Lebanese Cooking 101

lastminute lovely Kirsty found out how to make her barbeques sizzle this summer with an amazing Lebanese cooking class in Sydney.

If there is anything I like more than a compliment on my shoes, it’s a compliment on my cooking. Since the former happens more often than the latter, I jumped at the opportunity to go to a Lebanese Cooking Class. Yum please!!

Norma cooking class

Lebanese cooking extraordinare Norma


Attending Norma’s Family Favourites Cooking Class is an experience I highly recommend. Instead of a class it feels like a lesson at home with your Lebanese BFF. Norma is your host, and you instantly feel like you are in the hands of a professional, with years of experience putting on feasts to impress hoards of loved ones. Take heed and many notes, every little tip is a corker!

We came prepared with our own bottle of champagne, and were instantly relaxed and mesmerized by Norma as she talked us through the simple-yet-delicious dishes we were about to help her prepare.

Following our briefing we all pitched in around the kitchen to help – sometimes sitting back and watching Norma do her thing – all the while finding out everything we needed to know about Lebanese cooking.

The final feast


The very delicious fattoush salad

Fattoush – Read: the salad to end all BBQ salads! I must confess I made this at home the next day, and readily accepted complements on my culinary genius. Norma’s tip – Cut all the pieces to the same size so the salad is easy to turn, you get a bit of everything in one mouthful and looks fab!

Kaftas – A nifty way to jazz up meatballs. These were a little messy but so worth the effort. Anything served on sticks is AOK with me. Norma’s tip – Serve them with a tomato sauce on spaghetti as left-overs or spread a thin layer on some pita bread and grill for a few seconds.

Smokey Baba Ghannouj – This was surprisingly easy AND tastes so much better than the supermarket version. Norma’s tip – Prepare the eggplant a day earlier so when it comes time to enjoy your BBQ, you’re already in business. Garnish with Pomegranate seeds to make it really pop!

Hot Potatoes in the making

Norma does the Hot Potato

Hot Potatoes – These HAVE to be the ones the Wiggles sing about because they are worth a chorus! Now fried potatoes always rock my world, but add a bit of Lebanese gourmet to them and they are a stand out dish that everyone finds respectable! Norma’s tip – Don’t overdo it on the dressing, no matter how good it smells.

Nammoura – Who would have thought semolina could taste so sweet? Even though I was testing the limits of my stomach by the end of the feast, I found room for this delicious dessert. Norma’s tip – Place an almond in the centre of each square to jazz them up.

After the class, Norma laughed off my suggestion of adult-age adoption … I was serious… but never-the-less I was satisfied and enlightened. I’ve expanded my cooking repertoire to include another cuisine beyond pizza, pasta and stir-fry and have already seen my friendships improve due to the quality of my BBQs.

A great way to spend a day with the girlfriends or even the BF.

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