The absorption of the iron, supplied by the parsley and the lentils, is enhanced by the vitamin C provided by the other ingredients, such as lemon juice.
For the record, I like my tabouleh lemony, with a note of hot green chile pepper, transforming each mouthful into a fresh hit of flavor on a hot summer day.
Tarator is not a dish, but rather a very versatile sauce. It is the definite sauce for falafel and shawarma and also goes well with baked fish, deep-fried cauliflower, or simple boiled potatoes (with a bit of parsley on top).
Another version of taro potato is made with lentils. As in so many cases, there are the two camps of preference: those who cook it with tahini, and those who cook it without.
Nothing means mountain rustic food as much as makhlouta, or the “mixed,” and it is in fact a mix of several kinds of beans and a bit of coarse bulgur, all cooked together in a thick brown porridge-like sauce.
The ultimate breakfast, a manousheh (plural manaiish) is a flatbread, a pizza-like pie, covered with za’atar (thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt) mixed with oil, and baked in the oven, or over a saj, which is a concave steel plaque with fire beneath it, and the flatbread cooks on the top. Its distinctive smell is typical of an early-morning mountain breakfast.
Thyme contains thymol, a compound extensively used in medicine and known to be efficient in treating intestinal worms and reducing spasm.
Here is another version of sfouf, sweetened with granulated sugar and colored and spiced with turmeric. It’s a very simple dessert to prepare that just needs mixing by hand.
Fresh herbs such as coriander, are excellent sources of antioxidants such as vitamin C.
Do not heat the sumac with the chickpeas for more than 2 minutes so as to avoid the development of a bitter taste.