October 2010

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The Lebanese way of cooking cauliflower is varied and my two recipes reflect that. The first one Arnabeet Me’ li (Fried Cauliflower) is the most popular, very simple, it consists of frying the cauliflower florets and serve it with taratoor/ tahini sauce (see Sauces section).


The second one Arnabeet Matboukh ma’ Kuzbara (Cauliflower with Coriander) is also easy, the florets are cooked in a very light sauce, finishing off with chopped coriander that complements the flavour of the cauliflower.

If you like to read more on cauliflower, here is a suggested website:


Some cooks blanch the florets for a couple of minutes before frying them, I don’t, because I think that blanching gives the cauliflower a mushy texture. The heat should be on a medium setting to allow the florets to cook thoroughly. You can serve it as a starter or as a light lunch, preferably hot or warm, at room temperature, whichever you choose, eat it within the day when it is at its best.


Serves 4.




  • 1 kg/ 2 lb cauliflower, discard the tough stalks then cut into smallish florets
  •  Enough vegetable oil to generously cover the bottom of the frying pan
  • Taratoor/ tahini sauce (See recipe in Sauces)




  1. Using a medium setting, heat up the oil in a frying pan.
  2. Fry the cauliflower florets, turning them from time to time until they turn deep golden brownish colour, you know they are cooked when you can easily prick them with a fork. Drain on a kitchen paper to get rid of the excess oil.

Serve with hot bread and tahini sauce. If you don’t like using sauce, sprinkle freshly milled salt and black pepper on the cooked cauliflower and eat it with bread and spring onions.  

It is a quick dish to prepare. This can be eaten as a light supper and is ideal for vegans. Simple ingredients such as onions, garlic, tomatoes and coriander mingling with the cauliflower make this dish a delicious light meal. I use a few  tomatoes in my recipe, but some cooks stick simply to lemon juice, either way is nice. If you prefer to use lemon juice only, you will need about one lemon for the recipe below. Cook the mixture with half of the juice and add the remainder towards the end.

One thing to observe, because cauliflower naturally contains water, the sauce might become watery. If it happens, simply take off the lid half way through and let the excess evaporate. What we are looking for is a mixture that is moist, not too saucy nor dry.  


Serves 2-3




  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • About 7-8 cloves of garlic peeled and roughly smashed
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • About 300 g / 11 oz tomatoes skinned and chopped
  • 750 g / 1½ lb   (net weight) cauliflower rinsed and cut into florets
  • About  2 tbsp lemon juice or to taste
  • 25 g/ 1oz  freshly chopped coriander.




  1. Heat up the oil in the saucepan and sauté the onion for a couple of minutes, add the garlic and cook for one minute. Drop in the tomatoes followed by the cauliflower and stir fry the mixture for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then cover and let the mixture simmer over medium heat for about twenty minutes or until the cauliflower is cooked. If, during cooking, you notice that there is too much sauce, take the lid off half way through to let the excess liquid evaporate.
  2. A few minutes before the finishing time, add the lemon juice, followed by the chopped coriander, check seasoning and serve at once with freshly cooked rice.