One can find plenty of starches, whole grain, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood in Lebanese cuisine. Animal fats are rarely used. More of poultry than red meat is eaten. When red meat is eaten it is usually lamb in the coastal and goat meat in the mountain regions. It also uses ample amounts of garlic and olive oil, often seasoned with lemon juice. Olive oil, herbs, garlic and lemon are typical flavours found in the Lebanese diet. Foods here are mostly grilled, baked or sautéed in olive oil. Butter or cream is rarely used other than in a few desserts. Vegetables are often eaten raw, pickled or cooked. Herbs and spices are used and the Lebanese are very particular of the freshness of ingredients. Like most Mediterranean countries, much of what the Lebanese eat depends on the seasons. Lebanese recipes are a rich mixture of a variety of ingredients that come from all the Lebanese regions, and each Lebanese area has its own special dishes that bespeak the culture of the area. So here is the recipe:
- Chickpeas (kabuli chana) boiled 2 cups
- Salt to taste
- Lemon juice 2 tablespoons
- Garlic cloves 4-5
- Ttahini paste 1/2 cup
- Chickpea stock 1 cup
- Olive oil 2 tablespoons
- Paprika powder 1 teaspoon
- Black olives finely chopped 5-6
- Combine chickpeas, salt, lemon juice, garlic, tahini paste and stock in a blender jar. Blend well into a smooth paste.
- Transfer paste into a serving dish. Drizzle oil on top, sprinkle paprika powder and garnish with olives.
- Serve as a dip.