Culinary Secrets from the Heart of Lebanon: Cooking Sfee7a with Love

In this video, I’m thrilled to share a special cooking session with Tante Louisa, a wonderful cook with a heart full of warmth. We dive into the world of Lebanese cuisine, exploring how to make la7meh b3ajeen, also known as sfee7a, right from scratch. You’ll get to see the entire process, from preparing the dough to mixing the meat, and even some secret ingredients that make these treats absolutely delicious. Tante Louisa, with her years of experience, guides us through each step, ensuring we grasp the art of Lebanese cooking. Along the way, we learn various Lebanese words, enhancing our vocabulary while indulging in the culinary delights. So, join us in this delightful journey of flavors and words, and let’s cook up some magic together!


Hiba: We have here? Tante Louisa.

Tante Louisa: Hello, Tante Louisa.

Hiba: Hayda l bhar.

Tante Louisa: Hayda l bhar.

Hiba: Heh bhar aswad?

Tante Louisa: Eh, eh, eh.

Hiba: Eh ekhteh, aswad. Mesh erfeh, abadan.

Hiba: And we are la7meh b3ajeen, or sfee7a. Hay esma sfee7a?

Tante Louisa: Eh.

Hiba: And we have here the dough: ‘3ajeeneh’. W mn shou ma3mouleh l 3ajeeneh, khabrina.

Tante Louisa: T7een.

Hiba: Kilo t7een.

Tante Louisa: Shi noss kebeyeh zeyt.

Hiba: Ok.

Tante Louisa: W mele7.

Hiba: Salt: ‘mele7’.

Tante Louisa: Ma7lab.

Hiba: Ah ma7lab? Mesh ma7lab bass lal 7elo?

Tante Louisa: Eh hala2 betshoufeh ta3meta shou taybeh. Ma bkattir.

Hiba: Ah walla.

Tante Louisa: Ma3 mele7, w btokhltiyoun ma3 ba3doun bel zeyt mni7 mni7 ta 7atta ten3am ma tdalla mkabtleh.

Hiba: Betdalla mkabetleh.

Tante Louisa: Bet7ottila mayy.

Hiba: W bte3jniya?

Tante Louisa: W be3jena, ba3den bsir bghott ideh w be3jena ta tsir tariyeh 2ad ma ana badde.

Hiba: W lezim terte7.

Tante Louisa: Lezim terte7 eh!

Hiba: Shi se3tein?

Tante Louisa: Ta2riban.

Hiba: It should rest about 2 hours.

Tante Louisa: Wein l la7meh?

Hiba: L la7meh bl berrad.

And Tante Louisa has her grandsons in Germany. Wein b elmanya e3id Edgard?

Tante Louisa: Köln.

Hiba: Köln? Hello Köln people. Ahhh we have here the secret! 3enna hon l serr taba3 l la7meh b3ajeen. Snawbar: ‘pinenuts’. Ma mn de22oun?

Tante Louisa: La2.

Souad: Chloe badda tekoul, w Chlea badda tekoul, w Rita badda tekoul, w ana badde ekoul, w ente baddik tekleh. Lynn btekoul, w emmik btekoul, kelna mnekoul.

Tante Louisa: Lynn badda tekoul?

Souad: Eh.

Hiba: W Zeyd baddo yekoul. Ah kelloun bta3mliyoun ma3 ba3ed? 7elo Chlea?

Hiba: 3almiya lal mama.

Tante Louisa: L mama, bta3rif l mama.

Hiba: Da22 l beib 3endeh honik.

Tante Louisa: Eh fiya trou7?

Hiba: Eh.

Tante Louisa: Btefta7eh?

Hiba: Mn hon Chlea, mn hon.

Tante Louisa: Min ejekeh? Ouliloun ma mnesta2bil zouwwar hala2.

Hiba: Hay kella walla noss?

Tante Louisa: La2 noss.

Hiba: Finish. Oh, no, not finish.

And now the sfee7a is like, done. It needs to go to the oven. Thanks to Tante Louisa. And she prepared Man2eesh, too! Small Man2eesh. Man2ousheh. Haydeh man2ousheh b za3tar mazbout?

Tante Louisa: Eh b za3tar.

Hiba: W kam no3 man2ousheh fi?

Tante Louisa: Fi b jebneh, fi b za3tar, fi b la7meh.

Hiba: B la7meh ye3ne metel hol, ma hek?

Tante Louisa: Eh, metel hay bya3mlouwa l la7meh l kbireh.

Hiba: Okay. Thank you. Merci Tante Louisa.

Tante Louisa: Ahla w sahla fikeh.

Hiba: Hala2 ra7 nfarjeekoun. Henneh bl forn. Okay. And here we have the…

Tante Louisa: Esm l saleeb!

Hiba: Mesh 3erfeta sokhneh.

Tante Louisa: Khedeh.

Hiba: Here we have the 2ardeh shawkeh here. 2ardeh shawkeh is common. Ah and the nammoura. Dou2eh l nammoura.

Tante Louisa: Min byestarjeh ydou2 l nammoura.

Hiba: Now Tante Louisa will taste the nammoura. My nammoura. Dou2iya ta nshouf iza taybeh. Sha2feh zghireh.

Rachel: 2someh b 2idik sha2feh zghireh!

Chlea: Fi 7ada bl 7emmem?

Rachel: La2 fouteh.

Tante Louisa: Ktir taybeh.

Hiba: Haha hala2 3am tseyrineh walla…?

Tante Louisa: La2 taybeh.

Hiba: Okay.

Hiba: Okay! This is the video of today.


EnglishLebanese (Latin Letters)Lebanese (Arabic Alphabet)
I don’t knowMesh 3arfehمش عارفة
Meat with dough / SfihaLa7meh b3ajeen / Sfee7aلحمة بعجين / صفيحة
Half a cupNoss kebeyehنص كوب
Mahleb (spice)Ma7labمحلب
You mix themBtokhltiyounبتخلطيون
You add water to itBet7ottila mayyبتحطيله مي
I knead itBe3jenaبعجنا
It needs to restLezim terte7لازم ترتاح
About two hoursTa2riban se3teinتقريباً ساعتين
Where is the meat?Wein l la7meh?وين اللحمة؟
Pine nutsSnawbarصنوبر
We eatMnekoulمناكول
Taste (imperative to a woman)Dou2ehدوقي
GoodbyeMa3 el salemehمع السلامة

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