Libyan cuisine derives much from the traditions of Mediterranean, North African, and Berber cuisines. One of the most popular Libyan dishes is bazin, an unleavened bread prepared with barley, water and salt. Bazin is prepared by boiling barley flour in water and then beating it to create a dough using a magraf, which is a unique stick designed for this purpose. Pork consumption is forbidden, in accordance with Sharia, the religious laws of Islam.
In Tripoli, Libya's capital, the cuisine is particularly influenced by Italian cuisine. Pasta is common, and many seafood dishes are available. Southern Libyan cuisine is more traditionally Arab and Berber. Common fruits and vegetables include figs, dates, oranges, apricots and olives.
Bazin is a common Libyan food made with barley flour and a little plain flour, which is boiled in salted water to make a hard dough, and then formed into a rounded, smooth dome placed in the middle of the dish. The sauce around the dough is made by frying chopped onions with lamb meat, turmeric, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, fenugreek, sweet paprika, and tomato paste. Potatoes can also be added. Finally, eggs are boiled and arranged around the dome. The dish is then served with lemon and fresh or pickled chili peppers, known as amsyar. Batata mubattana (filled potato) is another popular dish that consists of fried potato pieces filled with spiced minced meat and covered with egg and breadcrumbs.
Additional common foods and dishes include:
All alcoholic drinks have been banned in Libya since 1969, in accordance with Sharia, the religious laws of Islam. However, illegally imported alcohol is available on the black market, alongside a homemade spirit called Bokha. Bokha is often consumed with soft drinks as mixers.