maacrroon bi toum or lahmeh
Maacroon bil toom is a countrified dish found in the mountain side of Lebanon. These little dumplings or pasta are made out of the simplest dough ever which is flour, salt and water. Then boiled until soft or done, finally coated in a lemony garlic sauce mixed with olive oil. It is the ideal dish for pasta and garlic lovers.
It takes a bit of time to cut and prepare the little pasta pieces but it is easy to make and it is worth it, trust me you will be so fast in a short time you won't believe yourself. This dish takes me back to my mom’s kitchen when I was a kid watching her cutting and rolling one after one in such a short time then we gathered longingly to eat maacroon bi toum. The amount of garlic in my recipe is acceptable in order to enjoy the dish.
Prep. time: one hour
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves: 4 to 5
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 heaped tsp of salt for the boiled water
Maacroon bil toom sauce:
2 to 3 medium garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
2 medium lemons squeezed
Maacroon with meat:
One large onion sliced
300 g. Ground beef or mixed with lamb
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp seven spices
3 tbsp olive oil
PREPARATION: To make the dough put the flour and 1 tsp of salt in a large bowl then add the water and knead until you have a soft dough ball. If it sticks in your hand add flour and coat it until it feels easy to work with.
To make the dumplings: On a floured surface pat the dough with your hands keeping it 3 cm thick. Keep a bowl of flour handy. Cut into long sticks then roll each one while coating it with flour then start cutting it equally into small pieces. Sprinkling flour is necessary while preparing the whole procedure. Place both the forefinger and the middle finger on the piece of dough then press and roll it toward you. If this way didn’t work, hold a skimmer and roll each piece of dough over it. Sprinkle flour all over the dumplings and move them to a floured tray as shown in the image. Continue this process until you are done with them all. Believe me in no time you will be so quick in a way you won’t imagine.
Prepare water in a large pot over high heat, add 1 tsp of salt. When it boils drop slowly the dumplings into the water and stir them so they won’t stick. Let them cook for 15 mins stirring every few mins preventing sticking.
Maacroon bi toom: Peel and crush the garlic cloves with a bit salt using a mortar and a pestle or a tiny processor. Add the olive oil slowly and mix well until you have a kind of a paste. When the dough is done remove them with a strainer spoon leaving a bit of the boiled pasta water with it. Set aside for 5 mins then add the garlic paste and the lemon and mix them all together.
Maacroon with meat: in a large frying pan sautee the onions with the oil until transparent then add the meat and stir until cooked well. Add the dough after straining then the salt and finally the spices stirring continuously over low heat for few mins.
The taste of the dough dipped into the garlic lemony sauce is delicious and makes your mouth water for more and more, then comes the distinguished taste of the other dish which is amazing especially with the flavor of the onion and spices. These are absolutely distinctive dishes to try and you won’t regret.