Salbin Bel-Lahmeh

November 2nd, 2010

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Today’s recipe is about Salbin or A’kkoub or Ka’oub (English : gundelia). The gundelia is a spiny, thistle-like flowering plant of the genus gundelia L. in the sunflower family. They occur in the semi-desert areas of Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Anatolia, available in the markets during March and April.

Gundelia must be cleaned before using it. To clean gundelia, remove the thorns, then cut it into pieces and wash it with water, then you can use it fresh or freeze it. Before freezing, fill a pot with water, salt and some sugar and bring it to boil, then add gundelia for few minutes then plunge into a bowl of cold water (this is known in English as blanching, in Syria we call it “Tahbil”), drain then place in freezer bags and store in the freezer.

In Syria, it is cooked in two ways (cooked in another ways in some Syrian villages):
Salbin Bel-Lahmeh: salbin cooked with ghee and meat.
Salbin Bet-Tehineh: salbin cooked with olive oil, garlic, paprika, tahini and lemon juice (will be my next post).

Let’s make Salbin Bel-Lahmeh:

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Salbin Bel-Lahmeh 1

1, 2. This is salbin (gundelia) after cleaning, blanching and freezing. I’m using frozen salbin, remove frozen salbin from freezer and put it on a strainer and allow to defrost.

3. In a deep pot, heat ghee.

4. Add meat.

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5. Stir meat until cooked and browned.

6, 7. Add salbin.

8. Add 700 ml water and add salt. Bring it to boil on high heat, once water is boiling vigorously lower the heat and cover the pot and cook it for 40 minutes or until salbin is tender, then uncover the pot and continue cooking for 70 minutes or until all water evaporates.

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Salbin Bel-Lahmeh 3

9. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve hot with Arabic flat bread and yogurt.

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Salbin Bel-Lahmeh 5

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Salbin Bel-Lahmeh 6

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Salbin Bel-Lahmeh 7

Salbin Bel-Lahmeh

From: Family Recipe / Servings: 2 People
PDF Text Only / Print With Images

420 g salbin (gundelia)

1 tbsp ghee

250 g fat free finely ground
lamb meat

700 ml water

Salt

To Serve

Black pepper

Arabic flat bread

Yogurt




This is salbin (gundelia) after cleaning, blanching and freezing. I’m using frozen salbin, remove frozen salbin from freezer and put it on a strainer and allow to defrost.

In a deep pot, heat ghee.

Add meat.

Stir meat until cooked and browned.

Add salbin.

Add 700 ml water and add salt. Bring it to boil on high heat, once water is boiling vigorously lower the heat and cover the pot and cook it for 40 minutes or until salbin is tender, then uncover the pot and continue cooking for 70 minutes or until all water evaporates.

Sprinkle with black pepper and serve hot with Arabic flat bread and yogurt.

Notes and Tips

Here is a photo of fresh salbin (gundelia).
Here is a photo of the method of cleaning gundelia.
Here is a photo of gundelia after cleaning, blanching and freezing.

The 420 g of salbin (gundelia) is the weight after cleaning, blanching and freezing.

Traditionally, sheep/Lamb tail fat is used as fat for cooking this dish not the ghee.

Some people add meat cubes, but I prefer finely ground meat.

When cooking fresh gundelia, you will need to add more water.

This is not one of my favorite dishes, I prefer the other version with tahini.

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42 Responses to “Salbin Bel-Lahmeh”

  1. Tanvi says:

    Never heard about this flower…thanks so much for the info.Cooking with flowers always facinates me..even the dishes with edible indian flowers…Gorgeous clicks too!

  2. Adelina says:

    I don’t think I am familiar with this flower… I am sure the combination of meat and flower will taste well together. I need to keep my eyes on the lookout.

  3. I know people from the village in the Chouf areas in southeast Lebanon go as a group to pick up ya’oub from the mountains and cook it; similar traditions, I have just never had it in the city. Great post.

  4. Gundelia is a new ingredient to me so thankyou for sharing it with us! :)

  5. Talk about beautiful photos! I don’t eat meat, but I love reading about recipes from other cultures. This was absolutely fascinating to learn!

  6. not sure I have seen gundelia
    looks good

  7. Susi says:

    Very interesting read! I’ve never heard of salbin and love how much info you give in your tutorials!

  8. This is unknown to me but it turns great with addition of meat and black pepper, great pix too..

  9. rebecca says:

    looks yummy, all things are good with lamb :-0

  10. Cherine says:

    Never tasted this dish but looks so good!

  11. Gundelia is a very cute name!! I had never heard of this plant and would love to try… will do some hunting in the groceries shops around here :-)

  12. Umm Mymoonah says:

    That’s totally a new dish to me, looks delicious.

  13. Katerina says:

    Thank you for your comment! I have never heard of this plant. I am going to check it out. This is a great recipe.

