum vulgare is very common.

Preparation and variants
Both za & # 8217atar grass and the mixture of the same name are popular in Armenia, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey. Each culinary culture proposes its own variants of mixture.

Traditionally, the za & # 8217atar plant was dried in the sun and mixed with salt, sesame seeds and sumac.

Za & # 8217atar is prepared today in dozens of variants, generally mixing dried aromatic herbs (thyme, oregano, marjoram) with fried sesame seeds, salt and sumac. As you can see, robust herbs are used, with strong aromas, which are well resistant to long-term heat treatment. To these components already listed above, you can add other ingredients: toast, or spices, most often cumin, cumin, fennel or coriander.

There are, as I said above, several variants of za & # 8217atar, from those that contain only 2-3 components, to those that list more than 10 ingredients. Traditional variants from Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, the Arabian Peninsula, etc. they are very similar, but different from those prepared in North Africa. The mixture prepared in Morocco has its roots in Andalusia, where most of the population of the city of Fez comes from.
These old recipes were extremely prized, considered to be the cultural legacy of a family. Therefore, the list of ingredients was secret and sometimes was not shared even with very close relatives. This practice was lamented by Westerners who loved North African or Middle Eastern cuisine, who had great difficulty recognizing the ingredients, not to mention the proportions between them. Some of the Palestinian variants may contain cumin seeds, and others in Lebanon may contain large amounts of sumac, which gives them a dark red color. In fact, from a commercial point of view, there are two types of za & # 8217atar on the market, red and green, the difference being the amount of sumac, the ingredient that gives the red color to the mixture.

I chose from the wide variety of za & # 8217atar recipes on one of the simplest, and most affordable nine. Sumac can be found in Arab and Turkish stores if you can't find marjoram, replace it with a mixture of thyme and oregano. Following this recipe you will get a red za & # 8217atar reduce to just one tablespoon the amount of sumac and double the amounts of aromatic herbs to get a green variant.

1/4 cup sumac
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried marjoram
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon fried sesame seeds
1 teaspoon coarse salt

Grind the sesame seeds well, or process them with a coffee grinder. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Store the mixture in an airtight jar, stored cold, away from light and air. The mixture is stored aromatically for a period of 3-6 months after preparation.

Another simple variant of za & # 8217atar is the one that, to the list of ingredients above, adds 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds. They are fried dry, without oil, over low heat for 30-40 seconds, or until they start to smell and crack. Leave to cool for 2-3 minutes and process with the sesame seeds.

Culinary uses
The pita bread is soaked in oil and then powdered with sugar mixture. Another option is to mix the dry grass za & # 8217atar or the za & # 8217atar mixture with olive oil, resulting in a paste. This is called "za & # 8217atar-wu-zayt" or "zeit ou za & # 8217atar" & # 8211 "zeit" meaning "oil" in Arabic and "olive" in Hebrew. This dough is spread on a dough surface, which is then baked like bread. This preparation is called "manakeesh bi zaatar".

In the Middle East there is "ka & # 8217ak", a kind of soft bread with sesame seeds, which is sold on the streets, either greased with za & # 8217atar-wu-zayt, or containing a filling seasoned with za & # 8217atar.

In fact, za & # 8217atar is used to season meat and vegetables, one of the known uses and in our country it is sprinkled over hummus. Za & # 8217atar is also eaten with "labneh" (well drained yogurt), and with bread and olive oil. The latter combination is highly valued for breakfast in countries such as Jordan, Israel, Syria and Lebanon.
The Lebanese also have a specialty, called "shanklish", which consists of dried balls of labneh, rolled through za & # 8217atar, to form a fragrant outer crust.

The plant za & # 8217atar also has its uses. Borek, the Turkish pastry, contains this plant in many fillings. There is also a salad made from fresh za & # 8217atar leaves, called "al-akhdar salad", popular throughout the Levant (the salad also contains fresh thyme, finely chopped onion, garlic, juice). lemon, olive oil and salt).

In Oman, a popular drink is a tea-like infusion made from water-infused sugar and has a very pleasant, herbaceous aroma.

Salmon conquered by za & # 8217atar

Once upon a time there was a piece of salmon sitting among other beautiful fish in their turn, waiting for a magician who would turn it into a delicious dish. Pink and fresh, the salmon arrived in MousseAdina's kitchen, who decided to befriend him with a crunchy salad and thus become a hopeful ally of an enviable figure.

