Monday, May 07, 2007

yesterday i had a treat in the form of food, something i haven't had in a long time, now some of you may not be impressed, some of you may be disgusted, but all i can say is that it was sooooooooooo delicious.

a family friend invited me and mum over to hers to eat 3isban (stuffed intestines), we got there for the afternoon around 4, i wasn't going to go because i was still bruised up from the other days fall, but the word 3isban soon changed my mind.
when we got t our cousins house we found the table full of kusbar and ma3danoos (coriander and i always forget the other ones name)

it was a field of green and there was soooooo much to chop, so on we got with the chopping, chop chop chop, kosbar and ma3danoos are a vital ingredient in all Libyan dishes, it just wouldn't be the same with out it, it gives food that extra kick, i personally cant tell the difference and when i go shopping for my mother i always have to take a sample with me to be able to tell the difference.

i have to confess i didn't actually chop anything, i watched though and observed so that's something at least, and i did entertain them with my stories while they where chopping so that's a good contribution isn't it?
whilst my mum was chopping the green stuff my cousin was chopping the meat into little cubes, she was in-charge of the red stuff, i have to say the only time i eat liver is in this case other wise i don't go anywhere near liver, not my favourite to be honest,

as a child i would always pick out the liver from the rooz bil khalta (mixed rice) so by the end of the meal there would be a small pyramid of liver.
after a while another family friend joined us and seriously within seconds of entering the kitchen she was chopping something, wow they move fast, I'm thinking of entering certain ladies into the Guinness records for the fastest time it takes to join in the ritual of kitchen life, fascinating stuff.

she started of with chopping spring onions, a vital ingredient in this delicacy, i love spring onions, it's enough to just look at them, they look like stretched out anorexic onions, and they are powerful on the taste buds.
and then came the regular onions and every one began to cry as onions have that affect on people, i remember there was a Kleenex advert when i was growing up as a child where a European mother was chopping up onions and crying her eyes out when all of a sudden her little boy came running up to her with a box of tissues, how cute, i always remember that advert whenever i see some one chopping onions, i didn't hand out any tissues though.
the chopped onions where added ontop of the green stuff but then more green stuff was being chopped, something called shibit (dilweed) pretty cool stuff, again it adds flavour apparently, so cool how every thing works together in a blend of different flavours to make one dish.

i was getting really peckish and it was really difficult not to pick out things and eat them although at this point there really wasn't anything to pick out, it was all green stuff and i don't eat raw meat, but things changed after the tomatoes came out, now that's something i can eat especially with salt and lemons niceeeeeee.

after every couple of chops of tomatoes my fingers would find there way to a lonely tomato and would disappear into the pits of my stomach, come onnnnnn i was hungry, it was torture seeing all that food being chopped up.

as a kid i didn't particularly like tomatoes, they where bearable but that about it, but after growing up i find myself loving tomatoes, isn't it strange how that happens, you hate something for a long time then you find yourself actually liking it instead, we humans are weird.

so after eating nearly all the tomatoes, it was time to mix all the chopped up stuff together as well as adding spices which the dish would not taste the same with out, spices like filfil 7amar (red chilli), ibzar (that yellow stuff that stains your fingers), filfil ak7al (pepper), salt obviously, mixed spices, ni3na3 (mint), 7abag (basil).

also vital ingredients like rice (not cooked) as well as tomato puree (a Libyans best friend). and then began the mixing, it's important that it's mixed well so that there is an even distribution of flavours, our friend did a very good job of mixing while i took pictures, can i just say that they did find me strange in taking pictures, they didn't understand the fascination that i had, but then by the end of the evening the kept pointing things out to me and telling me to take a picture of it lol.

then came the part where they stuff the intestines, all 25 of them, that's alot, now they are washed extremely well with all sorts of stuff and soaked in lemons and scrubbed extremely well and washed again extremely well until your left with skinny long strings, that become fat long things after the stuffing, then there put into a pot of hot water that flavoured with more spices and tomato puree. ok ok so it doesn't look to appetizing but trust me the taste is amazing, there like sausages but 100 times better.

they are left to cook for an hour, i was starving and i was cold, so i wrapped myself in my cardigan and fell asleep on the gi3dal al 3arbeeyah (Arabic seating) for an hour all that hard work had tired me out lol.

when i woke up the food was ready and the men where getting grumpy because they where starving and my cousin shouted out 'mafee 7ad sayam rah (theres no one fasting by the way) cheek, it wasn't like we where playing or anything, but because the men where hungry every thing went to fast forwards, the speed of light could be witnessed in this small kitchen on Sunday evening, wow those ladies can move fast.

the end result was rice with 3isban mmmmmmmm.

i swear i was so hungry by the time i had sat down to eat, and it tasted sooo good, but then i got full pretty fast and i was so upset because i wanted to eat more but i couldnt sob sob sob.

i have never been put of the fact that they are intestines, to me they are delicious, and i invite you all to try it out.

can i just say that the me didnt finish there gas3a, tut tut tut, they should have finished evey last morsel especially because they where complaining. who knows when the next time will be when i eat 3isban again.
sa7a sa7a white african :@D


a_akak said...

