Savour Chef Gunjit Singh Chawla's Favourite Lebanese Recipes

With an exquisite tapestry of flavours, aromas, and traditions, Lebanese cuisine has been shaped by a fusion of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Levantine influences. Known for incorporating an abundance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and seafood, this cuisine also includes a variety of grilled meats, including lamb, beef, and chicken.

The Lebanese diet focuses more on herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients for flavour as compared to heavy sauces. Mint, parsley, oregano, garlic, and cinnamon are some popular types of seasoning used in Lebanese cuisine. Olive oil, chickpeas, and yoghurt are some of the common ingredients in a variety of dishes. Some popular Lebanese dishes are baba ghanoush, tabbouleh, pita or fattoush salad, hummus, falafel, and shawarma.

Did you know that Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries also follow a traditional style of dining called Lebanese mezze? It refers to a selection of small, flavourful dishes that are served as appetisers or side dishes to accompany the main meal. Although the dishes in a mezze are not standalone dishes that can be had on their own, they include dips, salad, nibbles, pickles, and more. It is a communal way of eating where diners share and enjoy a variety of different flavours and textures.

Chef Gunjit recommends dishes that are a must-try for all chicken lovers. First is chicken kabsa, a delectable dish that is prepared with succulent marinated chicken infused with aromatic spices, including saffron, on top of basmati rice. Another one is chicken falafel, which is crispy on the outside and moist and flavourful on the inside. These golden nuggets of delight are made from a blend of ground chicken and aromatic herbs.

If you are also planning to treat your family to some hearty Lebanese dishes, here are two favourite recipes shared by Chef Gunjit Singh Chawla, corporate chef at Independence Brewing Co. (IBC), Pune:

Chicken Kabsa 


  • 160 g bone-in chicken leg
  • 20 ml of oil
  • 15 g ginger-garlic paste
  • 5 g cumin powder
  • 5 g of coriander powder
  • 3 g badi saunf
  • 3 g of turmeric powder
  • 5 g of red chilli powder
  • 0.004 g of saffron
  • 8 g of Bharat spice
  • 30 ml of pure cow ghee
  • 1 g of star anise
  • 1 g cinnamon stick
  • 5 g of coriander leaves
  • 1 g of cloves
  • 1 g of cardamom
  • 1 g of whole black pepper
  • 1 g bay-leaf
  • 150 g onion
  • 1 lemon                                             
  • 420ml water                                                                               
  • 3 g apricot dry
  • 3 g prunes
  • 8 g cashew
  • 8 g raisins
  • 2 g coriander leaves
  • 2 g mint leaves
  • 25 g fried onion
  • 40 g of haydari sauce

For kabsa rice:

  • 200 g of rice cooked in chicken stock

For Haydari sauce:

  • 100 g of curd
  • 20 g of paprika powder
  • 5 g chopped dill leaves
  • 2 g of salt
  • 10 ml of honey
  • 10 g of feta cheese


For haydari sauce

  • Add all the ingredients mentioned in a bowl and mix well.

For chicken kabsa:

  • Take a heavy pot and sauté the onion, then combine all ingredients except the chicken and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Then put the chicken in the pot, cook for 2 more minutes, add water, and cook until done. Strain the stock and keep it aside.
  • Wash the rice well, cook it in stock, and strain it.
  • Combine ghee, cashews, raisins, and rice together; put fried onions and cooked chicken together in the pan; serve in a pot dish.
  • Garnish it with apricots, prunes, mint, and coriander. Give Haydari sauce on the side.

Chicken Falafel 


For chicken mixture

  • 200 g chicken mince
  • 4 g cumin powder
  • 4 g coriander powder
  • 2 g salt
  • 2 g Bharat spice

For falafel mixture:

  • 200 g of chickpeas
  • 25 g of ginger
  • 25g garlic  
  • 50 g onion
  • 3 lemons  
  • 30 g coriander leaves
  • 30 g of parsley
  • 5 g salt
  • 5 g cumin powder
  • 5 g chat masala
  • 3 gm garam masala
  • 3 g of turmeric powder
  • 2 g green chillies
  • 1 pita  
  • 30 g of tzatziki dip
  • 30 g harissa sauce


  • Prepare both mixtures separately.
  • Add the chicken mixture and falafel mixture together in an equal ratio.
  • Heat some oil on the grill pan, add the keema mixture, and cook it for 8 minutes.
  • Place the pita on the plate. Spread harissa sauce, put falafel diagonally, place salad on the side, sprinkle sumac powder on top, and serve with tzatziki sauce.