What is the national dish of Libya

Actually, I had asked a dear friend if she could choose the next stage for me. She has also chosen a really beautiful country, where the food is very autumnal, so that I spontaneously changed my mind yesterday. My choice fell on Libya. The country itself is completely alien to me and I haven't even toured it with a book so I was really curious. The dishes are of course not LowCarb, but can be partially modified if one of my LowCarb readers is interested. But then it is no longer so typical of the country.

As a national dish it is called "Usban" on one side and "Shorba" on the other. The latter is a hearty soup with which you can find great recipes if you just enter the national dish Libya. Otherwise, the kitchen is rather simple, but tasty and, above all, kept healthy. Due to its nomadic origins, the kitchen is often simply called "tent kitchen". Accordingly, milk, oil, semolina, rice, pasta, vegetables, but also meat and fish are on the daily schedule. However, you will find alcohol and pork in vain. The dishes themselves are traditionally arranged on large platters, where guests can help themselves as they wish. However, it is eaten from the outside in and the middle must not be touched, as it is intended for Allah. There are officially no drinks during the meal. He is then passed around a jug of water or milk. It is important to note that it is not proper to simply breathe into the jug here. Afterwards there is coffee and the water pipe.


Actually, I had planned to always introduce you to the national dish, but my men are absolutely no soup fans, and if so, only creamy variations. For this I have discovered a recipe where I know exactly that everyone should taste it, as long as I get it reasonably well prepared. It's a very popular main course, according to one source. Accordingly, I hope that this information is correct. But now just let me kidnap you to Libya. Have fun cooking at home.

Starter -Bell pepper and egg salad
Unfortunately, I can't find the name in the local language here, but in various blog cooking events and also on photo sites, this salad and Libya are always spoken of, so I chose this one.

ingredients for 4 persons

  • 4 eggs
  • Salt, black pepper
  • half a cucumber
  • 2 green and 2 red peppers each
  • 4 pieces of tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • approx. 50 g pitted black olives
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

  • Boil the eggs hard as usual for 10 minutes. You can use a saucepan or egg cooker for this.
  • Peel, halve and core the cucumber with a spoon. Halve the peppers and tomatoes and remove the seeds. Then cut everything into small cubes.
  • Halve the peppers lengthways, remove the stem and seeds and wash together with the tomatoes. Then halve the tomatoes, cut out the stem and remove the seeds.
  • Peel the onion and cut into rings.
  • Core the olives, if they are not already, and also cut into small rings.
  • Peel and squeeze the garlic. Mix with the oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix with the vegetables and then simply lay the eggs down as a decoration.

Conclusion of taste
A salad like this is a nice thing. According to the recipe, olives should be used, but since none of us really like these small black fruits, I have avoided them. The dressing also tastes very good if you only use a small clove of garlic. The environment is just happy. Otherwise, the salad is very tasty and can also be used as a barbecue recipe in summer. I can also imagine a little more and a fresh, warm flatbread as an evening meal for my men.

3.5 out of 5 points

Main course -Mubattan Kusha
Behind it is a potato mince casserole that sounds delicious and doesn't sound complicated. For the LowCarb fans, the potatoes can also be exchanged for turnips, as they have a very similar consistency. However, the dish is then no longer so original.

ingredients for 4 persons

  • approx. 800g waxy potatoes
  • some olive oil to brush the potatoes
  • 1 peeled onion
  • 500g ground beef
  • 1 tomato
  • 1-2 teaspoons of tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp or parsley
  • 4 tbsp cress, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt pepper
  • some breadcrumbs

  • 2 teaspoons of flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp cress, chopped
  • 3 tbsp parsley
  • Salt pepper

  • butter


  • I lightly pre-cooked the potatoes so they'll be ready in the oven sooner. Let cool, peel and cut into approx. 0.5 cm thick slices. Place on a baking sheet and bake until golden at 180 degrees. If you like, you can season it with salt and pepper.
  • Now switch the oven to 190 degrees top / bottom heat and brush a casserole dish with butter, as you know from cakes.
  • For the minced meat, cut the onion into small cubes and fry in the pan with the minced meat and some oil. Chop the tomato and let it cook. Then fold in the tomato paste and herbs and season with salt and pepper. Then don't forget the cinnamon. If you want to save yourself a little time, you can also use chunky canned tomatoes
  • Now the egg mixture is prepared. Mix the eggs with the flour and beat until frothy. Fold in the spices and herbs.
  • Now is layering. First come a few potatoes and a little egg mixture (approx. 1/3) on top. Then comes the minced mass, which has to be pressed down nicely. The other half of the potatoes and the rest of the egg mixture go right at the top. Sprinkle with a little breadcrumbs and put in the oven for about 25 minutes.

Conclusion of taste

The casserole doesn't taste bad at all. My husband found it a bit dry though. Well, there are worse things. It was a filling thing, however. However, it would have tasted better with pasta.

Dessert -Semolina cake with honey
Unfortunately, I couldn't find the original name here either, which annoys me a bit. However, the cake by a cook from Libya can be found in such a way that at least the recipe really fits.


ingredients for 4 persons

  • 200 g wheat semolina
  • 100 g of brown sugar
  • 100 g of wheat flour
  • 30 g grated almonds
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 50 g butter
  • 150 ml milk

  • 50 g blanched almonds
  • 150 g honey
  • 100 ml of water
  • 2 tbsp orange blossom water

  • Melt the butter over low heat and during this time preheat the oven top / bottom heat to 180 degrees.
  • Mix the semolina, sugar, flour, grated almonds and baking powder. Then fold in the melted butter. Then gradually add the milk until a nice batter is formed, which can be spread on a baking sheet (greased or covered with baking paper beforehand).
  • Bake the middle rack for about 30 minutes. At the top it looks golden yellow.
  • If there are still 10 minutes of baking time, put the honey and the water in a saucepan and let it boil for five minutes. Then add the orange blossom water.
  • Pour over the finished cake and sprinkle with the remaining almonds.

Conclusion of taste
I made the recipe in muffin tins again and this time it held up a little better. Maybe the recipes are better if there is some flour. In any case, there is nothing left.


In terms of taste, we actually liked Libya very much. Nothing I have to eat every day, but certainly nice every now and then. I guess I'll cook the dessert and the main course again at some point.