Musakhan Rolls – a Taste of Palestinian Cuisine

A quick recipe for busy parents and hungry families.

Musakhan rolls is a staple recipe of Palestinian cuisine. The word musakhan means heated in Arabic, and here is how the recipe took its name.

Once upon a time there was a man who came back home hungry after a long day of working in the wheat fields. But his wife didn’t prepare anything to eat yet because she was trying to finish embroidering her daughter’s wedding dress. Thinking of what to make, the wife recalled that there was some rather dry bread left from breakfast.

She lit the pan and warmed up the bread, but it was still dry. So, she added olive oil and some sumac – a flavor that only those who have tried know. When food was ready, the wife went to call on her husband but he had fallen asleep. So, she returned to the kitchen, cooked chicken with onions, added it to the bread, and finally presented the food to her husband calling it musakhan bread, meaning heated bread.

Musakhan became the name of the dish and the dish became well known throughout the Levant.

What do you think was so good about the dish that became so popular? Here comes the easy version, so you have no excuses not to prepare it. Let’s start with ingredients:


    • 1 tandoor or taboon or tortilla bread 
    • 1 piece of chicken breast
    • 3 onions
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4 cardamom seeds
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper corn
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 3 – 4 tablespoons sumac
    • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon  
    • salt to taste
    • olive oil
    • hot water
    • pomegranate molasses


Preheat a saucepan, add oil then chicken. Sear meat on both sides. Add bay leaves, pepper corn, cardamom, salt and a half onion chopped. Then add hot water to cover the chicken, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile chop the rest of the onions and sauté it in a different pan with about 1/4 cup olive oil. When chicken is ready, scoop it out, let it cool and then shred it. Place shredded chicken on top of sautéed onions, add ground black pepper, two tablespoons sumac, salt to taste, and about 1/4 cup broth. Stir and let everything hang out for about 5 minutes.

As they mingle, cut the bread into four pieces, add staffing and roll the bread. Put the rolls in an oiled cookie sheet and brush the rolls with olive oil. Put them in a preheated oven, at 400 degrees, for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle some more sumac, drizzle pomegranate molasses, add another dash of sumac. Serve with pickles and yogurt or ayran. Enjoy!

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May 26, 2024

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