Tabakh Roho: The Syrian Princess and the Cook

Syrian food and the magic of spices in this first representation of Middle Eastern cuisine on Once Upon a Recipe.

Once upon a time, there was a king and a queen who had a daughter after many years of marriage. They named her Roho. But the princess was a picky eater and refused most of the food. A search for a special cook was launched and the answer came from a simple worker in a popular restaurant. The dish became Roho’s favorite, the worker became a cook, and the recipe lives on as “Tabakh Roho” or “Roho’s cook”.

I am Rana Maza. I was born and raised in Damascus, the capital of Syria, and moved to Omaha, Nebraska decades ago to start my own family. An architect by education, I pour the elegance of my profession into creating delightful recipes presented in a beautiful way. I hope you will enjoy my adventure into the media world, as I launch Once Upon a Recipe, a cooking show focused on the Middle Eastern cuisine, produced by the New Americans Media. To honor my origin I will start with Tabakh Roho or Roho’s Cook, a staple of Syrian cuisine.

You can watch me preparing Tabakh Roho in the video above or follow the directions below to make this easy yet tasty recipe. I hope you will decide to make it. And, if so, I would love to hear from you; my email is [email protected]. Also, please make sure to subscribe to NAM YouTube channel. It will mean a lot to us. I hope you will enjoy my recipe. Salaam.


      • 1 tablespoon ghee or oil
      • 1lb. lamb, beef stew or meatballs
      • Salt to taste
      • 1 cup water
      • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
      • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses


      • 1 teaspoon Syrian spices
      • 1 teaspoon black pepper
      • ½ teaspoon coriander
      • 2 tablespoons dried mint


      • 1 diced onion diced
      • 1lb. Mexican squash or zucchini, diced
      • 1lb. eggplant, diced
      • 2lb. tomatoes, diced, or 1 can of diced tomatoes
      • 6 garlic cloves, minced


Preheat a large saucepan, add ghee and then meat. Stir occasionally until the meat is light brown. Add onions and stir for a few minutes. Then add eggplant, zucchini, and diced tomatoes. Mix water with tomato sauce then pour the mixture over the layers of meat and vegetables. Then add salt and all the spices. Stir and cover. Let it boil on low heat for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables have released their water.  Then in a small bowl mix garlic, mint, and pomegranate molasses. Add it to the dish, cover and simmer for an additional 15 – 20 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are cooked. Serve with rice or bulgur.

Connect with us:




February 11, 2024

You May Also Like