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Lebanese greens


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I got in a long, confusing conversation last night about greens, complicated by my never having learned the Arabic words for these things and the other person not knowing any English words for them, and also not having been on hand in the kitchen to see a lot of them raw. We tried looking through the Chef Ramzi cookbook for pics, but no luck.

The main confusing ones:

Hindaba'

Baqli (?)

And if neither of those are purslane, how do you say purslane in Arabic?

And there's some kind of herb/green you put in tea called something like marharam? Marhamia? It's already slipping away...

Any help greatly appreciated!

Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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Yup!

Edit: sorry, the tea thing does not sound familiar to me but I'll try to email my dad. Which usually means I'll get like, a kilo of it in the mail next week... :rolleyes:

Edited by Behemoth (log)
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Zora

Wolfert's translation is correct, however, to many Lebanese, Baqli may only be known as Farfaheen.

The tea thing is Mariamia. The word comes from 'Mariam's herb'. Mariam being Mary (mother of Jesus). The herb is a women's libido enhancer hence the name.

Behemoth

If you e-mail your father about Mariamia, be ready for the barrage of questions. :laugh:

Edited by ChefCrash (log)
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Wolfert is correct about Baqli, it is Purslane.

Hindaba ,however to my knowledge, is not dandelion. I know two kinds of Hindaba, the "wild" one, looks like large dandelion leaves (as long as celery) with red "ribs" but is not nearly as bitter as dandelion, they could be members of the same family for all I know. I have never seen this type here. The other kind called "Hindaba" is chicory, or frisee.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Wolfert is correct about Baqli, it is Purslane.

Hindaba ,however to my knowledge, is not dandelion. I know two kinds of Hindaba, the "wild" one, looks like large dandelion leaves (as long as celery) with red "ribs" but is not nearly as bitter as dandelion, they could be members of the same family for all I know. I have never seen this type here. The other kind called "Hindaba" is chicory, or frisee.

Elie: I thank you for correcting me.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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Thanks, everyone! Someone else did email me to say he thought hindaba was chicory as well.

I'll have to look into this mariamia thing. My friend said she was served black tea with mariamia in it by some Palestinian militia leader, and it was the best tea she'd ever tasted, so he went out to the yard and picked big bunches of it for her. Hot-cha-cha...

Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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Wolfert is correct about Baqli, it is Purslane.

Hindaba ,however to my knowledge, is not dandelion. I know two kinds of Hindaba, the "wild" one, looks like large dandelion leaves (as long as celery) with red "ribs" but is not nearly as bitter as dandelion, they could be members of the same family for all I know. I have never seen this type here. The other kind called "Hindaba" is chicory, or frisee.

Elie: I thank you for correcting me.

And the thing that confused me when I first moved to the states has now been made clear...

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Wolfert is correct about Baqli, it is Purslane.

Hindaba ,however to my knowledge, is not dandelion. I know two kinds of Hindaba, the "wild" one, looks like large dandelion leaves (as long as celery) with red "ribs" but is not nearly as bitter as dandelion, they could be members of the same family for all I know. I have never seen this type here. The other kind called "Hindaba" is chicory, or frisee.

Is this what you are talking about?

gallery_1643_1753_376258.jpg

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I talked to my friend again, and she says maryameh is sage...does that sound right? I've never heard of sage having any particular qualities for women's health, though. I can see how it would make a good tea...

Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

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In Morocco, I remember reading that the infusion of sage leaves reduces milk-flow in lactating women.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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I talked to my friend again, and she says maryameh is sage...does that sound right?  I've never heard of sage having any particular qualities for women's health, though.  I can see how it would make a good tea...

if i am not mistaken it is maramiyeh and it is indeed sage. when i did my lebanese cookbook, alan davidson very kindly let me use his library and he had a FAO manual/dictionary or whatever (for some reason i don't list it in the bibliography but it was my first book) that gave the arabic names to all kinds of vegetables, herbs, etc. and i list maramiyeh in the par on herbal teas as sage. also i was just in morocco recently and my great friend hajj mustapha who makes the best mechoui in marrakesh gave me a winter variation on mint tea wtih sage in it. i don't remember exactly it it was only sage or mint and sage, i think the latter. adam, what is the herb you posted a photograph of?

