Deir El Qamar
Deir el Qamar, whose name means “monastery of the Moon”, is located in South-Central, in the district of Shuf, in South-central Lebanon, five kilometres from Beiteddine and at 38 km from Beirut; often referred to as “the city of the Emirs.
The village was the Centre of Lebanese literary tradition and was the first town to become a municipality in 1864; the city remained the residence of the Governors of Lebanon until the 18th century.
It was the capital of Mount Lebanon in the early 17th century, under the reign of Druze Emir Fakhr ad-Din II.
It was also the hometown of famous personalities: artists, writers and politicians.
The village deserves to be remembered for the Fortress-Palace (qal'at) known as Musa and for various buildings, including the 17th century synagogue, a sign of a vibrant and well tolerated Jewish presence. Notable is also the 15th century Fakhreddine Mosque, the huge square in Deir el Qamar, formerly known as Midane, used in the past for rides and Equestrian competitions.
Religious cohabitation that has characterized the city in the past has left the many mosques and many Christian churches, among them the Cristian church Mrs Of the hill.
Among the typical dishes of culinary tradition is the “moghrabieh”, consisting of small-spiced semolina dumplings and steamed as couscous, served with chicken, lamb Shanks and pickled onion.
For breakfast it is very common to have the “labneh” cream cheese, rich and dense, similar to yogurt, topped with olive oil.
The most popular dessert is the “mahalabeya”, a cream sprinkled with almonds and pistachios and sprinkled with orange blossom essence.
Fruit is a very popular product; among local varieties deserve to be mentioned, figs peaches and cherries.
Eggplants with yogurt
2 cups of dried chickpeas
5 yogurt cups
2 eggplants, cut into cubes and fried
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons ghee
1/2 tablespoon Paprika
2 tablespoons Tahini (sesame paste)
2 loaves of Lebanese toast bread
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
5 leaves of fresh mint chiffonade
(or 1/2 tablespoon dried mint)
Soak chickpeas in water for 24 hours, and then boil for two hours.
Cut the eggplant into small cubes and fry.
Put the butter in a saucepan, add the pine nuts and stir over low heat until golden brown.
Mix the yoghurt with the tahini, salt and garlic.
Put the warm boiled chickpeas in a bowl and add the fried eggplant.
Then the layer of yogurt and add the fried pine nuts.
Season with dried mint or mint and paprika
Serve on toasted bread.