  14. fooddreamer says:

    Great recipe! I’ve never heard of that flower and I am pretty certain I can’t find it around here, but if I ever do, I will think of this!

  15. Becky says:

    Your pictures are great! I love learning about other cultures and their food.

  16. Simply Life says:

    wow, I’ve never heard of this! Thanks for the info!

  17. Sanjeeta kk says:

    A real informative post and a good recipe, have never heard of this before.

  18. seems very interesting…

  19. beautiful recipe..this sounds so yummy! thank you for sharing this.

  20. Cindy says:

    I think I never had Syrian cuisine before, everything looks so new to me, thanks for sharing!

  21. Rosa says:

    Never heard of salbin before… That is an interesting dish which I’d love to taste.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  22. This is absolutely new recipe to know, sounds great, good clicks too Thanks for stopping by my blog and happy to be here too :)

  23. This is so interesting. I love learning about ingredients that are new to me. It looks like a slender artichoke. Is the flavor at all similar?

  24. I’ve never heard of this before! Thanks for the intro!

  25. tigerfish says:

    I am learning new things at your blog whenever I visit :)

  26. Nadia says:

    I’ve never tried gundelia. Where do you get it here? I am quite intrigued to try it, your recipe looks fabulous!

  27. Reeni says:

    I have never heard of this either! Thank you for teaching us about it. I sure would like to try it – you make it delicious!

  28. Brenda says:

    I just love learning about different cuisines. You have a lovely blog with great photographs. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today!

  29. Don’t know about this….it looks so very interesting.

  30. You always cook such interesting dishes, I love learning about them.

  31. This is really something new to me. I should definitely try your Syrian recipes one day!

  32. eatgreek.net says:

    hello!
    I have just passed you an award! Please check my blog post for rules.
    Thanks, eatgreek.net
    :D

  33. Mateja says:

    Wow it looks yummy! I usually cook it just sauteed with onions and olive oil, but addition of meat surely makes it even more tasty. You just woke up some good memories with your recipe…thank you for sahring ^_^

  34. GreenGirl says:

    I’ve never heard about this flower before but sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing

  35. Nirmala says:

    I love learning about all these unusual ingredients. I’m not sure I can get some of this stuff here but I’m searching next week when I grocery shop.

  36. Dimah says:

    Tanvi: Thank you so much for stopping by! this is very popular in Syria, Jordan and Palestine.

    Adelina: Thanks, dear! hope you can try it :)

    tasteofbeirut: Thanks for the info, so it is known in some areas in Lebanon.

    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella: Thanks and you are welcome :)

    Brian @ A Thought For Food: Thanks for stopping by and for the nice comment!

    torviewtoronto: Thank you!

    Susi: Thank you for the kind words!

    Treat and Trick: Thanks!

    rebecca: Thanks!

    Cherine: Thank you for coming by!

    sweet artichoke: Thanks! it is known as salbin in Syria, but when I searched for more info I discovered that in Jordan and Palestine it is known as “A’kkoub”, and that helped me to find the English name “Gundelia” – so cute as you said ;)

    Umm Mymoonah: Thank you!

    Katerina: Thanks for stopping by!

    fooddreamer: Thanks!

    Becky: Thank you!

    Simply Life: Thanks!

    Sanjeeta kk: Thanks for coming by!

    Sushma Mallya: Thanks!

    blackbookkitchendiaries: Thank you!

    Cindy: Thanks for visiting!

    Rosa: Thanks for the comment!

    Ananda Rajashekar: Thank you so much for the kind comment!

    lisaiscooking: Thanks! gundelia and artichoke are from the same family (Asteraceae), the funny thing that I don’t like artichokes but I like gundelia :)

    pigpigscorner: Thanks!

    tigerfish: Thanks! I’m glad to hear that :D

    Nadia: Thanks! I don’t know if you can find this in the US or in Canada, I hope you visit Syria and try it ;)

    Reeni: Thank you for the lovely comment!

    Brenda: Thank you!

    Angie’s Recipes: Thanks!

    Emma @ sunflower days: Thanks!

    leaf (the indolent cook): Thank you!

    eatgreek.net: Thanks for the award!

    Mateja: Thanks for stopping by!

    GreenGirl: Thanks!

    Nirmala: Thank you for the lovely comment!

  37. zerrin says:

    Never heard of this flower. Sounds interesting. Thank you for informing us.

  38. The Mom Chef says:

    I’ve never heard of this either. It looks like an amazing amount of work so the flavor must be quite spectacular.

  39. I have never heard of gundelia but this recipe sounds amazing. Looks simple and tasty!

  40. Swathi says:

    This is new dish to me. Gundelia looks delicious. Nice recipe.

  41. Fascinating! Always fun to learn new ingredients (or new to me at least) and how to incorporate them.

  42. kristy says:

    This recipe is so easy to prepare! I must find out what’s the plant actually looks like. Thanks for sharing and hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, Dimah. & have fun!
    Cheers, Kristy

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