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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

What is a Saj?


By Priscilla Adum

In Arabic, saj is spelled صاج

In English


En Español

A saj is a cooking grill used in the Middle East, particularly in Lebanon. It's a cook top made of metal and shaped like a dome, with a heat source underneath it.

The saj is used for cooking different types of breads typically called saj breads. It can also be used to cook meat, though its domed shape makes it more suitable for flat breads (such as tortillas).

Saj grills are often seen in Lebanon at cafes where the bread that is cooked on them is used to prepare sandwiches (labne topping is particularly delicious!) Many Lebanese restaurants around the world have a saj for cooking fresh bread.

It's not difficult to make a saj at home. Just use an old wok turned upside down so that the domed surface faces up, and set it on the stove. The difficult part is getting the saj bread to turn out just perfect!


Un saj es una superficie para cocinar y que se usa en el medio oriente, especialmente en Libano. Es una cocina hecha de metal en forma de domo, que tiene una fuente de calor por debajo.

Se usa para cocinar differentes tipos de panes llamados pan de saj. Tambien se usa a veces para cocinar carne aunque su forma de domo lo hace mas adecuado para cocinar panes planos y delgados (parecidos a tortillas).

Las cocinas saj se ven muy a menudo en Libano en lugares que hacen pan fresco para usar en sandwiches (el relleno de labne es especialmente delicioso!) Muchos restaurantes Libaneses al rededor del mundo cuentan con un horno saj para cocinar el pan.

No es dificil hacer un Saj en casa. Solamente se usa un wok virado al revez de manera que la parte de domo está hacia arriba, y luego lo asienta en una hornilla. Lo unico dificil es lograr que el pan de Saj quede perfecto!



About the Translator

Priscilla is a dancer of Lebanese heritage who enjoys researching the Golden Era of Egyptian dance. She owns a collection of more than one hundred classic black and white Egyptian films which is continually expanding.

Priscilla has also gathered a large library of dance related articles and clippings from Middle Eastern magazines and newspapers, many of which she has translated from the original Arabic to both English and Spanish.

Priscilla currently resides in Central America where she is a dance instructor. 




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