Halimeh, from the village of Aarssal in the Bekaa, whom I know very well, produced for the audience kebbet battata balls. The recipe is simple ... Prepare two large bowls. In one, add 1 1/2 kilo of burghul + 1/2 cup of flour + water to make a thick dough. Knead the dough to have an even texture. Leave to rest. In the second bowl, add 1 1/2 kilo of boiled potatoes. Crush them with a potato masher. Leave to cool. When cool, add 1/4 cup of dried mint, 1 tbs. cumin powder, 1 tsp. of sweet pepper, salt to taste. Add about 4 tbs.of olive oil. Cut 2 medium onions finely, fry in a mixture of olive and vegetable oil until brown. Add to the potatoes. The stuffing is ready. To make the kebbeh balls, wet your hands with a few drops of water and place one heaping tbs. of stuffing in the palm of your hand. Roll into the shape of a long cylinder. Hold the dough in one hand and make an indentation with the index finger of your opposite hand in one end of the cylinder to create an opening. Open only one end. Stuff each shell with 1-2 tsp. of the stuffing. Seal the open end of the cylinder by pinching it closed. Cook in the oven at a temperature of 200 for 20 minutes or deep-fry in vegetable oil.
Another group of women from Batloun in the Shouf made delicious kaak sweetened with homemade grape molasses. These small delights were quickly consumed by everyone. Grape molasses is a great substitute for sugar and is best for one's health. The secret is to melt down the molasses before using, as the molasses tend to be very hard and thick. Iqbal mixed 1 kilo of whole wheat flour with 1/2 kilo of grape molasses (warm). She added 1/2 kilo oil (50% olive, 50% sunflower), one tablespoon of anise powder, one tsp. baking powder. The dough was shaped into finger-like shapes and dipped in sesame seeds. The kaak was put to bake in the hot oven at a temperature of 180 for 15 minutes. They were really delicious.