Thursday, 20 August 2015

Lahoh Wraps with Bisbas and Zhoug

Run 10ks, come home and eat my weight in Lahoh wraps... Story of my life.

Lahoh is a Yemeni sourdough flat bread.  It's like a sourdough pancake-crumpet hybrid. You need to start the starter 3 days prior to cooking.

NOTE: It's a long list of ingredients and takes some time, but most of the time is spent watching the starter ferment and most of the ingredients are blitzed in a grinder/blender/food processor.

Lahoh Wraps with Bisbas and Zhoug
adapted from here
Makes 6

For the Lahoh:
For the Starter:
1 cup water
1/3 cup wholemeal flour (I used Atta flour)
1/3 cup baker's flour
1 teaspoon dry yeast

For the Dough:
1 cup cornmeal (polenta)
1 cup baker's flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the Paste:
1/4 cup baker's flour
1 cup water, plus an extra cup water for the batter

Make the Starter:
Put all the starter ingredients into a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Cover with a lid and leave the lid slightly ajar to let some air in.  Leave the starter to ferment for three days.  On the first day, it will be bubbly.  After the second day, a brownish liquid will form on the surface.  By the third day, the mixture will smell slightly beer-y.

Make the Dough:
Put the starter, cornmeal, flour and salt into a bowl and mix with your hands until it comes together.  Add more water if needed.  Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until soft and smooth.  Put it into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Leave to rise for 40 minutes.

Make the Paste:
Put the flour into a small saucepan.  Gradually whisk in the water.  Put the pan on medium heat and continue whisking until the mixture thickens and forms a thick paste.  Remove from the heat.

Make the Batter:
Put the dough into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the paste and 1 cup of warm water and mix on low speed until combined. The batter should be thin, like crepe batter. Add more water if needed to get it to the right consistency. Pour the batter into a large jug and cover with plastic wrap and leave for 30 minutes, until bubbles appear on the surface,

Cook the Lahoh:
Put a pizza stone in a cast iron pan (or use a heavy based frying pan) and heat over high heat.  Lightly oil the stone or pan with cooking oil spray and pour the batter to form a 22cm circle, using a swirling action and starting from the outside.  Cook the lahoh for about 5 minutes, until the underside is golden and the top is dry and covered in tiny bubbles.  This bread is only cooked on one side. Remove from the heat and lay on a clean kitchen towel to cool.  Continue with the remaining batter.

For the Bisbas:
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
6 dried small red chillies
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
2 1/2 teaspoons ground tumeric

Make the Bisbas:
Preheat the oven to 150C.  Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Set aside.

Put all the ingredients into a spice grinder or blender.  Grind until fine.  Spread the spice mix out onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 -20 minutes, until dry.

Put it back into the spice grinder or blender and blitz to a powder.  Spoon into a bowl. Set aside.

For the Zhoug:
slightly adapted from here
1 big bunch coriander
1 big bunch parsley
1 tablespoon preserved lemon peel
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground caraway
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
100ml olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
50ml water

Make the Zhoug:
Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Set aside

To Serve:
Greek yoghurt sprinkled with sumac
A tomato salad of halved cherry tomatoes and sliced red onions spritzed with lemon juice, lemon zest and sprinkled with sea salt flakes
200g feta, crumbled
Lemon wedges

Lay your lahoh on a plate. Spread a generous amount of zhoug down the centre. Top with tomato salad, crumbled feta, dollops of yoghurt and a good sprinkling of bisbas. Fold and apply to face.


  1. This is so interesting! I have never heard of any of those components before (not even sure how to pronounce them, to be honest), but it sounds like an amazing combination of middle-eastern flavours - coriander and parsley, cumin, lemon, feta, sumac and yogurt are all some of my favourite ingredients. Love it!

  2. I didn't know this meal and now, I'm craving for it! I love watching a dough grow, it's just so nice :) The colours on your photos are incredible!

  3. This bread sounds like an amazing foodie experiment! I love how fearless you are with your breadmaking Jen, it makes my little gluten free heart break that I can't eat these amazing recipes, but I love trying them out for my wheat-enabled family :)
    There's something magic about yeast cookery :) I can't wait to try making this spice mix too. So many beautiful flavours! And I think I would eat the zhoug straight out of the bowl! You are a flavour genius my friend!

  4. I never knew and now I wish I still didn't as I just want this in my belly NOW!!!! As always just love your photos xxx