The Darweesh Rosary


        2 cups cubed meat
        1/2 cup samneh (or other shortening)
        1 cup batinjaan, cubed (eggplant)
        1 cup potatoes, cubed
        1 cup marrow squash, sliced
        1 cup onions, chopped
        5 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
        1 tsp. salt
        1/4 tsp. pepper

This is one of the old Lebanese dishes which used to be prepared at home and sent to the town oven for baking. Even today when most people have ovens in their own kitchens there is a preference for the flavor achieved in this dish by baking it in the larger, hotter commercial oven. One often sees a small boy making his way carefully along the village street balancing the round tinned copper tray of Masbaht el Darweesh on his head. Heat samneh well and fry onions in it until they are yellow. Add chopped meat and vegetables, salt and pepper. Add water to cover. Pour into shallow baking pan. Bake in moderate oven until tender throughout, stirring several times during the baking. If vegetables and meat are done before the sauce is absorbed, remove to top of stove and simmer uncovered until sauce is practically gone. Salt to taste. Serve hot. Approximately six servings.

(From Food from the Arab World Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge, Khayat's, Beirut 1959)