Zahra Bi Laban (Cauliflower In Yogurt Sauce)

It couldnt get any more home cooking than this … this is something that you cant find in restaurants .. its traditional dish from the levant countries  (palestine, lebanon, syria, jordan).. this is one of my favorite dishes.. it might sound a little complicating to make but its not … its accually simple and reaally tasty .. its mainly lamb meat with cauliflower in yogurt sauce … to make it you will need:

– 500 gms. lamb meat.. about 1 lb… cut into about 2 inch pieces

– 1 kg cauliflower.. about 2 lb.. cut into florets

– 1 small onion, chopped

– 1 liter yogurt

– 2tb cornstarch, heaped

– 4 big garlic cloves, minced

– 1tb ghee or butter

– 1/4 ts white pepper

– 1/2 ts cardamom

– salt, to taste

boil cauliflower

In a big pot bring some water to a boil .. then add the cauliflower and boil .. let boil for about 15 mins..

strain it

Then strain the cauliflower … and set a side

fry it

In a deep fryer … fry the boiled cauliflower until golden in color …

onion meat and spices

Using a pressure cooker … place the onion, meat, white pepper, cardamom, and salt … DON’T add any oil .. cook over low heat uncovered for 15 mins.. until it releases its liquids and then its liquids reduces … keep an eye on it .. if it drys out fast then add a little water to it …

add water to lamb

After 15 mins … add about 1.5 liters of water …Cover it and let it boil for 30 mins …until well cooked .. this will make enough stock for the recipe and more to cook the rice with ..

If you dont have pressure cooker .. then simply double the cooking time ..

strain the yogurt

In another pot … strain the yogurt .. this is done so that the yogurt doesnt split while cooking .. by splitting i mean that it will separate releasing its water …

add cornstarch

Add a little water to the cornstarch … then add it to the yogurt … Also add to that about 1 1/2 cup water … if the yogurt is too thick .. you might need to add more water …

whisk until thick

Put the yogurt mixture on low heat .. season with a little salt .. keep mixing it until slightly thickened … dont boil it alot or it might burn … keep an eye on it … u will simply see slight bubble on the side of the pot …

add meat

When the yogurt is slightly thickened … add the meat pieces to it …

stain the stock

Strain the stock …. about 4 cups to 1 liter

add stock to yogurt

Keeping the heat on low .. add the stock to the yogurt mixture and stir well ..

add cauliflower

Then add the cauliflower to it too … be careful when u stir it or the cauliflower will break ..

add fried garlic

In a small frying pan .. melt the 1 tb ghee or butter .. then add the minced garlic and fry until golden … then add it to the yogurt ..  gently stir it .. then bring the whole mixture to a boil for about 15 mins over low heat …

zahra bi laban (cauliflower with yogurt sauce)

And thats it … Serve it with a side of white rice thats cooked with the lamb stock …

Enjoy 🙂 …


31 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Laila, thank you so much for taking the time to describe your recipes in so much details. Even though I have traveled a good bit I have never been in your part of the world and I find it very interesting to learn about your food. Italian food has very strong roots in the Arabic culture, particularly Sicilian food.
    I am looking forward to try your recipes!

  2. limeandlemon says:

    Thanx madonnadelpiatto … im really glad you like it … You are right Italian and Sicilian food it very much similar to the the Levant cuisine … after all … all Mediterranean food are similar in many ways .. Let me know when u get to try any of my recipes .. and stay in touch 🙂

  3. limeandlemon says:

    Thanx Alisa .. stay in touch 🙂

  4. manhattandoula says:

    Laila, that looks delicious! Thanks for the good directions. 🙂

  5. limeandlemon says:

    Thanx Rachel .. Let me know how it turns when u get to try it … stay in touch 🙂

  6. Lubna Karim says:

    Cauliflower in yogurt sauce sounds new. Looks yummy.

  7. limeandlemon says:

    Thanx lubna … its one of my favorite .. let me know if u try it .. stay in touch 🙂

  8. Big Spoon Bakery says:

    MAN! This looks great! I’ve made a chicken dish with a yogurt/honey/garlic/mint sauce before and it was great, but this looks AWESOME. Can’t wait to give it a try… Glad we found each other and can share recipes!

  9. This is GORGEOUS. I can’t wait to try it the next time my vegetarian boyfriend goes out of town 😉

  10. limeandlemon says:

    Thanx Big Spoon Bakery … Im really glad u like it … and really happy that i found your blog too .. u got some amazing recipes … cant wait to try some out … so let me know when u get to try it .. and stay in touch 🙂

  11. limeandlemon says:

    Thanx Fivefingerfeast … Well unfortunatly this cant be made vegetarian 😀 … but let me know when u get to try it .. and stay in touch 🙂

  12. Donna says:

    Great idea with the yogurt. Bet it was fantastic, it certainly looks delicious!

  13. limeandlemon says:

    Thanx Donna .. it really is a very delicious dish … u should try it … its one of my favorites 🙂

  14. realistic bird says:


    I have never tried this! How come *wondering* I know shush barak and kusa bilaban but not this. 😀

  15. limeandlemon says:

    Lol 😀 .. well i have no idea .. this is really delicious though .. u really should give it a try … 🙂 … stay in touch

  16. aubreecheriedesigns says:

    Wow, this looks amazing! I doubt i’ll be ambitious enough to try it anytime soon, but its fun to see how easy you make it look!

  17. limeandlemon says:

    Thanx Aubreecheriedesigns … i just try my best to explain .. and there is nothin better than a photo to do that … im really glad u like it … keep giving me ur feed back … 🙂

  18. Al says:

    Mmm, mmm, good!

  19. limeandlemon says:

    Thanx Al … stay in touch:)

  20. saddleshoos says:

    This looks amazing. This blog is incredible. You are sharing recipes that are truly representative of people and places AND that aren’t available anywhere else. Thank you so much.

  21. limeandlemon says:

    Thank you Saddleshoos … Im really glad you like it … hope you stay in touch 🙂

  22. meeso says:

    Yummy, looks awesome!!!

  23. limeandlemon says:

    Thanx Messo … stay in touch 🙂

  24. lovedelara says:

    I am excited to try this recipe…we just came from a restaurant that served this and it was so delicious. I would like to make it at home some day, God willing. Thanks for sharing!

  25. I’m trying your recipe now 🙂 I’m combining a little from yours and the way I do it, I’ll see how it turns out! I love the way you set up your recipe, very easy to follow, great details, wonderful pictures, looks amazing! Salam!

  26. maria pia says:

    look delicoius and nice presentation,,, i love cooking and thank you so much for giving me more methods in cooking… please if you have more recipes kindly share more… thanks

  27. This is a very good blog. Thanks for putting so many recipes with very clear directions. However, I have some suggestions. It would be worthwhile going through it and making corrections in spelling, mostly adding apostrophes to words like “don’t.” Also, I find it very annoying when people use “2” instead of ‘to” and “u” instead of “you.” That is better left to text messages. These little details seriously detract from the impact of your message. Good luck to you from an English teacher in Palestine.

  28. jessicatravelingwithfamily says:

    My aunt makes this and love it. So glad I found a detailed recipe to make it myself!

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