Monday, 16 September 2019 10:53 GMT

Qatar- Expat traditions: Break fast the Lebanese way

(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Mohamad Bwary | The Peninsula Online 

Every country has some unique dishes to break fast during Ramadan and each country's Iftar table depends on the culture and tradition of that country.

Today we bring to youIftar from a Lebanese household, a cuisine that is very popular in Qatar with it's huge variety of dishes.

All Lebanese agree on one thing during Ramadan - they must have hot soups and Fattoush salad daily.

The meal begins with a hot soup followed by the Fattoush salad, which is essentially a bread salad. Lebanese farmers would fry leftover pita scraps in a bit of olive oil and then prepare fattoush with these pita chips mixed with in-season vegetables, a generous dash of sumac and other herbs they have on hand. As a result, every household has theirown version of fattoush.

After fattoush comes the main dish, which usually changes every day. The usual Ramadan fare varies between Chicken Molokhiya, Chakriya with rice, Chicken Moghrabiyeh, Chicken Frika, Kibbeh Labanieh, etc.

The main dish is followed by a drink commonly known as Jalab, made of dates, grape molasses and rose water.

And completing every meal will be the Lebanese sweets such as Atayef, Kunaffah, Namoura and other oriental sweets that are popular during Ramadan.

We bring you the recipes to Kibbeh Labanieh, Lentil soup and Molokhia.

Image taken from

Kibbeh Labanieh


500 gm Ground meat
300 gm Bulgur wheat (finely ground)
1 Large onion, grated
1/2 stick Butter, cut into tiny cubes
2 litres Goat or cow yogurt
1/4 cup Rice
1 tsp Cornstarch
1 Egg
Dried mint, for garnish
1/2 tsp Ground allspice
Ice cold water, as necessary

Soak bulgur wheat for 10-15 minutes in enough water to cover it entirely.
Mix ground meat, allspice and soaked bulgur together and set aside.
Cook the rice in 3/4 cup of water until mushy.
Blend the rice with some of the yogurt, the egg and the cornstarch. Mix this mixture with the rest of yogurt and place over low heat.
Prepare kibbeh balls of soaked bugur wheat-ground meat mixture.
Stir the yogurt mixture occasionally and once it comes to a small simmer, add kibbeh balls and cook for another 5-10 minutes (depending on the size of the kibbeh).
Garnish with dried mint.
Note: Use ice water to form the kibbeh balls. This will help make them smooth.

Image taken from

Lentil Soup

2 cup red lentils
1 Onion, chopped
Salt to taste

Melt butter with chopped onions and salt for a half minute. Next, add 2 cups of lentils, and give it a stir for half a minute and then add 7 cups of warm water. Partially cover and let it simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Stir in between until the soup thickens. Serve with some fried bread and lemon.

Molokhia Recipe
Molokhia is made from Jew's Mallow or Jute Leaves. The leaves and stems are high in protein, fibre, calcium and iron.

800 gm dried or frozen molokhia leaves
1 whole chicken
1 piece of cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
11 onions
7 tsp dried coriander
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
3 full bulbs of garlic (2 bulbs mashed)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch of cilantro
salt to taste

If you are using dried molokhia leaves, then remove the brown leaves and stems, use only good molokhia leaves. Soak the dried leaves in a large bowl with hot water for 5 minutes. after soaking for 5 minutes, place the leaves in a straining bowl. In case you are using frozen ones, then you can skip the above step and just defrost them.

Place the molokhia in a large bowl and add 2 tsp salt. Squeeze in 1 full lemon into a bow. Next, fill the bowl with hot water until the leaves are covered. Leave them soaking for about 20 minutes and move on to make chicken broth.

Place the chicken in a large cooking pot and pour enough water to cover the chicken. As the water begins to boil, remove the scum with straining spoons. Pierce the chicken with a fork which will result in more scum rising. after removing the scum, add 2-inch strip of cinnamon, 2 onions and 3 bay leaves into the broth. Turn the heat down to light oil and allow the chicken to cook for another 30 minutes.

Squeeze the liquid out of molokhia leaves and place them in a strainer.

Dice 9 onions and add them in a large pot with 1/2 cup of oil. Cook on medium heat and ensure onions do not burn. Mash 2 bulb of garlic with a mortar and pestle and add salt. Mash them until fully crushed. Once onions turn transparent add the garlic and let them simmer for 5 minutes. In a bowl add salt, 7tsp of dried coriander, 3 tsp of seven spices, 3 tsp of cinnamon powder, 1 tsp of paprika powder and mix well. Next, add 1/4 cup of oil to juice up the sauce. Add the molokhia leaves to onion and garlic and turn up the heat. Let the leaves absorb the flavour and taste of onion.

While the leaves are cooking, peel and add another bulb of garlic cloves and stir them in. Remove the chicken from broth and place it in a bowl to cool. Pour the broth into the Molokhia pot through a strainer.

Add one bunch of cilantro into this and mix. Cook over low heat until the green cilantro has darkened. Once the soup is ready to serve, debone the chicken in to bite size pieces and add them to broth.

Ladle the hot molokhia on to a bowlful of Lebanese Rice, serve with a wedge of lemon.


Qatar- Expat traditions: Break fast the Lebanese way


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