Syria - Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi

In Syria: Recipes from Home, Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi, two food fanatics, bring the beauty and tenacity of the Syrian people to life within its pages. Despite incredible odds and harsh conditions, the people of this country still rejoice in the celebration of food and family.

The pair travelled across Europe and the Middle East meeting Syrian women, some who were living in tents, on the street or in one room apartments, but all were bravely fighting back against the destruction of their homes with the only way they know how through cooking. Following traditions and sharing dishes kept their sense of home alive. 

Throughout the book we meet these women - Hala, Tahani, Ahlam, Mona, Israa, Shaima, Fedwa, and Razan. We often see their stunning faces in photographs surrounded by the words of their escape from whatever hell they were living through and how their food memories and recipes kept them strong. Their favorite recipes and dishes are shared and for some there is no happy ending - just survival. 

The recipes are vibrant and approachable. The women are the same. While Syria is a cookbook and shares recipes such as Sweet stuffed pancakes, Turmeric cake, Freekeh with chicken, and Baba ganoush with minced lamb, the book shines in the narrative that reflects the indeliable spirit of the women of Syria.

Special thanks to the publisher for sharing one of the recipes from this truly spectacular book and for offering three copies in our contest opened to members worldwide. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter. 


Za'atar flatbread
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  • 3 tbsp za'atar
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 x 320g pack of puff pastry
  • Fresh mint leaves, to serve
  • ½ tomato, diced, to serve

Preheat the oven to 160ºC/fan 150ºC/gas mark 3, then mix the za'atar with the olive oil.

Roll out the pastry and, using a pastry brush, spread the za'atar olive oil all over, leaving a 2.5cm border around the edges.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the pastry puffs up and turns golden brown.

Serve with fresh mint and tomato on top.

Recipe from SYRIA: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam and Dina Mousawi, which is published by Trapeze in hardback and eBook. Photography by Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton.  

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members worldwide. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on November 21st, 2017.


  • Marcia1206  on  10/14/2017 at 5:10 PM

    Babaganoush with lamb is right up my alley

  • ejsimpson  on  10/14/2017 at 5:31 PM

    Shawarma wrap!

  • lisaevanoff  on  10/14/2017 at 5:44 PM

    Spicy potatoes (Batata harra)

  • lgroom  on  10/14/2017 at 5:55 PM

    Shawarma wrap.

  • chiffonade_cooks  on  10/14/2017 at 6:09 PM

    The heady fragrance of Za'atar always speaks to me when I think of Syrian food. My mom worked for a Syrian lady and she always treated the staff to Turkish coffee and some type of sweet. I love kibbeh balls and and tabbouleh, but if I have to pick one thing that's quintessentially Syrian - it's got to be Za'atar.

  • laffersk  on  10/14/2017 at 6:51 PM

    Deep-fried kibbeh and kibbeh in hot yoghurt sauce (Kibbeh maqliyeh and kibbeh labaniyeh)

  • kmn4  on  10/14/2017 at 7:33 PM

    Salty yoghurt drink (Ayran) - I drank so much of this in Turkey!

  • Kristjudy  on  10/14/2017 at 8:02 PM

    Sharma wrap

  • pfgarden  on  10/14/2017 at 8:31 PM

    Turmeric cake - I have tried several versions of this cake and look forward to tring this one.

  • GillB  on  10/14/2017 at 10:03 PM

    Tumeric Cake

  • Scotsman61  on  10/14/2017 at 11:26 PM

    Babaganoush with lamb

  • heyjude  on  10/14/2017 at 11:30 PM

    I've looked for years for a good Fetteh recipe. This may be it.

  • sugo  on  10/15/2017 at 2:53 AM

    Red pepper and walnut dip (Mhammara) sounds great

  • wester  on  10/15/2017 at 4:04 AM

    So many interesting recipes that look both tasty and do-able. I think the chicken with caramelised onions and sumac would be the first one, it sounds excellent.

