Growing up in Canada, my parents did their best to preserve traditions and culture. They spoke Arabic at home, my mother cooked traditional dishes and we often heard stories of their childhood in Palestine.

Every meal my family shared together was special.  I remember how my father would always joyfully and enthusiastically compliment my mother’s cooking. He was, to say the least, partial to her food! It was also during those beautiful family meals that my father would share interesting stories about his childhood in Palestine, a place he deeply missed.

Food was an important part of our household because it brought us together as a family.  My mother is an impeccable cook and, after getting married and leaving her parent’s home at a young age, she learned so many of the traditional Palestinian dishes from her maternal aunt who was just like a grandmother to my siblings and I, we even called her “Teta” (Arabic for grandma). One of Teta Suad’s specialties was Kibbeh, more specifically Kibbeh bi Laban, my all-time favourite dish.  As they say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. It is also a favourite of my daughter’s and, in true Palestinian grandmother style, my mom always prepares a batch of her delicious crispy kibbeh balls specially for my daughter to enjoy when we visit Toronto during the summer. I am grateful that so many wonderful recipes and culinary techniques have been lovingly passed on to me through my mom and my Teta.

kibbeh bi laban

I have always felt connected to my roots through the beautiful meals my mother cooked for us. Food is an important part of heritage and it brings upon nostalgia and memories of past generations. I’ve never been to Palestine, but my husband and I hope to one day visit with our daughter and give her, and ourselves, the opportunity to continue to learn more about our Palestinian history.

This Ramadan, I hosted a Palestinian ‘iftar’ dinner for my ladies book club and created a few contemporary twists to some traditional recipes. I’m happy to share a few of my favourite recipes with you – Enjoy and Ramadan Kareem.


Minced meat stuffed Phyllo Cigars

Lentil Soup

Beetroot Hummus with Pita Crisps

Fattoush Salad


Musakhan Tart

Fatteh Bitanjan

Vegetarian Stuffed vine leaves


Kaak Mamoul


Fruit Salad


Guest Contributor

Muna Rahim

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