After recently paying a visit to the old streets of Tripoli, I discovered many street foods that you absolutely must try if you haven’t already including foul w fatteh, kaake Trabulsiye, Lebanese sweets, lahm baajine, and more.
The topic of this article is Moghrabieh. Not just any Moghrabieh, a Moghrabieh sandwich made by Tripoli’s King of Moghrabieh, Dabboussy.
But first….. the history of Moghrabieh
No, I’m not going to give you a history lesson, just a short and concise narrative for those who aren’t familiar with the Lebanese staple.
Moghrabieh (meaning “from Morrocco”) is also spelled “mograbieh”, “moghrabiyeh”, “moghrabiye”… Arabic words aren’t always structured too well since the English spelling is really based on pronounciation.
Moghrabieh is basically the Lebanese variant of couscous (a very large couscous), made from durum wheat semolina mixed with water to form those squishy carb-loaded little pearls. The resulting consistency of Moghrabieh when cooked in my opinion is as if you’re eating partially-cooked tiny balls of dough. I’m not a big fan of the texture personally. You either love it or you don’t. If you haven’t already, try it out for yourself and find out!
A Visit to Dabboussy “House of Moghrabieh” in Tripoli
The beloved traditional Lebanese dish has been transformed and wrapped up in a sandwich at Dabboussy in the old streets of Tripoli. That’s street food for you!
The aromatic spices of caraway, cinnamon, and cumin fill your senses with warmth as you enter the old shop in the heart of Tripoli.
Now, I did say I wasn’t a fan of Moghrabieh. However, after trying the one at Dabboussy in Tripoli, I had second thoughts. We only ordered a sandwich to try, and it was seriously delicious.
The Moghrabieh blend of pearl couscous, onion, and chickpeas is sautéed on the grill right in front of you with butter and then assembled into a sandwich, rolled up, and handed to your eager hands.
I enjoyed the consistency, which was probably due to the amount of chickpeas in the mix. Dabboussy’s Moghrabieh wasn’t all tiny balls of chewy oversized couscous! There was a good amount of whole tender chickpeas that made the mix very enjoyable. In addition to that, the “lefit” (pink pickled turnips) added a salty crunch to the sandwich that stole from the sweetness of the Moghrabieh spices. El Dabboussi nailed the perfect blend of textures and flavours in one sandwich!
The sandwich is huge, delicious, and extremely affordable. It will literally keep you full the entire day for just under $1.5 USD (more specifically, 2,000 LBP).
The Moghrabieh sandwich we ordered at Dabboussy is vegetarian. However, there are also chicken and meat varieties sold. You can even take some Moghrabieh home to cook yourself!
Side Note: If you’re interested in making it at home, check out this traditional Moghrabieh recipe prepared by Zeinab, a Lebanese mother and chef.
If you are visiting Tripoli in Lebanon, be sure to pass by Dabboussy for some authentic Moghrabieh which tastes much better than the dish served in most restaurants in Lebanon (and your house, sorry I had to say it).
Next time, I’ll try the Moghrabieh dish in a plate (i.e. the way we’re all used to eating it) with chicken.
What do you think I should try next in Tripoli? I would love to hear your recommendations!
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Moghrabiyet El Dabousi (Dabboussy) Tripoli
Address: Tal Street, Tripoli, Tripoli District
For opening hours, check out Daboussy on Facebook or
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