Saffron in the Souks

Title: Saffron in the Souks: Vibrant Recipes from the Heart of Lebanon Author: John Gregory-Smith About the author: John is the author of a master of spice and has written a number of books that capture the beauty of specific regions. His next title Fire & Spice will be released this October. What’s to love:
  • As with all of the author’s books, it is beautiful filled with dishes that inspire cooks to experience new cuisines
  • Stunning photography of the landscape, people and recipes are plentiful 
  • Recipes are approachable with ingredients that can be found in most major markets, ethnic groceries or online
  • The shawarma recipe below will fulfill every street cart craving one may have (I miss the streets of New York City where this dish could be a cheap and tasty lunch)
Kebab King Chicken Shawarma Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button). I am a man who likes routine and on arrival to Beirut I have a very set agenda: head to my rented apartment in Mar Mikhaël-I always choose one in this neighborhood, it’s so fun-and then walk down the road to Makhlouf, a tiny kebab shop in the Armenian neighborhood, Bourj Hammoud, for the best chicken shawarma in the world. The meat, which is one of those slightly mad-looking bulbous things spinning in the shop front, is so well spiced and juicy. It’s wrapped up with masses of garlic sauce, chili, salad, and pickles. But the best bit is the fries. I mean, fries in a wrap. Double carbs. So wrong it’s right. They are kept warm in a tray under the chicken, soaking up all the meaty juices and adding the most amazing flavor to the shawarma. For my version, I roast the fries together with the chicken and then get wrapping. If you can’t find Lebanese garlic sauce, just mix a little mashed garlic with mayonnaise. Serves 4 For the marinade
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon Lebanese 7 spice or baharat
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1½ teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • sea salt and freshly ground 
black pepper
For the kebab
  • 18 ounces skinless boneless chicken thigh fillets
  • 10½ ounces potatoes, peeled 
and cut into fries
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • sea salt
To serve
  • Lebanese garlic sauce
  • 4 large flatbreads
  • 2 Little Gem lettuce, shredded
  • 2 large handfuls of parsley leaves
  • sliced gherkins and pickled turnips
  • chili sauce
1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a large mixing bowl, along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add the chicken and mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 2. The following day, when you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425°F. Put the potatoes into a mixing bowl. Cover with cold water and soak for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a roasting pan. Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt. Mix well and roast for 12 minutes so that the fries start to soften. 3. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and lay the fillets on a grilling rack. Remove the fries from the oven and turn. Place the grilling rack with the chicken over the fries and return both to the oven. Cook for 18-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and beautifully tender. Slice the chicken into thin strips and squeeze over the lemon. Toss together. 4. To serve, spread loads of the garlic sauce over the flatbreads. Top with the lettuce, parsley, gherkins, chicken, and those incredibly soggy fries. Drizzle over chili sauce to taste, roll up and devour.


The publisher is offering 3 copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and EYB is offering one copy 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 and this forum post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option – the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries. 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 August 18th, 2019.


Recipe excerpt used with permission of Kyle Books from Saffron in the Souks, 2019. Food photography credit: Nassima Rothacker a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Dewnie  on  July 2, 2019

    Stuffed grape leaves…..yum

  • Kristjudy  on  July 2, 2019

    Kara smashed chickpeas

  • lauriesk  on  July 2, 2019

    Orzo & feta stuffed peppers

  • lean1  on  July 2, 2019

    Farm table tomato salad

  • AlexH  on  July 2, 2019

    Mightie Medina Falafel Sandwich

  • mpdeb98  on  July 2, 2019

    Whole roasted halloumi & citrus salad

  • riley  on  July 2, 2019

    Akra smashed lemon chickpeas

  • ravensfan  on  July 2, 2019

    Smoked eggplant & tahini dip (Moutabal)

  • Shelley.b  on  July 2, 2019

    Stuffed grape leaves

  • pclisa40  on  July 2, 2019

    Rock Star Roasted Cauliflower – who could resist, with a name like this?

