Lebanese Siniyeh Batata with Marcelle
The holidays are a good time to count our blessings, and especially those of friendship.
Today was just one of those special times when Marcelle visited.
Lebanese coffee, small tin pot, and cups in gear she busied over my oven preparing the dark fine grounds stirring the rich blend constantly to perfection while I photographed the beautiful dinner she had so graciously prepared as a special gift, Siniyeh Batata. Conversation is always lively and informative over Marcelle’s tray of steaming Lebanese coffee eagerly refilled when the little cup is barely half empty.
This dish is prepared a variety of ways depending on regional tastes throughout Lebanon as Marcelle says, “Just like people in different states across the United States cook the same things in different ways.” Marcelle’s regional version of Siniyeh Batata made with ground beef and not lamb, is very plain, yet very flavorful and comforting.
Siniyeh Batata is made of a few simple ingredients, potatoes (batata), and ground beef cooked in a bit of oil with onions, allspice, and pepper, then topped and smoothed over with breadcrumbs and some pieces of butter to melt through and flavor the crumbs while baking. The variety made by Marcelle looks like traditional Kibbe, and so I have always called it, Potato Kibbe.
We worked on the translated English word spelling Marcelle came up with ‘Siniyeht’. This word took a few tries for me to get a syntax understanding since it has always been my respect, eagerness, and patience in understanding accented and foreign words to English that has earned me friends from around the world, and not my natural knack for picking up on languages.
Thank you Marcelle, we love and greatly appreciate the food from your Lebanese American Kitchen!