the appetizer:

Classic Lebanese Cuisine: 170 Fresh and Healthy Mediterranean Favorites by Kamal Al-Faqih, includes recipes like Lentil Soup with Ruby Swiss Chard and Lemon (Adas bi Hamood); Lamb Kibbi Tray (Kibbi bi Saniyeh); Yogurt Cucumber Salad (Laban bi Khyar); and Lamb Turbans (Lahm bi Ajeen).



Yogurt Cucumber Salad

Laban bi Khyar (leb-ban bee khyar)

Serves 4 (About 1-1/2 cups)

Yogurt Cucumber Salad


The cool texture of the cucumber and the aromatic scent of the mint swimming in the garlic-infused yogurt is so refreshing. This salad is excellent with kibbi trays, Chicken with Spiced Rice (page 75 of the book), or Vegetable-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (page 161), to name a few combinations. It is similar to the Greek version known as tzatziki, the Persian variety called must-o-kheyar, and the Indian version called raita.

Specialty ingredients: Tahini, found in specialty markets or online.

Special equipment: A pestle (a garlic press will do).

Prepare ahead: The yogurt can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Add the cucumber as directed.

For the Salad
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (regular, reduced-fat, or fat-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon tahini (mix well before using)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
         or 1/4 teaspoon dried mint flakes
  • 1 cup cucumber (quartered and sliced 1/4 inch)

(You can omit the tahini if you do not have it on hand. It serves as a binder.)

To Prepare the Salad

Place the garlic and salt in a medium bowl. Mash the garlic to a pulp using a pestle. Add the yogurt, tahini, and mint. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Peel the cucumber lengthwise, leaving every other peel of skin on the cucumber for a striped appearance. Quarter it lengthwise, then cut each quarter into pieces 1/4 inch thick. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Add the cucumber to the yogurt mixture just before serving.

Selecting Cucumbers

Choose narrow, firm ones with a solid green color and without signs of yellowing or puffiness. English cucumbers are an excellent choice for this salad.

  • from:
    Classic Lebanese Cuisine
    170 Fresh and Healthy Mediterranean Favorites
  • by Kamal Al-Faqih
  • Three Forks 2009
  • Hardcover; $24.95
  • ISBN-10: 0762752785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762752782
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

Buy Classic Lebanese Cuisine


Classic Lebanese Cuisine
170 Fresh and Healthy Mediterranean Favorites


This page created March 2010

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