Akoub Bi Laban
with burghul Khichin (coarse). Like all yoghurt dishes,
do not re-heat as it separates.
Gundelia (Gundelia Tournefortii L. - Akoub) is a wild edible
plant that grows above 900 meters. Its taste is a combination
of artichoke and wild asparagus; it is well regarded in
the Chouf and Sir Deniyeh region for its antioxidizing qualities
and the ease of preparation. It is picked between April
and early June. Chouf residents are known for their eco-consciousness.
Orchards extend as far as the eyes can see, and sustainable
agriculture is widely practiced. The Chouf was the stronghold
of the patriot rebellion against The Sublime Porte. In the
16th century, Fakhr ad Din II (1572 - 1635) monitored the
unification and the modernization of the 'country' (modern-day
Lebanon in its actual frontiers became independent in November
1943). Deir el Qamar was the capital of Mount Lebanon during
his early reign. The Emir strengthened the 'country' and
initiated agricultural projects thanks to his Italian acquaintances.
He brought many plants and vegetables from Italy, where
he was exiled, pushed away by Ottomans. He initiated the
thriving silk industry that enriched generously the mountain
ruled by Maronites and Druze. The Ottomans exercised their
suzerainty over Mount Lebanon. In the early 19th century,
Akhwat Chanay, literally the village idiot, who had great
influence on Emir Bashir Shehab II… etc...
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Rural Taste of Lebanon
Preparation time: 50 min
Cooking time: 25 min
500 g (17 oz) gundelia
500 g (17 oz) whole milk yogurt
1/2 teaspoon starch
100 g (30 oz) preserved meat (awarma)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons vegetable oil salt
1. Wash the gundelia. With scissors, cut off the prickly
2. In a saucepan, boil the gundelia in 1 liter of water
(34 fl oz) for 15 min, then drain.
3. In a frying pan, sauté the meat in vegetable oil
for 15 minutes.
4. In a saucepan, mix yoghurt with starch over low heat
for 10 minutes. Stir until it thickens, then add the gundelia,
the garlic and the meat.
5. Keep stirring during the heating process to prevent yoghurt
6. When the mixture thickens, turn off the heat.