Spicy Lebanese sausages with pine nuts

Spicy Lebanese sausages with pine nuts

New Middle Eastern Food
6 as part of a mezze selection
20 sausages
Mark Roper

Many Middle Eastern butchers make their own version of these wonderful spicy sausages known as ma-ahani, and they are a popular addition to the mezze table. If you are unable to find them ready-made, the good news is that they are simple to make at home as you don’t need to use casings: simply roll the mixture into skinless sausages.

Try not to use ready-minced lamb as it can sometimes be too fatty. Instead, buy a piece of lamb shoulder or round and mince it yourself at home. Just make sure you ask your butcher for meat that isn’t too lean — you do need some fat. Make the sausages the day before you plan to cook them to let the flavours develop.


Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon mahlab, (crushed cherry seeds)
500g minced lamb shoulder
splash red wine
sea salt
40g pine nuts
olive oil, for frying
squeeze lemon juice
arabic flatbread and lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Stir all the spices together. Add to the minced lamb with a good splash of red wine. Mix thoroughly and season with a little salt. Pinch off a small piece of meat and fry. Taste it and adjust the seasoning if need be. Stir in the pine nuts so they are evenly distributed through the sausage mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. To make the ma’ahani, wet your hands and roll the mixture into small, even-sized chipolata sausage shapes.
  3. To cook, fry in oil until coloured. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice to the pan and toss the sausages briefly. Serve with fresh Arabic flatbread and lemon wedges.
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