  • lapsapchung  on  10/15/2017 at 6:49 AM

    Eggs with potatoes and cumin

  • Seren_Ann  on  10/15/2017 at 8:54 AM

    Rice and aubergines (Maquloubeh).

  • LJStubbs  on  10/15/2017 at 9:27 AM

    Christmas chocolate cake sounds tempting.

  • Livia  on  10/15/2017 at 10:17 AM

    Its has to be the Carrot and coconut balls (Jazariyeh)

  • Siegal  on  10/15/2017 at 12:23 PM

    Pumpkin kibbeh sounds great

  • PennyG  on  10/15/2017 at 12:36 PM

    Hmmmm ... Hummus with Meat sounds different and interesting.

  • ladybrooke  on  10/15/2017 at 1:34 PM

    Christmas chocolate cake

  • PippyNZ  on  10/15/2017 at 2:19 PM

    Halloumi wraps

  • jdub1371  on  10/15/2017 at 2:51 PM

    Cherry kebab!! Although honestly this looks like the kind of book I'd like to open to page 1 and cook my way to the end.

  • lpatterson412  on  10/15/2017 at 2:51 PM

    Whole roast chicken with potatoes!

  • AGENT99  on  10/15/2017 at 3:30 PM

    Eggs with potatoes and cumin

  • ktwalla  on  10/15/2017 at 3:53 PM

    Spicy potatoes

  • permie_girl  on  10/15/2017 at 4:45 PM

    Stuffed cabbage (Malfouf)

  • sgump  on  10/16/2017 at 8:11 AM

    Carrot and coconut balls sound nice (with walnuts and nutmeg: lovely).

  • sarahawker  on  10/16/2017 at 10:50 AM

    Eggs with potatoes and cumin (Mufarraket batata)

  • jifar  on  10/16/2017 at 3:21 PM

    Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

  • skipeterson  on  10/16/2017 at 4:17 PM

    Za'atar flatbread (Mana'eesh)

  • robynsanyal  on  10/16/2017 at 7:00 PM

    Pumpkin kibbeh

  • LaurenE  on  10/16/2017 at 10:30 PM

    Spicy potatoes (Batata harra)

  • ChefTamiMitchell  on  10/17/2017 at 6:35 AM

    Stuffed Dates!

  • sipa  on  10/17/2017 at 12:36 PM

    Eggs with potatoes and cumin

  • rchesser  on  10/17/2017 at 8:05 PM

    Meatballs in a tomato and pepper stew (Dawood pasha).

  • iza27  on  10/18/2017 at 1:40 AM

    Stuffed vine leaves

  • kitchenclimbers  on  10/18/2017 at 12:53 PM

    shawarma wrap

  • lils74  on  10/19/2017 at 2:05 AM

    Smoked aubergine salad… mmm!

  • stitchan  on  10/19/2017 at 10:39 AM

    Sweet stuffed pancakes (Qatayef)

  • JenJoLa  on  10/20/2017 at 10:07 AM

    Za'atar flatbread (Mana'eesh)

  • Niki  on  10/20/2017 at 3:49 PM

    Chicken with caramelised onions and sumac (Msakhan) Sound delicious

  • RSW  on  10/20/2017 at 6:31 PM

    Courgettes with garlic and mint (Kusa wa na'na)

  • Karla123  on  10/22/2017 at 9:06 AM

    Falafel wrap! I've had another version of this wrap before, and it was delicious. I'd definitely eat it again.

  • contest718  on  10/22/2017 at 9:57 AM

    Za'atar flatbread that looks yummo!

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  10/22/2017 at 11:09 AM

    I would like to make the Cabbage and mint salad (Malfour wa na'na').

  • trudys_person  on  10/22/2017 at 2:35 PM

    Stuffed pastry parcels (Namoura), stuffed with pistachios sound delicious!

