Batchig Restaurant’s Famous Za'atar Man'ouche

Batchig Restaurant’s Famous Za’atar Man’ouche

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BEIRUT — “There has been an Armenian presence in Lebanon for centuries. Their daily kitchen routine has become an interesting blend of these two exceptional and rich culinary traditions,” says Aline Kamakian, owner of the highly successful Batchig, who works to continually celebrate this cultural mix with her creative and traditional food and menus. “Nested in the midst of a buzzing urban environment, Batchig gathers a variety of different people who seek enriching social outings and authentic culinary experiences that feel like a mind resetting voyage.”

Aline adds: “To me, Batchig is tradition, childhood, family gatherings. Batchig is a smile, a memory, a flavor. Batchig is a delicious meal rich with stories inspired by yesteryears, travels, and secrets. Batchig is a sweet kiss from your grandmother. Batchig is the creation of dedicated and talented grandmothers who have worked in the kitchen of Mayrig for many years. They have been cutting, peeling, kneading, spicing, mixing, cooking, baking, and sharing their ideas and experiences for years, each bringing a specialty with her. It is these grandmothers that have put together a bit of their stories to create an explosion of flavors. Every item on our menu is a story. A story that has been put together by all our grandmothers, by the people who have taken the rich Armenian heritage and enriched it with their own experiences along the way. Every item tells of a different adventure across lands, from Jordan, Syria, Greece, Lebanon, Egypt, all the way to Marseilles and the lands of the Mediterranean.”

Aline Kamakian and her beloved mother Vartouhie in Beirut

“Batchig’s menu is a bouquet of the region’s best flavors, infused with an Armenian inspiration. Batchig is, first and foremost, the fruit of one grandmother, who was the inspiration behind Mayrig. It then grew to envelop many other grandmothers, from different backgrounds and families, and in doing so, has created a new family of grandmothers cooking to their heart’s content. Just like Mayrig, Batchig is a family-run restaurant, and we are committed to tradition, taste, quality and excellence,” says Aline.

Batchig’s popular Delights Bar features a spectacular one of a kind brunch every weekend.  This acclaimed restaurant serves everything from eggs and foul to knefeh and arisheh.  Be sure to try their unique specialty, baked eggs over bread and their superb basterma and eggs.

“Our wood oven gives a rich, crispy touch to all our baked specialties from lahmajoun to Armenian pizzas. Our extensive mezze selection, rich salads and Lebanese-Armenian grill offer something for all tastes and for all occasions. We feature original daily dishes and deliver and cater to homes, businesses, special events, and all social occasions,” she adds.

Here’s Batchig’s savory flatbread recipe made with herbs and served warm with olives, tomatoes and mint or just as it is. Created using only a few ingredients, this delicious Man’ouche (Man’oushe or Manoushe as it’s also spelled) is a Lebanese street food, a very popular breakfast that is eaten on the go, crispy on the outside, slightly chewy on the inside, and topped with the most aromatic of spice blends — za’atar. Za’atar spice blend is practically synonymous with Middle Eastern cuisine.

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Batchig’s Za’atar Man’ouche

Used as a marinade for vegetables and proteins, to top flatbreads – sprinkled over dips and <https://www.alphafoodie.com/rainbow-veggie-platter/> hummus, and sprinkled liberally over a whole variety of dishes – za’atar is an amazing addition to your meals. Za’atar is a blend of dried herbs including oregano, sumac, thyme with toasted sesame seeds and a touch of salt. The dried herbs are in powdered form. Aline says this dish is usually eaten as a breakfast next to fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, mint, and olives. Or next to labneh, olive oil or yogurt — or you can serve it as an entree for lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:

Dough:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

A pinch of salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon milk powder

1/2 teaspoon yeast

1/4 cup water

 

Thyme mix:

2 teaspoons dried thyme mixed with sesame seeds

5 teaspoons olive oil, to taste

 

Dough:

Mix all dry ingredients together. Gradually add water until you have a smooth dough. Leave to rest for at least 30 minutes

 

Preparation:

Cover the counter top with a thin layer of flour. Stretch the dough making a circle of 25 cm (about 9 inches). Mix the thyme and olive oil well together. Spread the thyme mix over the dough. Mark the dough with your fingers.