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adam, what is the herb you posted a photograph of?

"radikia," (sing. radiki), wild chichory, according to Sazji. One of Greece's most popular greens. This is from the Hydra.

interesting but it is not hindbeh. would like to try it though. have you tried cooking it? if i am not mistaken, the hindbeh one buys outside the lebanon is not the same. i will check with my mother who happens to be over here and will report back.

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adam, what is the herb you posted a photograph of?

"radikia," (sing. radiki), wild chichory, according to Sazji. One of Greece's most popular greens. This is from the Hydra.

interesting but it is not hindbeh. would like to try it though. have you tried cooking it? if i am not mistaken, the hindbeh one buys outside the lebanon is not the same. i will check with my mother who happens to be over here and will report back.

OK, do they look like the green in the bottom left?

gallery_1643_1753_597653.jpg

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adam, what is the herb you posted a photograph of?

"radikia," (sing. radiki), wild chichory, according to Sazji. One of Greece's most popular greens. This is from the Hydra.

interesting but it is not hindbeh. would like to try it though. have you tried cooking it? if i am not mistaken, the hindbeh one buys outside the lebanon is not the same. i will check with my mother who happens to be over here and will report back.

OK, do they look like the green in the bottom left?

gallery_1643_1753_597653.jpg

this is more like it but i'm not sure. i remember the leaf greener and coarser. i think my mother is coming to lunch tomorrow. i'll show her the picture and ask her. where did you take the picture and what are the other greens?

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Sage is Mariamiah and is a member of the mint plants family.

Sage contains Thujone and Wormwood also contains Thujone and Wormwood is a constituent of the Absinthe liquor.

With a big leap in faith, you could deduce that Mariamiah or Sage "could" produce a Hallucinogenic and Aphrodisiac effect.

But you have to drink few gallons at one time.

Alternatively, get some Sage and dry it and soak in Ethanol, distill the stuff and drink it or evaporate the stuff and smoke it.

Or simply, buy a bottle of Absinthe and few cubes of sugar!

Edited by Nicolai (log)
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Interesting thread, and how these names come to mean different things.

In Turkish, Bakla is broad beans/fava beans.

Dandelion is karahindiba (black hindiba)

Which leaves the question,what the hell is hindiba? :) One person showed me dock and called it hindiba but another called that labada. In Greek, lapatho is sorrel, but sorrel in Turkish is kuzu kulagi (lit. "lambs ear").

Purslane, by the way, is semizotu, and is usually represented by a very wide-leafed commercially-grown variety, not the wild stuff. In Greek it's known both as "glystridha" (which refers to its slick texture) and "andrakla."

Radikia (wild chicory) is radika in Turkish.

In the last picture, though it could also be a really serrated form of chicory, the greens in the lower left hand corner look like "zohes" or "zohos" or "agriozohos" in Greek. (But the first two terms can also refer to wild lettuce, the last meaning 'wild zohos'...but they are all wild. Go figure.) I'll be back with the latin names of this and others for clarity.

This green grows commonly in Istanbul and surrounding areas as well but the only person I knew who used it was a Kurd from Adiyaman, and they call it pincik (punjuk). Now I'm wondering if that may be the "real" hindiba. Though these borders are new, perhaps these terms change all over Turkey as well.

I'm writing a piece on wild greens here and in Greece, I'll post a link to it when it's done. But that will be in spring.

Edited by sazji (log)

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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I got in a long, confusing conversation last night about greens, complicated by my never having learned the Arabic words for these things and the other person not knowing any English words for them, and also not having been on hand in the kitchen to see a lot of them raw.  We tried looking through the Chef Ramzi cookbook for pics, but no luck.

