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Blend of Dried Herbs, Roots and Wild Flowers

A blend of wild flowers, dried herbs and roots, used as an infusion, is known as Zhoorat. The blend of Zhoorat is commonly prepared in villages across Lebanon for its immunity-boosting properties. It is always recommended when one comes down with a cold and may aid digestion as well. The infusion is made by pouring boiling water over the mixture and letting it steep for a few minutes. It is then strained, sometimes sweetened and always served hot.

This is the basic blend to make Zhoorat, but other herbs, spices, roots or flowers can be added according to personal preference. I add a stick of cinnamon to give a spicy fragrance to the mixture. Most of the ingredients grow alongside footpaths stretching across Lebanon's hills and valleys. You can visit a souq or a farmers' market which will have all the ingredients for you to create your own blend to store in your cupboard

Hyssop, Dried cherry stems, Hollyhocks (Khitmieh), Lime-flower, Lemon balm, Chamomile, Green tea, Aleaster (Zeizafoon), Damascus rose, Almond in their shells, Lamp sugar, Bay leaves, Corn silk - Shelf Life: 1 year

- To dry the flowers or herbs, tie them together in bunches with string. Hang the bouquets upside down in a cool, dry place, and leave them hanging until they seem crinkly and paper-like. The smaller you make the bouquets, the quicker they will dry.

- Whether you decide to pick the flowers or herbs yourself or buy them dried from a local farmer or producer, you will have to pasteurize most of the ingredients on the list to destroy any impurities, living organisms or any harmful bacteria. Heat the oven to 75 C (170 F). Use a thermometer inside the oven to be sure of the temperature. Leave for about 5 minutes in the oven.

- Allow to cool completely before packing for storing in a clean, dry jar. If they are stored in an airtight container when they are still warm, they may sweat and mold.

- Gather all the ingredients in small neat clusters on a tabletop. Fill the containers with your hands by taking handfuls and mixing them together. Tuck in the green tea, the lump sugar, the bay leaves, and the neatly arranged corn silk. Use a thin stick to help you work as you fill the container carefully with each ingredient.

- Label the container and store in a cool, dark place.

- To serve, take a handful of the blend. Pour boiling water over the mixture and let it steep for a few minutes. Strain though a fine sieve. Add sugar if desired. - Order the Book Mouneh -



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