  • Jenamarie  on  10/22/2017 at 2:51 PM

    Pumpkin or spinach kibbeh

  • ccav  on  10/25/2017 at 10:58 AM

    Fresh thyme and halloumi salad and the kibbeh recipes

  • Dutchmary  on  10/25/2017 at 3:41 PM

    Shouf! The name....the ingrediënts, delicious

  • Julia  on  10/25/2017 at 8:50 PM

    Meatballs in a tomato and pepper stew.

  • tapoa  on  10/25/2017 at 9:21 PM

    Za'atar flatbreads definietly.

  • t.t  on  10/25/2017 at 11:17 PM

    Stuffed pastries (Fatayer)

  • milliganf190  on  10/26/2017 at 1:02 AM

    Old man’s ears (Shishbarak)

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  10/26/2017 at 8:09 AM

    something we've just started to enjoy so I would try the Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin (Zahra wa kamoon) found on page 23

  • br22  on  10/26/2017 at 9:50 AM

    The carrot and coconut balls sound interesting.

  • silversand  on  10/26/2017 at 12:06 PM

    The fisherman's catch (Sayadiyeh)

  • Sfgordon  on  10/26/2017 at 3:36 PM

    thyme and halloumi salad and pumpkin kibbeh! And Bamia!

  • ravensfan  on  10/26/2017 at 4:38 PM

    Smoked aubergine salad (Mkhabasa)

  • motherofpearl81  on  10/27/2017 at 9:32 AM

    Pumpkin kibbeh (Kibbeh kara'aa)

  • PennyBarr  on  10/27/2017 at 10:50 AM

    Love the sound of the spicy fish!

  • Cornfed23  on  10/27/2017 at 8:44 PM


  • heyjude  on  10/27/2017 at 8:47 PM

    Hummus with Meat

  • luccio  on  10/27/2017 at 8:58 PM

    Syrian Omelette - it sounds so simple & obvious, but I'd never thought of adding onions to an omelette before...

  • kaitk  on  10/27/2017 at 9:51 PM

    Milk pudding.

  • elisabethferg9  on  10/27/2017 at 9:59 PM

    Oh my! What a beautiful book. The green bean and tomato stew sounds so hearty and delicious right now.

  • sequoia55  on  10/27/2017 at 10:26 PM

    shawarma wrap

  • muddypuppy2  on  10/27/2017 at 11:09 PM

    Roasted cauliflower with cumin

  • Foodycat  on  10/28/2017 at 4:36 AM

    So many dishes I love! But first I would have to try the sweet stuffed pancakes.

  • Ingridemery  on  10/28/2017 at 4:59 AM

    Smoked eggplant salad would be my choice - looks amazing

  • Lynnclair  on  10/28/2017 at 5:12 AM

    Chicken in turmeric yogurt looks really good

  • lisambb  on  10/28/2017 at 7:30 AM

    Red Pepper and Walnut Dip.

  • schesshire  on  10/28/2017 at 9:00 AM

    Eggplant fetteh

  • Mivas  on  10/28/2017 at 11:12 AM

    Okra and lamb stew (Bamia)

  • lindagroene  on  10/28/2017 at 11:47 AM

    I like the thyme and halloumi salad, will try it tonight

  • olgagsa  on  10/28/2017 at 1:06 PM

    Zaatar Flatbread

  • natashatheoharous  on  10/28/2017 at 10:20 PM

    The pumpkin kibbeh sounds amazing!

  • Kduncan  on  10/29/2017 at 3:49 PM

    Aubergine fetteh

  • BMeyer  on  10/29/2017 at 5:13 PM

    hummus and meat

  • musingsondinner  on  10/29/2017 at 5:27 PM

    The halloumi wrap (because halloumi is next to godliness)

  • thecharlah  on  10/29/2017 at 7:32 PM

    Warm fava beans in olive oil - fava beans are one of my favorite ingredients.

