Open-face Musakhan sandwich

You know when you try something for the first time and you are completely mesmerized by the new and wonderful flavors you are experiencing? That’s how it was for me the first time I had Musakhan. Prepared in the traditional way by a Palestinian woman, every Musakhan I had after that was just not the same. So over two decades after, I finally decided that I had to make it myself.

So I was watching the funny Bobby Chinn on his Middle Eastern food tour, and during his visit to Palestine, he visited a family that prepared him Musakhan. They had baked the special traditional bread, Taboon, for the dish. A quite thick and rustic unleavened bread that was baked directly on hot surface in an open flame oven. And this made perfect sense, this type of bread would soak up all the juicy liquids and still hold its form. So the bread was my first quest. In the old Jabriyah Co-op the traditional bakery sells Iranian bread that I guess would be somewhat similar to the Taboon bread I saw on TV. It’s thicker than the round Tanoor bread and oval in shape. So if you’re planning to make this dish head to the old Jabriyah Co-op and get two of those breads.Next was to find the recipe. Online I found Dima’s Kitchen. She has three versions of the dish, one of which was similar to the one I saw on TV – sandwich style with the chicken pulled. Of course I experimented and modified, so here it is.

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Kanafa bil smeed: v.2: with ricotta cheese

As a special request from my sister Besma, (who is yet to try it!) here below is kanafa bil smeed with ricotta cheese…


I quite liked the contrast between the creamy texture of the ricotta cheese and the grainy texture of the semolina crust. And was quite yummy.

For the original posted recipe please click here.