Ma’ahani (Spicy Lebanese sausages with pine nuts)


This month, The Cook Book Guru is featuring Saha by Greg and Lucy Malouf.  Saha was published in 2005.  It was my first truly magnificent cookbook.  It is a travelogue- cum-cookbook of Lebanon and Syria, with wonderful glossy photos.  I remember receiving it as a gift and just loving it.  I treated it with great reverence for a long time, gently turning over the pages so as not to mar it.  Since my trip to Lebanon, I have revisited the book many times, marvelling at the fact that I have been to a number of the places mentioned.

I have made a lot of recipes from this book but, interestingly, I have only featured Man’oushe with za’atar and with spinach and cheese from it.  I have, however, featured a number of Greg Malouf recipes from his other books.

It has been a while since I have done a post on a Cookbook Guru feature book (I don’t own last month’s book) so I was keen to get going this month.  I have tagged a few recipes that I haven’t tried so we will see how I go.

Last night, I whizzed through the tagged recipes, looking for something quick and where we had all the ingredients.  This one fitted the bill, or so I thought.  I read as I was getting the ingredients ready, “Cover and refrigerate overnight“.  Clearly, I had to miss that step.

These little guys are really fancy sounding meatballs.  We kept with the spirit of the recipe and went with the sausage shape but little balls would have worked just as well.

All in all, they made a tasty, extremely quick meal, although they were not particularly special.  We did find the nutmeg and cinnamon a bit strong but wonder whether, if we had followed the instructions and put them in the fridge overnight, the spices would have mellowed.


  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp mahlab (crushed cherry seeds)  (Mahlab may be a bit tricky to get – you will need to go to a Middle Eastern grocer for it.)
  • 500g minced lamb
  • splash of red wine
  • salt
  • 40g pine nuts
  • olive oil, for frying
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • Lebanese bread, to serve, if desired


  1. Mix all the spices together.
  2. Add to the minced lamb with a good splash of red wine. Mix thoroughly and season with a little salt.
  3. Stir in the pine nuts.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight (haha).
  5. Roll the mixture into small, even-sized sausage shapes.
  6. Fry in olive oil.
  7. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the pan.
  8. Serve with Lebanese bread and a salad.

20 thoughts on “Ma’ahani (Spicy Lebanese sausages with pine nuts)

  1. I’ve never seen mahlepi (the Greek for mahleb) in meat dishes before, only in breads and baked goods. Very interesting mix of spices, as Sandra says. I bet they were delicious!

  2. These sound great and would be awesome for a special bbq in the summer months. Can’t wait to see what else takes your fancy from this month’s book. Leah

  3. Reblogged this on The Cookbook Guru and commented:
    Saha is already generating a beautiful Middle Eastern feast for our table for October. Glenda at Passion Fruit Garden has created a beautiful meal of Spicy Lebanese sausages with Pine Nuts.

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