Traditional Style Meghleh

For Chloe and Ella

My close friends Carole and Elie recently have been blessed with two beautiful girls! Newborn babies are like angels with their tiny fingers and tiny everything:) What an amazing feeling, incapable of expressing in words. I know, because I’m a mother of 2 girls too. My love for Kaia and Axel is growing bigger every day. They are my whole world! They make my heart melt away especially in the morning when they come to our bed with their messy hair on their faces and cute nightdresses.

“I’m so happy for you Carole, your heart will melt away too when Chloe will hold to your pinky and when Ella will start squeezing you tightly. I wish them a happy life, God bless them and let them always be healthy, safe and sound”.

Now back to our Lebanese heritage, Meghleh is the dessert we offer when relatives and friends are over to congratulate parents for the birth of their baby. It is also served on Christmas to celebrate the glorious birth of Jesus Christ.

A powder rice based treat spiced with cinnamon, caraway and aniseed powder. A very special taste different from any other dessert I know and full with flavor sensations. I love it more when topped with nuts, it makes it look more appealing and taste delish.

My kitchen today is a far better place with the smell of Meghleh cooking!

Welcome Chloe and Ella, this one goes for you!

Traditional Lebanese Meghleh

Ingredients

  • 1 cup powder rice
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7 to 8 cups water
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon ground
  • 1 tbsp aniseed powder
  • 1 tbsp caraway powder

To garnish 

  • Coconut powder
  • Walnuts (soaked)
  • Almonds (soaked)
  • Pine nuts (soaked and peeled)
  • Pistachios (soaked and peeled)

Preparation

  1. In a large saucepan dissolve rice powder and sugar in water, add spices and bring to a boil stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens or about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Spoon the mixture evenly in serving cups.
  3. Serve cold, covered with grated coconut and nuts. (It’s better to garnish just before serving)

Mama’s Sfouf

I’m back to my kitchen, to my bed and most importantly to my family. Gosh! I missed my hubby and daughters. Four weeks away from home felt very long and slow. I felt the time freezing, as if the Earth was not rotating, but Thanks God, there’s a bright side for every story, because I was working with a wonderful team, on a very big brand, learning splendid recipes from a gifted chef.

I came back a week ago! I miss cooking so much that we had different menu everyday for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert. My family and I are overwhelmed.

The first item I want to share with you after my return is Sfouf cake.

Sfouf are fun! It’s a Lebanese dessert known for its distinctive yellow color coming from the addition of turmeric. Sfouf can be enjoyed with milk, tea or coffee. It contains no eggs or no butter, mix the ingredients the way you like and make sure you will get a superb cake flavored with aniseed and turmeric spices; two of the healthiest spices available. Like many recipes, the quantities varies from a kitchen to another, but my mom’s recipe is simply the best☺

Sfouf (Sfoof)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Semolina Flour
  • 3 cup Flour
  • 1cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric (a.k.a Curcuma)
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 tsp Aniseed (ground)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 21/2 cups Milk (or water)
  • 2 tbsp Tahina (sesame paste)
  • Sesame seeds, Slivered almonds or Pine nuts, to garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180C

2. In a bowl, mix semolina, flour, turmeric, baking powder, aniseed and vanilla. Add oil and stir to make a paste.

3. In a separate bowl, melt sugar in cold milk. Add gradually to the flour and spices paste and mix using an electric cake mixer.

4. Grease the baking dish with Tahina and pour batter. Make sure it’s flat and even. Sprinkle with sesame, pine nuts or decorate with almonds.

5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden-brown. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Cut in pieces like you do for brownies and serve.

Please note, this same recipe can be done without milk. Just dilute sugar and aniseed in water and add it to the flour and spices mixture.