Taste and Text: Savoring Mdardara While Learning Arabic Letters

In this video, I’ll be taking you on a culinary journey right from my kitchen. We’ll delve into the delicious world of Lebanese cuisine, exploring the traditional dish of Mdardara paired with a refreshing cabbage salad. But that’s not all! As we savor these flavors, I’ll also introduce you to some essential Arabic words and even teach you how to write a few letters from the Arabic alphabet. So, whether you’re a food enthusiast or a language learner, there’s something for everyone. Let’s dive in and get a taste of Lebanon!



Today, we are in the kitchen. I’m not cooking; I just want to show you what I will be eating today for lunch.

Plat du Jour: Mdardara and Cabbage Salad

The plat du jour is Mdardara and cabbage salad. Cabbage salad is salatit malfoof and Mdardara is a very traditional dish here in Lebanon. It’s made with lentils and rice mixed together. On top, we have fried onions, which are very delicious. Yummy, yummy!

  • Lentils: 3adas
  • Rice: rizz
  • Onions: basal
  • Fried: me2leh

So, basal me2leh on top.

Accompanying it, it’s very delicious if you eat pickles, like the big pickle you see here. And this is it, the pickles.

  • Pickles in Arabic: kabeess

The cabbage salad is a regular cabbage salad, but they all go together. We eat Mdardara and salatit malfoof.

  • Cabbage: malfoof (or choux in French)
  • Salad: salata

Actually, today I don’t have a lesson for you. I just wanted to show you this. And, like I said last time, I will write for you two new letters.

Today’s Letters: ت (t) and ث (th)

Last time, we learned how to write أ (a). Remember, this is the hamza ء and ب (b). Today, we will learn how to write the ت (t) in Arabic. It’s very similar to the ب (b), but we put a dash like this to get the ت (t).

Now, we learn the ث (th). In English, it’s the “th” like in “thinking”. In Arabic, it’s written like this. So, for now, we have three similar shapes but with different toppings.

Pronunciation of ث (th)

The ث (th) is like “thinking”, not “swimming”.

Words Using ت (t)

First, because you now know how to write ت (t) and أ (a), I will give you this word: تاتا (teta), which means grandmother. In Fusha, it’s jadda. In Lebanese Arabic, it’s teta (or setteh).

Another word where the ت (t) is at the end is بنت (binet), meaning “girl”.

Words Using ث (th)

A word using the ث (th) is ثبات (thabeit), meaning “stability”. In the Lebanese dialect, it’s sabeit because we don’t stress on the ث (th). But in good Arabic, you say thabet.


So, guys, this is my lesson for today. It’s about Mdardara, salatit malfoof, pickles, and some letters. I will write it one last time. The Arabic alphabet for now is أ (a), ب (b), ت (t), and ث (th). We say tha2 for ث (th) and ta2 for ت (t). Don’t mix the th with the s. The s is later on. Now it’s the ث (th).

Goodbye! I will eat now my delicious Mdardara, and I’ll see you soon. Goodbye!


EnglishLebanese (Latin letters)Lebanese (Arabic alphabet)
Cabbage saladsalatit malfoofسلطة ملفوف
Grandmotherteta (or setteh)تيتا (أو ستّة)
Stabilitythabeit (or sabeit)ثبات (أو سبت)

Spread the dialect!

6 thoughts on “Taste and Text: Savoring Mdardara While Learning Arabic Letters”

  1. hello Tulio!yow are you 🙂 yeah actually i would like to do your idea about a real conversation, inchallah ill make it soon… about the music and video its hard concerning the copy rights..

    thanks so much for your interest! keep on watching 😀
    enjoy your day!


  2. hello Vikas!
    thanks for watching, i hope by the time you will arrive you will know the basic words in arabic 🙂

    have a good day!

  3. Hi Hiiba,

    This is Vikas from India, I watched all the videos and learning a lot of arabic words. Thank you so much. I might come to lebanon in a year or so, just want to keep me perfect before I land that beautiful country.

    You doing an awesome job, Keep it going, looking forward for more videos.


    – Regards 🙂

  4. hey, it's, me, Tulio, remember? I'd like to make a request. I was thinking about another way you to help us with lebanese, why dont you to make some videos with real lebanese? i mean, people talking, like in a movie? Or even better, could you make transcriptions for some movies?
    Did you get what I mean?

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