The following characters are also part of the salmon story:

1/2 red, yellow and orange pepper

Pieces of marinated artichoke

A few fresh spinach leaves

Spices and seasoning: za & # 8217atar, Maldon salt, black pepper, extra virgin olive oil

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon of za atar with Maldon salt and roll the piece of salmon through this mixture, then cook in a stone pan or grill. It is left with a slightly pink interior. The cooking time is only a few minutes on medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the above vegetables into the shape you want and place on a plate. Season with a dressing made of za & # 8217atar, Maldon salt, black pepper, olive oil, and place the piece of salmon on top.
  3. Enjoy with pleasure and, especially, without remorse! Good appetite!

Related recipes

Totally agree with what Cristian comments. We do this wonder relatively often, especially for our children. Why 5l water? Why not boneless smoked ciolan? The water changes when you boil the beans, lol! I was thinking of 2-3 bay leaves and peppercorns. Celery and parsley root? What, is it soup? Oops, unwittingly, I had almost the same comments with the tiz. Thyme OK. Anyway, let's appreciate the effort!

1.5 kg bone marrow? but smoked boneless ciolan? 5l of water ?? Boneless smoked ciolan does not boil! why not boil the beans by changing the water 2-3 times? dafin, peppercorns? Tomato juice in the end is essential, where it is, CIAO tomatoes e.g. You can boil some tomatoes a little, peel them and chop them. Why sweet paprika and not hot paprika? Beans are sweet! What is celery and parsley root looking for here ?? It's not soup! Disaster!

Leaving among foreigners but longing for the taste of home, I learned to cook from this site. I hadn't made bean meal until and I was really curious to see how it turned out. I had a choice of 4 recipes and I went for the "Cooking with Mira" version, not because of the presentation of the recipe (somewhat the same as the other 3 found) but because of the feedback and comments :))

Therefore, I feel obliged to give an evaluation and to leave a few lines written as a sign of gratitude.
I followed exactly the recipe (except for the part with the stalk where I cooked for almost 2 hours and the meat did not fall off the bone, so I decided to make it fall forcibly: D).
I cooked for 6 people (5 Romanians and an Englishman) and they all licked the bowls :))

Thank you very much for the guidance,

I just put the beans and the ciolan in the pot

You're crazy. she's a criminal

I also added 1/2 teaspoon of basil and a few mustard seeds .. It's good, what can I say!

Didn't I really understand what it is, bean soup or low beans? And in one case and in the other I don't understand what celery and parsley root are looking for here! It's bean soup or food and the bean has its unmistakable taste, it's not beef soup or chicken soup to put all those vegetables in! If we put the same vegetables in all the soups, we will not differentiate between tastes, they will all be the same! As for the ciolan, if it is painted and injected as it is everywhere in all stores, I would miss it and look for traditional smokers in traditional producers. Anyway, I and the soup and the food (iahnia), with or without smoking, make them differently and as I make them you know that you eat beans and nothing else, and I'm sorry that I don't have the time and patience to post my recipes with explanations, arguments and images.

It is very good, but I do not use ciolanu and frying, I have stomach problems and I do it like caviar and it is very good

Almond, coconut and orange cake

I finally managed to try this cake! & # 8221Semolina, coconut & marmalade cake & # 8221 is also an Ottolenghi recipe, from & # 8221Jerusalem & # 8221.

It's a syrupy cake, it's not sweet to feel sick, and the core is full of coconut, almonds, which are felt at every sip. I recommend it!

  • 180 ml of sunflower oil
  • 240 ml orange juice (about 3 medium oranges)
  • 160 g orange jam / marmalade
  • 4 eggs
  • finely grated peel from 1 orange
  • 70 g sugar
  • 70 g coconut
  • 90 g white flour
  • 180 g semolina
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds from the knife
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 140 ml of water
  • 200 g sugar (I only used 100g)
  • 1 tablespoon water orange flowers
  • Greek yogurt for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180˚C and prepare a cake tray of 1 kg or two smaller in which we put baking paper and grease them with butter.

In a bowl put the eggs, oil, orange juice, finely grated peel and orange jam. We mix them well.

In another bowl, mix the white flour, semolina, baking powder, coconut, sugar and chopped almonds. Incorporate the dry ingredients into the liquid ones, in 2 tranches.