The main confusing ones:

Hindaba'

Baqli (?)

And if neither of those are purslane, how do you say purslane in Arabic?

And there's some kind of herb/green you put in tea called something like marharam?  Marhamia?  It's already slipping away...

Any help greatly appreciated!

Baqli is chickweed (Stellaria media (L.) Vill.) also called stitchwort and typically used in Lebanon and Palestine for salads. The word derives from the root word baql (buqul, pl.) which can mean salad, mixed seasoned salad herbs, mixed green leafy vegetables. Al-buqul,. Derived from the same root means mallow, specifically marshmallow (Malva rotundifolia L.). Other word that derive from the same root are baqla, the small fava beans that grow in marshlands; al-baqla al-dhahabiyya, orache (Atriplex hortensis L.), al-baqla al-khurasaniyya (Rumex obtusifolius) a kind of sorrel, baqla ‘arabiyya, (literally “Arab greens”), Swiss chard in Ibn al-Baytar, a 13th century botanist, al-baqla al-barda: hyacinth bean (also called lablab, Egyptian Black Bean, India Bean) Lablab purpurus (L.) Sweet. (syn. L. niger Medik. and Dolichos lablab L.), and baqla al-malik, fumitory (Fumaria officinalis).

Hindab is chicory or endive (Cichorium intybus L.)

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.), a popular vegetable in North Africa and the Middle East has many names, such as barabra in North Africa, badalqa, bighal, al-Hamqa’ al-baqla, kharqa, rujila, arnuba, murta (Portulca linifolia), and farfhin.

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So they use hyacinth bean there. I grow it every year and have heard that it is edible but requires some sort of processing before it's safe to eat. Information I've found on the internet seems to conflict, so it would be good to hear it from someone who actually has cooked and eaten it and is here to tell the story. ;)

So baqli is chickweed. They eat that one here, and just to keep things confusing, they call it "pancar," (panjar) which is the same word as "beet." :huh: Common names are always confusing...

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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As always, it is important to remember that terms differ widely from one region to another in the same country, let alone across continents. So what Clifford said is very educational and spans many regions and I have no doubt is accurate, but my definition for Baqli only applies to "my neck of the woods" and that is Northern Lebanon, specifically Akkar area. Over there Baqli = Purslane.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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So they use hyacinth bean there.  I grow it every year and have heard that it is edible but requires some sort of processing before it's safe to eat. Information I've found on the internet seems to conflict, so it would be good to hear it from someone who actually has cooked and eaten it and is here to tell the story. ;)

I think the conflicting information is due to there being slightly differing varieties, as well as the fact that they can be eaten as a green vegetable or as a dried bean. If I remember correctly - and don't eat the dried beans on the basis of what I'm saying without further checking - the green podded variety are okay to eat dried without further processing, whereas the purple podded variety have a greater concentration of toxin in the dried mature beans, and it is these which be processed before consumption.

My understanding is that ALL the types can be eaten without qualms as a green vegetable. It is only when the pods are older and are mature that toxins are a concern in certain types.

Hyacinth beans in the young, green vegetable stage are sold and eaten in India all the time (known in Hindi as sem, papri, papdi, or val/valor depending on region, type and transliteration conventions). I would actually go as far as to say that they are the most common type of green bean for sale in the markets (in Delhi at least). When most cookbooks in India talk about 'green beans' or 'broad beans' it is actually hyacinth beans they are referring to.

So I can certainly chime in here and say that I've cooked and eaten it on plenty of occasions, and have lived to tell the tale. :smile:

They are sold and eaten as a green vegetable when between one inch to about two and a half inches or three inches long. There's a picture of papdi/val here. Sem are a little flatter, and are slightly undulating.

So, do the plants you grow look/sound like this?

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