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hommus khawali-finished & plated copy

Today world leaders have finally called on the lion to step down. Let’s hope he does, and without delay although I am not holding my breath. Anyhow, it is a significant development and to celebrate I decided to give you a recipe from my favourite restaurant in Damascus, Khawali, for one of the best hommus ever. The Syrians don’t put garlic in hommus and if they do, they also add chopped parsley and call it hommus Beiruti. At Khawali they have the regular version and their own hommus Khawali to which they add pepper paste and pomegranate syrup.

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jammal -- the view copy

I had wanted to go to Jammal, a fish restaurant near Batroun north of Beirut, for a very long time but had never gotten round to it. So, when my friend Jacquot (who is a fine bouche and always takes me to great places) suggested we have lunch at Chez Maggie, not far from Jammal, I asked if we could go to Jammal instead. I had been to Maggie’s. It’s fun but I knew from Mr Dabboussi, the handsome owner of the great Silver Shore in Tripoli, that Jammal was the place there. And so it was: a fabulous location, pieds dans l’eau as the French would say with the freshest fish (all caught locally) prepared to perfection, not to mention the super charming owner. You can see him in the clip below explaining about local fish, sadly for some in Arabic, and I cut just as he was about to tell me the name of the fish that many serve as red mullet but isn’t. Oh and the lady is not Jacquot who was sitting next to me.

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