Lebanon is my home. I left it many years ago, but it is still with me in its scents, its flavors and its textures. The wonderful freshness and generosity of its food has always stayed with me as a key part of who I am.
I want to share some of the pleasure and pride that I have in my culinary heritage, both with younger generations who may not have had the luck to learn these dishes as I did by the side of my grandmother and mother — my father, too — as a child in Beirut — as well as with all those who are only familiar with a plate of humus or a shawarma.
I am giving what I hope is a guide to the essentials of Lebanese and Moroccan food – with my own twist. I have chosen 100 recipes — all simple and healthy, with ingredients that can be found just about anywhere. Everything here can be made quickly and with no great fuss — something we pride ourselves on in Lebanon.
If you live in a big city like I do in London, then the recipes may also help draw you to some of the specialist Arab food shops and markets to be found speckled through the centre and out-of-the-way neighbourhoods. That would be fun and a bonus, but you can get by without.
Anyway, enough with the explanations. In Lebanon, we don’t like to hang around. Yalla — Let’s get on with it. An adventure in tastes awaits.