  • hdh74  on  July 2, 2019

    Farm table tomato salad

  • jr0717  on  July 2, 2019

    The Malezeye sounds interesting!

  • v.t  on  July 3, 2019

    Classic fattoush

  • FrenchCreekBaker  on  July 3, 2019

    Dulce de leche knafeh

  • Laura1  on  July 3, 2019

    rock star cauliflower

  • lapsapchung  on  July 3, 2019

    Akra smashed lemon chickpeas (Malezeye)

  • JulieQC  on  July 3, 2019

    Iraqi lemon kibbeh sounds good !

  • Ginnytad  on  July 3, 2019

    Chouf mountain tabbouli……I love tabbouli

  • kmn4  on  July 3, 2019

    Rose petal labna

  • FJT  on  July 3, 2019

    Sticky pomegranate sujuk

  • Lmocooks  on  July 3, 2019

    First one listed! Beet radish and tarragon salad. I’m salivating.

  • NicoleLW  on  July 3, 2019

    Falafel pita!

  • HelenAus  on  July 4, 2019


  • barbarapalermo  on  July 4, 2019

    Orzo e feta stuffed peppers

  • tennyogirl  on  July 4, 2019

    Akra smashed lemon chickpeas (Malezeye)

  • LeMinou  on  July 4, 2019

    Stuffed grape leaves

  • LaurenE  on  July 4, 2019

    Rose petal labna

  • nicki.williams  on  July 4, 2019

    Roasted carrots with tahini & black sesame seeds

  • annieski  on  July 5, 2019

    Crispy za'atar calamari

  • jlemoine  on  July 5, 2019

    Rita’s beef shawarma.

  • ella1912  on  July 5, 2019

    Rita’s beef shawarma

  • fionajk42  on  July 5, 2019

    orzo and feta stuffed peppers

  • bopper  on  July 5, 2019


  • parnassus  on  July 5, 2019

    lemon smashed chickpeas (malezeye)

  • sarahawker  on  July 6, 2019

    Rita's beef shawarma

  • matag  on  July 6, 2019

    Garlicky Douma dumplings

  • janv  on  July 6, 2019

    Souk el Tayeb vegetable stew

  • ExploringTheTurkishKitchen  on  July 7, 2019

    Sticky Pomegranate Sucuk sounds a treat

  • oreganoca  on  July 7, 2019

    Aleppo sour cherry kebab (Kabab b'il karaz)

  • Isis1981uk  on  July 7, 2019

    The Cilantro, garlic & chili potato wedges

  • mph993  on  July 7, 2019

    Aleppo sour cherry kebab

  • thecharlah  on  July 7, 2019

    Armenian cucumber salad

  • GregH  on  July 8, 2019

    Fig, walnut & freekeh salad

  • Tabby72  on  July 8, 2019

    I'd make the farm table tomoato salad!

  • Lkitchings  on  July 8, 2019

    Farm table tomato salad

  • RuthHarwood  on  July 9, 2019

    Akra smashed lemon chickpeas

  • Zephyrness  on  July 9, 2019

    smoked eggplant and tahini dip

  • trudys_person  on  July 9, 2019

    I like to try desserts first, so Dulce de leche knafeh … can't go wrong with dulce de leche and pastry!

  • Judyfos  on  July 10, 2019

    Farm table tomato salad

  • miggsy  on  July 11, 2019

    Rock star cauliflower

  • NikkiPixie  on  July 12, 2019

    Whole roasted halloumi

  • t.t  on  July 13, 2019

    Akra smashed lemon chickpeas (Malezeye)

  • Karla123  on  July 13, 2019

    Mighty medina falafel sandwich…mighty and mouth watering…my kind of sandwich!

  • Steben  on  July 13, 2019

    Whole roasted halloumi & citrus salad

  • zeenie  on  July 14, 2019

    Farm table tomato salad

  • jodie1131  on  July 14, 2019

    Garlicky Douma dumplings

  • JenjiRM  on  July 14, 2019

    Garlic chicken wings with cilantro & pistachio pesto (Jawaneh)

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