Lamees’ Palestinian Musakhan Roll

A little later than intended, here is my second post in aid of Refugee Week.  Today I’d like to share a recipe that was kindly sent to me by the Scottish Council for Refugees.  On the Friday 19th June, 2009 the members of the Maryhill Integration Group are publishing “Heart of the Home” a book of recipes* from refugees living in Scotland.  The following Musakhan Roll is Palestinian Lamees Tayyem’s contribution to the book.  I’ve never met Lamees but, thanks to the Refugee Council, I know a little about her now:

Cooking is a great way for Lamees Tayyem to keep memories of her Palestinian homeland alive. Forty-five year old Lamees lives in Sighthill with her husband Iyad, a poet, and their sons: Atif, 20, Mahir, 20 and Faris, six. The family came to Glasgow in the year 2000 after being forced to leave their refugee camp in Syria. The family now have permission to stay on in Scotland indefinitely. A volunteer Arabic teacher, Lamees also assists with the asylum and refugee team at St Rollox as well as being an active member of the International Women’s Group in Sighthill. Since arriving in Glasgow she has gained a reputation for her culinary skills and often cooks for events hosted by the Scottish Friends of Palestine. Lamees said: “We like our lives in Scotland. Life is much safer here. Maybe one day I’d like to take my sons back to Palestine to see where they came from.”

Musakhan Roll is a kind of Palestinian casserole made with chicken, bread, spices and vegetables and it was utterly delicious.  I’ve published the recipe below in the exact form that I received it.  The only changes I made when cooking the dish myself was to use chicken thighs cut into thirds and ground allspice (couldn’t find whole). 

Lamee’s Palestinian Musakhan Roll

(serves 6)

One large boneless chicken, cut into pieces

Three Arabic flatbreads or six pita bread (my new love – shall post a recipe very soon)

Six medium onions chopped

Half a cup of olive oil

Six teaspoons of Sumac

One teaspoon of salt

Half a teaspoon of pepper

Two teaspoons of allspice (not ground)

Half a cup of pine nuts (optional)

One cup of water

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Cook the chicken pieces with the cup of water in a pot for 30 minutes.
  • Add salt, pepper, allspice, onions, and olive oil to thechicken while it’s cooking. Wait until around five minutes
  • before the chicken is due to be ready and add all your sumac to the pot.
  • Cut each Arabic bread into four pieces (or open up each pita bread).
  • Take one spoonful from the pot and place into a piece of bread and then roll it.
  • Grease a baking dish with olive oil and place the rolls in the baking dish. Add your pine nuts to the top and bake at 250C for 20 minutes or until bread is golden coloured.
  • Serve with a side salad of yoghurt and enjoy.
*  The Kitchen Cookbook is a fantastic new collection of international recipes  collected from members of the Maryhill Integration Network. Come and get a taster with workshops and activities for the whole family. Organised by Maryhill Integration Network in partnership with Culture and Sport Glasgow, NGARN, conFAB and local primary schools.  For more information: 0141 946 9106

9 thoughts on “Lamees’ Palestinian Musakhan Roll

  1. So here it is the recipe you have promised! Very nice indeed. I love the spice and especially Sumac!! I just travelled a long way to get some Sumac and would love to use it now.

    And I hope that Lamees’s wish of bringing her son to Palestine (a peaceful Palestine hopefully) will come true one day.

  2. Hi Wendy, I came across your Blog completely by accident and am now totally hooked. Thank you!

    I am in Kildary, so not a million miles away and also love this part of the world, to me it is simply heaven on earth.

    Very interested by your Refugee Council recipe, though I have no idea what Sumac is, but I will Google it after I finish writing this.

    I very much look forward to enjoying your Blog and recipes, thanks again for brightening my day.

  3. Anh – You’re back! Wonderful. Off to visit your blog now.

    Liz – Hello! Thank you for the kind words. I work in Alness so Kildary is not very far away at all. I’d heard of sumac before but had never tasted it until this recipe. Managed to track it down in the health food store in Inverness (on one of those little back streets behind the High Street). It tastes a bit like salty, bitter paprika.

    Laila – It was lovely indeed. Shall definitely take a look at your recipe too.

  4. Hi Wendy!
    What a lovely blog! I love food!!! This recepie looks awesome, and I’m looking forward to continue being inspired here. 🙂
    I hope you’re good! It was nice of you to drop by my blog.

    All my love and best wishes to you!

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