Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Autumn Meals: Lebanese Cooking at Andarra Farm

Last Saturday I had a lovely autumn morning running Manuka round the Macquarie River bike track that now does a big loop past the zoo and Dundullimal Homestead before crossing back over the river. Before I left I took a bowl of Pain a l'ancienne out of the fridge and left it to warm in the study where Dan was working. When I got home I shaped baguettes, mini rolls and a plaited loaf for dinnertime.

I then travelled to the Farm of Rosie and Richard Hicks named 'Andarra' with a bag of fresh vegies and my camera. Rosie had planned a whirlwind of family Lebanese recipes to teach me over the afternoon.

Our Menu :
Roasted peanut kernels w cayenne pepper & salt
Kibbi – balls and diamonds
Madjudra (lentils & rice)
Cabbage rolls
Lubban (or Leben)
B’learwa (guttural sound – like “Bucklawa”)
Lavendar and Rose Tea

First we started with the dessert! Layers of fillo, butter, cashews, pistachios and cinnamon, with a rosewater sugar syrup poured over the top at the end. This was a lovely subtle flavoured and delicious dessert.

Rosie pouring the syrup over a spoon.

We then started to make Kibbeh. This involved soaking course bourgul in boiling water and then mixing it with raw lamb mince. Then, we cooked minced onion with pine nuts and more minced lamb, with generous amounts of cinnamon. This cooked filling was placed inside patties we made from the courgul mince and rolled to form these torpedo shapes:

We also made a layered meatloaf with the same ingredients, sprinkling a little extra water over the top as the bourgul keep soaking up the water as they cook.

We then fried them in Ghee and roasted them in the oven.

We served these with cabbage rolls which we made by wrapping more cooked lamb mince, onion and cinnamon with medium grain rice in blanched cabbage leaves and baking in a shallow pot covered in tomato puree. The Lentils and Rice were cooked in the canned lentil water with onion salt and pepper, and were delicious in their simplicty (my favourite). Tabbouleh and Labne were refreshing side dishes.

We couldnt wait to try the Baclari!

The Rose Tea was beautiful - we just added rose petals and buds to hot water with a few drops of rosewater.

Thanks for the wonderful afternoon Rosie and Richard.


  1. Yay Rach! I love mjudrah too. It's an excellent meal when you're on a budget and I love it with just a fresh salad. It all looks delish sweetheart! xox

  2. This looks like the most amazing afternoon! You must have learned so much!!