Salamat ya W.A.

Just reading this made me hunger, next time i go back home they MUST make me 3usban (one of my fav libya dishes) or i am going to get them to send me 3osban by DHL :P

But i dont like the preparation part :P, just the eating part

Fe Aman Allah

Anglo-Libyan said...

I think you meant Parsley!

like you I do not like liver, even 3usban in our house does not include liver.

That rice in the Gas3a looks like a white heart :o)

This has to be the best Libyan dish ever, loved by almost all libyans, Thumbs up for 3usban :o)
I am hungry now, bless you.

Brave Heart said...

haram aliki ya WA shen dernalik, why u hurt me by this post :((? my friend invited me to 3sban dinner next comes u don't eat liver it's my fav, me were eating liver and leaving the rice, totally the opposite of u.
u must prepare dish for us and send it too us poor guys me an ahmed

white african said...

akak i belive that you would be the first libyan ever to recieve 3isban through dhl :)

preparation is a long procedure but its so worth it.

anglo thank you so much parsley is exactly what i meant, i always remember corrioander and for some reason parsley just escapes my mind.

liver is defiantly thumbs down.

brave you have less than a week until next sunday where you can eat 3usban dont worry time will go very fast especially if you dont think about it :)

liver is not nice brave, come on admit it admit it

Anonymous said...

Here is ur dad in the news:

cofman said...

Thanks White Af, … you always impress me … always … a true and original Libyan girl
I am very proud of you … wallahi proud to 2 million levels … mashallah …

I have a tiny technical question please … it should be easy … but please do ask your mum because she has a great home and many years of experience …( thanks in advance to your mum btw )
My question: you said “…kosbar and ma3danoos are a vital ingredient in all Libyan dishes, it just wouldn't be the same with out it, it gives food that extra kick, i personally can not tell the difference and when i go shopping for my mother i always have to take a sample with me to be able to tell the difference.”

It’s a side question really.. could you tell me please: when will you stop taking samples … and start getting ready for the big day?

Ever The Idealist said...

you are gross beyond gross sis. i wonder why you are like this WA? why must you be so alien? why cant you be like me and normal????? :D

cofman said...

White Af,??
I invite you to come and see Lady Clever, and respond when you wish

Anglo-Libyan said...

Salam whiteafrican
I have got a comment from Tabet on my blog :o)
I just wanted to make sure if it is Tabet your brother and how you feel about me or anyone replying to him as he is still 12 years old, I will wait for your reply.

Brave Heart said...

no way WA, LIVER IS the best, it's the only thing i can cock, i think u r the one whom missing some genes :-P

white african said...

annon yep thats him.

coff thank you :)

your question is an interesing question lol, i will think about it and answer it for you and will check out lady clever.

ever shock how can you be so insenstive? i will force you to eat one.

anglo yep thats my little bro, he has been bugging me about blogging so the other day i sat down with him and showed him how to start one up, so hes keen on getting comments from people, i am encouraging him to blog to improve his writting skills, i didnt realise he would cotton on to leaving comments on other peoples blogs lol,

i have told him to get his friends to blog and stick to his age group which he is keen to do, i think because its a new thing he wants encouraging thats all, thanks anglo :)

brave i am very happy to be missing out on the liver gene lol


My mom and her siblings like a dish similar 2 this......I personally I dont like beng around it when it is being prepared. Occasionally I would taste it though.....but only when I'm hungry and there is nothing else.

Hope the bruises are healing!

Lebeeya said...

I am not a very big fan of 3osban, I wouldnt want anyone to eat my intestinse one day so I avoid eating sheep intestinse :P

I dont like liver either so I am right behind you fagoosa! :)

Lebeeya said...

Whiteafrican, your dad is co cute!

white african said...

native really? wow you got show me one day, i think kenyans are secretly libyan lol.

leebeya lol @fagoosa, lovin it :)

your not a fan of 3osban? i compltley forget there intestines when i eat them.

white african said...

lol thank you leebeya he is bless him

nona said...

WA I love this dish veryy muchhh it’s delicious... amazing. We called it kawarii3 or karsha, its harsh name but that whats we called hehehehehe

I love to eat but I hate to cook, I wish I can cook it in the future by my self. Yaam yam fata7ty nifsii 3al2akil while am going now to the gym

Anglo-Libyan said...