  • annieski  on  10/30/2017 at 4:21 AM

    halloumi wraps and Roasted cauliflower with cumin

  • RickPearson54  on  10/30/2017 at 9:45 AM

    hummus and meat

  • LilyB612  on  10/30/2017 at 10:55 AM

    Red lentil kibbeh! (Kibbeh addas) I've been a vegetarian for about a decade, and never stopped missing my Giddo's kibbeh! It would be so amazing to finally find a recipe that hits all of the right notes for my memories and my tastebuds!

  • VeryVigario  on  10/31/2017 at 8:30 AM

    Meatballs in tomato and pepper sauce!

  • fbrunetti  on  10/31/2017 at 9:05 AM

    Freekeh soup

  • bibliophile02  on  10/31/2017 at 9:24 AM

    Spinach with sumac

  • Rooks  on  10/31/2017 at 1:51 PM

    Spiced fish!

  • screenstarr  on  10/31/2017 at 4:22 PM

    Eggs with potatoes and cumin (mufarraket batata). It's ideal for a vegetarian like me.

  • fiarose  on  10/31/2017 at 8:25 PM

    smoked aubergine salad! smoked aubergine dip! aubergines with tomato! anything syrian and eggplant has my name on it.

  • ninace  on  11/1/2017 at 2:10 AM

    Spicy potatoes...can’t beat a potato dish with extra oomph

  • tararr  on  11/1/2017 at 12:51 PM

    Tumeric Cake

  • jd5761  on  11/1/2017 at 4:17 PM

    Babaganoush with lamb - as long as I had the time :-)

  • caitmcg  on  11/1/2017 at 6:13 PM

    The roasted cauliflower with cumin. I love those flavors together.

  • ninaarahgnis  on  11/2/2017 at 3:03 AM

    Chicken in turmeric yoghurt!

  • bcarpenter  on  11/3/2017 at 6:14 PM

    stuffed sheik!

  • Jo2217  on  11/4/2017 at 4:18 AM

    The smoked aubergine salad!👐

  • KatB  on  11/4/2017 at 4:47 PM

    Burnt fingers! 😀

  • RoseMGenuine  on  11/4/2017 at 9:49 PM

    Okra and lamb stew. I had a variation of that before and it was immediate comfort food.

  • Katiefayhutson  on  11/4/2017 at 11:00 PM


  • dna  on  11/6/2017 at 6:48 AM

    Eggplant fetteh!

  • v.t  on  11/7/2017 at 7:08 PM

    Courgettes with garlic and mint

  • CJSmith  on  11/7/2017 at 9:05 PM

    Smoked aubergine salad (Mkhabasa)

  • madelainelc  on  11/8/2017 at 12:39 AM

    Chicken in tahini sauce for me

  • FrenchCreekBaker  on  11/8/2017 at 4:20 PM

    Fresh thyme and halloumi salad

  • IngridO  on  11/8/2017 at 8:19 PM

    Pumpkin kibbeh

  • rosalee  on  11/13/2017 at 9:36 PM

    Spinach kibbeh for me please!

  • orchidlady01  on  11/14/2017 at 3:54 AM

    Spicy potatoes (Batata harra) and Whole roast chicken with potatoes (Jaaj bil furn)

  • SuzyP  on  11/14/2017 at 11:30 AM

    I would like to try Freekeh with Chicken

  • Amandaspamanda  on  11/14/2017 at 8:44 PM

    Roasted cauliflower with cumin (Zahra wa kamoon) - one of my favorite dishes!

  • MetteJohnsen  on  11/15/2017 at 2:59 PM

    Smoked aubergine salad

  • AnnaZed  on  11/20/2017 at 1:16 AM

    Courgettes in tahini sauce (Mutabal kusa)

  • jmay42066  on  11/21/2017 at 6:15 PM

    Christmas chocolate cake

  • cookingalice  on  11/22/2017 at 7:24 AM

    I wouldt try the Cherry kebab - sounds fruity and delicious

  • lhodder2016  on  11/24/2017 at 2:38 PM

    Turmeric cake... sounds like a good way to get a bit of superfood into my system.

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