Vegetable Stews


Combinations of vegetables with meat and usually with rice are popular one-dish meals in Lebanon, particularly in large families where a small amount of meat must be stretched to feed a number of people.

All stews are prepared in much the same manner although the vegetable ingredients will vary seasonally. Favorite stews are made with kousa (squash), batinjaan (eggplant), loubieh (green beans), banadoura (tomatoes), baamieh (okra), malfouf (cabbage), and sbaanikh (spinach). Dried vegetables such as peas and broad beans are boiled and added to the meat stew in winter. Potatoes are fried and combined with the stew when it has nearly finished cooking.

Most stews are prepared according to the recipe given for green bean stew (yakhnit loubieh ). Okra and artichoke yakhnie are prepared in a slightly different way.

Rice is always served as a side dish. Minced meat and chopped onions may be substituted for cubed meat when preparing these stews.

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