I visited & commented on Tabet's blog :o)

how cute is his blog?? did you see all these funny pictures, dogs & cats with duck feet!! he really made me laugh this morning, Allah bless him :o)

weldemdina said...

Long time since I tasted that stuff, I thought "dwara" not sold in UK since foot and mouth scare! Nice sequence of pictures by the way, it would be nice if to include the recipe so I could give it a try :o) , by the way the easiest way to know which is a parsley and which is coriander is by the smell, coriander has a strong smell. It smiles as if you are inside Indian shop or restaurant as they use it alot in their cooking plus each leaf has different shape, the parsley has pointed edges while the coriander has roundly shape, you might need to get your magnifying glass and use your CSI skills when you visit the grocery shop :o) .

white african said...

nona cool we also have karsha as well, hope you get to eat some soon :)

have fun at the gym.

anglo thanks, he loves funny pictures (7asheeshta lol) thank for encouraging him :)

white african said...

oooops missed your comment there weld, thank you so much for teaching me the difference, im sure i will still get confused though lol.

its difficult to get get imsareen here but if you know the right person then its easy, the whole wasta thing.

Anglo-Libyan said...

you can get Masareen in London very easily (if you are in London)
just go to Turkish areas, they love them too and call them MUMBAR.
there is a shop called Yasser Halim in Wood Green not far from Manor House Station that sells them frozen, another shop is in Dalston market not far from train station.
you can find a recipe in Libya our Home & Janzour websites :o)

mani said...



WA.. u evil evil person!!! ... u know what I have to be content with??.. huh?? Quavers... that's right.. new pack quavers.. walahe Im soo hungry I've given up cooking here cant cook for myself while everyone here is busy studying.. :(

I'm soo hungry..

get a life and start liking liver!.. shene hada.. ur libyan and u dont like liver?.. do u like bazeen??..

Ur libyan nationality will be revoked if u dislike any more of our food :D.. that goes for Lebeeya too.. and anyone else going against the grain.. CONFORM danmmit!!!..

sorry I'm a little on a high note salam!

weldemdina said...

Thanks Anglo for the info, unfortunately I live away from London, actually I live 40miles from Manchester in a coastal town called Blackpool, next time I go to Wilmslow road I will ask our brothers there if they have any, and speaking of lamb's liver, 3osban wont be 3osban without pieces of liver, and I love having liver grilled or fried with a bit of olive oil mmm , I am suppose to start a new diet regime this topic change everything now, I guess it has to wait for another week or so.

white african said...

maaaaaaaaaaani where have you been, you better be studying bro.

look i felt like i should share my wonderful expericne of eating 3osban with my bliogging family :)

quakers are lovley but im not a fan of the caramle flavour, tooo sweet fo my likeing.

and liver is not nice no matter what you say, im sure liver is not a libyan thing lol.

bazeen rocks, i love the stuff.

welcome back mani.

welde your from blackpool? poor you :) are there many libyans in black pool?

liver with olive oil, if i had to have liver then i drown it in lemons

weldemdina said...

Blackpool not that bad when not during the tourist season, hey I could be living in Leeds that would be a nightmare for sure :o), and no not that many Libyans here just few, but there are many arabs , and as usual for any Libyans we only meet by a chance once in awhile which a shame.

Monday's Child said...

ayy.. you made me remember persian food.. I misss persian food.. and of course my persian family who cooks it lol!!

mani said...

Salam WA.. um.. it's actually 'Quavers' rather than 'Quakers'.. a7em.. and they only come in one flavour.. CHEESY.. :D :D

I gobbled 2x12 packs in 2 days.. 2 for 1 deal.. couldn't help it.

listen.. stop fraffing about.. eat liver.. Im serious.. it's good stuff.. liver is part of every meat feast, the champion of Libyan meaty niblets. you need to keep this aqquired taste alive for generations of Libyan's to come.

I think weldmedina should have a blog and join the community officially and give us a blackpoolian Libyan perspective :D
welcome on board bro


white african said...

Welde i didnt realise there where any arabs in blackpool wow.

monday persian food sounds great, i should try some :)

mani lol @ quackers, well while your munching awaya on quavers white african is cuasing a massacre by eating quackers lol.

liver sucks no doubt about it, maybe they should liver flavoured quavers.

Anonymous said...

شهيتيني فيه توا واني في لندن

اما العصبان في ليبيا بنته بروحها

Tripoli My Soul

white african said...

tripoli it's not to difficult to make, i'm sur ein London you can manage to get hold of some masareen.

i can send you the ingrediants if yuo want lol.

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