Mnazalet Zahra

Just a quick post today to share with you a recipe I didn't cook for years and years. It wasn't one of my favourite dishes growing up but I have been craving it for the last two weeks. Finally I managed to cook it yesterday.

Today's dish is
Mnazalet Zahra. Zahra is Syrian for cauliflower (we use the same word, zahra, for flowers). The word Mnazaleh is still a mystery for me. It is used as a generic name for few vegetables based dishes one of them is my favourite Aubergine Mnazaleh. It is very difficult to translate the word to English. The best I could do is "taken down". It doesn't make any sense, I know, but it doesn't make any sense in Arabic either.

I cook this dish with meat but it works perfectly well as a vegetarian dish. Cook it in the same way without the meat and use vegetable stock.

Here is my Mnazalet Zahra recipe:

One large cauliflower
Minced Lamb 250g
Chicken stock 200mls
Coriander large handful
Garlic one clove
Vegetable oil

Start by cutting the cauliflower into florets. Fry the florets in vegetable oil. The oil needs to be quite hot so the cauliflower gets a nice colour but remain firm as they will be further cooked later. Drain on a paper towel.

Cook the meat in a table spoon or so of oil till fully cooked. Add the chicken stock and the fried cauliflower. Season with Salt and pepper and cook for ten minutes. Chop the coriander leaves and crush the garlic clove. Add to the pot with some hot water if required. Cook for further five to ten minutes till the cauliflower is fully cooked.

Serve with vermicelli rice and a generous squeeze of lemon at the end.


Tammam Aloudat said...

Kano, you are amazing... Just 48 hours ago, Rania made Mnazalet Zahra which is her favorite dish. She made it so well that I took photos and wanted to send them to you and see if you want to do it on the blog. You are a mind-reader mate.

On the other hand, I guess liking food like that is a matter of maturity. I remember hating anything with cauliflower or aubergines until one day I grew up and something clicked and I cannot get enough.

Thanks for a great recipe again...

Unknown said...

It is that cauliflower again! I don't quite know how it puts magic into so many classics ~ but it does!

Anonymous said...

Mnazella, could be named after a place. I know there is one in Egypt and some other Arab countries.

Nansi said...

Love your blog!!! I'm going to try some of your recipes, I also haven't had mnazaleh zahra since I was a kid, and I didn't like it then, I wonder if I'd like it now, do you feel differently about it now as an adult? Or did you realize why you didn't like it as a kid once you took a bite?

By the way, would it taste good with beef instead of lamb do you think? Also, why no kamoon?

Anonymous said...

i made it once without the meat.. i think it taste much more better with meat,i love this dish.
but there is nothing taste like el (zahra el baladee) that u find in Syria, its sweet and delicious without any effort..

Kano said...

How did your photo looked. I did my best to make Mnazaleh Zahra looks beautiful but this is the best I could come up with.

Thank you for stopping by and nice words as always.

I don't think the name has any relation to the Egyptian town. Although the English spelling is similar the Arabic pronunciation is different. Most importantly, 99% of Syrian people never heard of this town. I only know it exist because they have a football team with the same name.

Welcome to my blog. Glad you like it.
I feel completely different about the dish now as an adult. I was such a fussy eater as a child. I didn't eat any fruits, no salad and hardly any cooked vegetables. I didn't like peas, broad beans or chickpeas. God, I hope I don't end up with kids like me!

Like yourself, I much prefer with meat.

salam said...

You don't add a bit of lemon juice to the stock? Try it, it's divine:-) Here in Jordan, it's the season for zahra baladieh now, you know it, the really yellow variety with a sweetish flavor so I will certainly make mnazalet zahra soon:-)

Kano said...


Thank you for reminding me. I don't use lemon with the stock but I serve the mnazaleh with a generous squeeze of lemon on the plate. Lemon is absolutely essential with this dish.

I will add this to the recipe.

Anonymous said...

ur mnazalle looks very yammi

Anonymous said...

Can you nto make it with cilantro instead of corriander?

Kano said...


Sorry for the late reply. very busy moving house these days.

As far as I know the two are the same thing. Here in England we use the name coriander for both the dry seed variety and the green leaves.

In America cilantro for green and coriander for dry.

Anonymous said...

Kano great blog and recipes. I am looking for a recipe that I love and have an idea on how to make but just want to be sure about it before I go ahead and make it. Maqluba zahra?? any ideas? thanx

Kano said...


Welcome to my blog and thanks for the nice words.

To be honest with you I've never tasted Maqluba Zahra, let alone cooked it. It is a Palastenian dish rather than a Damascene one.

I can imagine how it is cooked but you are better off asking some one who at least tasted the dish.

kasia said...

As wished:):):) We just had your version of cauli for lunch. Lovely! Lovely! Lovely! Fantascic dish! Can't wait to make it again - guess tomorrow will be to soon :):):),328807449,title,Mnazalet-Zahra,index.html
Big thank you!

Kano said...


Looks wonderful. you seem to be a natural Syrian cook!

Anonymous said...

I finally made this dish this evening! A question I had while cooking: After you add the cauliflower and stock, do you cook covered so that the liquid remains and there is a bit of a brother to the final dish or uncovered so that the liquid cooks off?

I really appreciate that you've posted these recipes. Thank you!

Kano said...


I cook it covered. I should have clarified that in the recipe. This is the traditional way to do it however there is no right and wrong,

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