Pour the composition into the prepared tray and bake for 45 minutes if you used a large tray or 30 minutes for smaller trays. I'm ready when I pass the toothpick test.

In a small pot, put the water with the sugar and the orange blossom water on the fire, until the sugar has dissolved. As we take the tray out of the oven, we syrup the cake with a brush with hot syrup. Leave to cool in the pan, then move the cake to a plate. It keeps very well for 5 days if it is covered with food foil. It is fragrant, dense, I really liked it. It can be eaten with 1-2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt mixed with a little water of orange blossoms. I also liked it without yogurt.

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Pork with preserved beef

& # 8211 250 g pork leg, 1 jar of sirloin (300 g net), 1 red onion (70 g), 100 g colored bell peppers, 200 g tomatoes, 1 tablespoon Za'atar spices, 1 tablespoon dried dill, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon green pepper with ground lemon, 2 tablespoons oil, water

Cut the meat into pieces of about 3 cm, sprinkle with Za’atar spices, pour 1 tablespoon of oil, mix and let it stand at room temperature. Wash the otters with cold water and drain. Peel onions, peppers and cut into slices. Peel a squash, grate it and chop finely.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat and fry the onion, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the meat and cook for 3 minutes, turning it on all sides. Put the peppers, pour 2 tablespoons of water, mix, reduce the heat to medium, cover with a lid and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, dill, salt, pepper, mix, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Put the okra, mix carefully so as not to crush them, pour 1-2 tablespoons of water and boil uncovered for 2 minutes. We serve hot food.

Good appetite! (if you liked it leave a comment)

Seasonal recipes with spinach and stevia

Because it is the green season in the markets and the stalls are filled with tasty leaves, I thought of preparing two recipes inspired by the southern shore of the Mediterranean, with spinach and stevia.

Spinach soufflé with saffron

The fresh spinach is washed and cleaned well, and for the older leaves the stalks are removed. For a cake pan you need about 800-900 g of fresh spinach. Once cleaned, soak it in salted water for 3 seconds and then drain. It even squeezes to remove excess water. 50 g butter and half a tablespoon of olive oil heat in a pan and fry 4-5 finely chopped shallots. Add a pinch of saffron to develop its flavor in the fat in the pan. You can also add a little thyme, but it is not mandatory. Or you can just add thyme if you don't have saffron. But this wonderful spice from the Middle East gives a great taste to spinach. Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper, leaving for a few minutes to cook together. Leave the whole composition to cool, even for a few hours. When cold, beat 5-6 eggs with very little salt and a clove of crushed garlic and mix with the sauteed spinach. Place in the form of a cake greased with oil and lined with baking paper and bake at 170 o C for 45 minutes.

It can be eaten cold and hot.

It can be eaten as such or as a garnish for chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, all grilled.

Stevia stalks

You need to choose large stevia leaves. The recipe I will present to you is a fasting one, as for this period, but at the end I will also give you the meat alternatives.

You need round grain rice, chopped onion, parsley, rosemary and fresh coriander, optional. You also need carrots, celery root and celery celery with leaves.

Stevia is blanched for 2 seconds in salted water to make it more elastic. Boil about 60% rice in salted water. The roots are put on a large grater, and celery, after removing the threads, chop the cubes, as well as the onion. Put all the vegetables in the pan with olive oil and sauté together with the parsley until they are a little soft. Strain and mix with the preferred rice. Add a nutmeg powder, a cardamom powder and very little rosemary, plus salt and crushed stone. For a fluffier appearance of the filling, you can add diced peeled tomatoes (only the pulp, without seeds), which are moist and make the rice fluffier. A little cinnamon is added in North Africa. You can try, if you like.

Sarmale is made in stevia leaves.

Place the tomato slices on the bottom of a pot and, if there is any left over from the filling, you can also put it. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and add a few slices of lemon. If the lemons have a thick skin, sauté for a few minutes to remove the bitterness from them. Place the sauerkraut and pour water or, even better, vegetable stock soup, with about two fingers over the sarmale, and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat, leave partially covered and cook either on the stove or in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until the sauce drops a lot.

For an addition of protein, red lentils, green lentils or chopped chickpeas can be added to the filling, all already cooked. Or you can use the same recipe full of lentils, without rice. And for a sweet variant, you can add minced chicken, beef or lamb to the composition, especially since Easter is coming.

Video: Labnehsallad med zaatar - Köket (September 2021).