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Spices and Herbs - Basic Ingredients

Allspice (Bahar): An aromatic berry of the pimento tree. It tastes like a combination of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
Amise or aniseed (Yansoon): The fragrant seed of the amise plant.
Bay leaf (Ghar): An herb used mostly in leaf form from the Grecian Laurel tree typical of the Mediterranean region.
Basil (Habbaq): A mild pungent leaf of the mint family.
Black cherry kernal (Mahlab): Used in powdered form.
Caraway (Kharawieh): An herb; a small seed from the parsley family.
Cardamom (Hab-el-hal): A fruit pod of the ginger family.
Cinnamon (Erfeh): The inner peel of bark from the trees of the Laurel family. It is sold in stick form or as a powder.
Cloves (Remfall): A dried flower bud of the tropical Evergreen tree of the Myrtle family.
Coriander (Kisbara): A seed of a plant from the parsley family.
Cumin (Kamoon): Like a fennel seed of the parsley family.
Fennel (Shoumar): A tall plant that produces aromatic seeds of the parsley family.
Garlic (Toum): A pungent bulb.
Ginger (Zanzebel): A root of an oriental plant.
Marjoram (Mardakoon): Of the mint family with long spikes like flowers.
Mistka: The gum of a tree obtained from an incision into the bark of a tree.
Mint (Naanaa): The sprigs or dried leaves form in the mint family group.
Nutmeg (Jawz a ‘tib): The aromatic kennels of the nutmeg tree.
Onion (Bussell): The bulb of the Lily family group.
Orange blossom water (May-Zahir): A distillation of the blossoms from the orange tree.
Oregano: An aromatic herb of the mint family.
Parsley (Bakdoones): An herb used fresh or dried.
Pepper (Flayfleh): The peppercorn of the pepper family. Mostly used in ground or powdered form.
Poultry seasoning: A mixture of the herbs sage, thyme and marjoram.
Rose water (May-warid): A distillation of rose petals.
Rosemary (Iklil al Jabal): An herb of the mint family group.
Sesame seed (Simsum): A seed of a dried benne plant.
Sesame oil (Tehineh): Tehineh is made into a white sauce from the raw sesame seeds.
Salt (Mileh): Used to flavor, enhance, and preserve food.
Sumac: The dried berries from a sumac tree.
Thyme (Zaatar): An herb from a small plant in the mint family group. It is best tasting if found in wild form.
Vanilla: A flavor extracted from the pod like seed of the climbing tropical orchid.

Basic Ingredients

Butter: It is sweet butter, without salt.
Cracked wheat (Burghal): It is made from cracked wheat. It is crushed, boiled and, then, dried. It is bought either in a coarse or in a fine grain form.
Clarified butter (Ghee/Semnah): Boil butter, and set it aside. The residue stays on bottom. Pour into sterilized jars and use in place of butter or ghee.
Debs ruman: Liquid or sauce made by squeezing the fruit of the pomegranate tree.
Kishk: It is made from cracked wheat that is fermented with yogurt. After it ferments, add salt and grind it into powder form.
Mixed spices: It is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and pepper.
Olive oil: Oil in its natural form.
Pine nuts (Snowbar): The kennels of the cones of the umbrella pine.
Pomegranate (Ruman): It is the fruit of the pomegranate tree.
Yogurt (Leban): It is made from milk.
Zaatar mixture: A mixture is made with approx. ½ c thyme, ½ c roasted sesame seed, ¼ c sumac, and salt to taste.

Special Note:

I do not mention preparation time for recipes because time differs according to type of items bought and used.
1. Fresh items need to be washed, cut, etc.
2. Canned product need less time.
3. Frozen: one must follow instructions.

 

 


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