Preheat oven to 350F. Place in the oven for around 3 minutes or until golden. Pull out of the oven, let rest for 30 seconds before folding in half and eating, or slice it and have it with a labneh spread and fresh vegetables.

Quantity: 1

 

Aline opened her first restaurant in Beirut called Mayrig, which means “mother” in Armenian, because she learned to cook from her mother. Today, she owns an international chain of Armenian restaurants. The walls are decorated with photos of Aline’s ancestors who miraculously escaped the Armenian Genocide, while the menu is full of traditional Western Armenian dishes. After graduating from university Kamakian became a prosperous financier. At the end of 1990s her brokerage office, IIC Sarl, was named one of Lebanon’s ten best. Aline’s insurance company, GM Insurance & Investment Consultant IIC, still turns a hefty profit. But her passion for cooking always burned within.

In 2010, she and her partner Serge opened a new restaurant in the city of Jeddah in western Saudi Arabia. In October 2013, another Mayrig restaurant opened in Dubai, right in the city center, not far from the famous Burj Khalifa skyscraper. In addition to this, Aline and Serge opened another Beirut-based chain of restaurants under the name of Batchig (a “kiss” in Armenian). They signed a contract to open a restaurant in Kuwait, and they are looking to expand to Riyadh, London, Los Angeles and Cairo. Aline says that the easiest way to interest a foreigner in your nation is to offer a delicious meal.

“This method is nothing new. My restaurants are an attempt to show all people that Armenians not only survived the Armenian Genocide, but retained the ability to enjoy life.”

ORDER TODAY:

With Barbara Drieskens, Aline is the co-author of Armenian Cuisine, a 130-recipe cookbook. Equal parts cookbook, photo essay, and oral history, the recently released hardcover is quickly finding its place on kitchen counters and coffee tables in homes around the world. It is packed with aromatic flavors and ingredients that are combined in clearly described recipes to make spicy and subtle, mouth-watering authentic dishes. Aline traveled with writer and anthropologist Barbara to her homeland Cilicia where many of these recipes originated. They gathered stories, recipes and vibrant images that add to the rich history of passing on, from mother to daughter, a whole culture through food. Armenian Cuisine is illustrated throughout and is peppered with anecdotes, history, and tips that make it more than just a cookbook.

To order, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Armenian-Cuisine-Kamakian-Drieskens-Barbara/dp/995302
2011

Location: 1275 Kassis Street, Dbayeh

  • Dbayeh 04/70444307
  • Broumana at Broumana Villa 70766994
  • Beirut 70135649 / delivery
  • Faqra 70135654 / delivery

For menu and more information, go to:  https://www.batchig.com/menu

References:
https://www.batchig.com/

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g298265-d5001970-Reviews-Batch
ig-Dbayeh_Mount_Lebanon_Governorate.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g298265-d5001970-r326530073-Batc
hig-Dbayeh_Mount_Lebanon_Governorate.html#UR326530073

https://www.facebook.com/batchiglebanon/

https://www.facebook.com/alinekamakian/photos/1938846259717299

https://www.facebook.com/batchiglebanon/photos/?ref=page_internal

https://www.instagram.com/batchiglebanon/

https://tasteandflavors.com/batchig-opening-at-broumana-villa/

http://www.nogarlicnoonions.com/batchig-a-new-concept-serving-regional-speci
alties-with-an-armenian-twist/

http://www.nogarlicnoonions.com/batchig-drink-homemade-arak-every-tuesday/

https://www.beirutista.co/2013/09/batchig-truly-first-rate-restaurant.html
Lebanese entrepreneur and food passionate, Aline Kamakian, co-founded Mayrig and Batchig, two restaurants that celebrate her Armenian roots.
Photos and recipe courtesy of Aline Kamakian

© Batchig, 2022. All Rights Reserved.

 

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