Middle east food culture is one of the most flavorful in the world. One of the best things about middle eastern food is that it is pretty diverse while also homogenous. These dishes are flavourful plus delicious containing whole grains, pulses, vegetables, salads, rice and meat!
Today, we’ve brought for you the top 8 middle east delicacies that you would love to eat and enjoy with your family and friends!
Tabouli Salad or tabbouleh salad is a parsley salad recipe from Lebanon. This salad is prepared using fresh parsley, tomatoes, scallions and bulgur wheat.
The salad is one of the most healthy dishes known for its antioxidant properties and is packed with healthy fat, fibre and complex carbohydrates. The dressing includes lemon juice and some olive oil. Tabouli Salad is usually served with hummus or pita, but it can be eaten as a main dish as well! It can be stored for 3-5 days.
Hummus has a creamy texture like mayonnaise. Its texture makes it blend easily with bread and veggies, and it can be used as a dip, spread, or you can simply add it to your veggies. Hummus has recently gained popularity around the world and is a chickpea dip. It has a very distinct umami flavour, which is creamy, a little garlicky and tangy.
Chickpeas are first cooked, mashed and then blended with sesame paste (called tahini), garlic and lemon juice. This blend is then garnished with some paprika, parsley and olive oil. The goodness of all these ingredients makes hummus a rich umami superfood. Being rich in fibre, it promotes digestion and helps with weight loss. It also helps in controlling blood sugar levels and reducing inflammation.
Manakish is a popular dish from the eastern Mediterranean region. The first recordings of manakish were found in an Asian cookbook which is believed to be from the 10th century. The word manaqish is taken from the Arabic language, naqasha, which means carve out or engrave. In a traditional manakish recipe, the dough is rolled flat like the base of a pizza, and then the dough is pressed with fingertips to create little dips for the toppings. It is then topped with thyme, cheese or ground meat. It can either be sliced like a pizza or folded like a roll.
Falafel is a traditional middle eastern snack, which usually looks like a deep-fried ball. It is topped with tahini or mint sauces or pickled vegetables to enhance the flavour. Falafel is made from chickpea flour, broad bean flour or a combination of both. Some herbs and spices like Cumin, Coriander and Parsley can be used to make it savoury.
Falafel is typical street food in the Middle east. It can either be eaten alone as a snack or be served with other appetizers in a meze tray. Falafel has a rich, crunchy texture due to the presence of coarse flour.
The word Fattoush is derived from "fatt", which means small pieces in the Arabic language. There are different theories regarding the origin of fattoush. Still, it is believed to have originated from northern Lebanon, where farmers crushed the old leftover bread slices and combined them with vegetables such as tomatoes and radishes.
Fattoush salad is a perfect light brunch option for warm evenings. It can be eaten alone, or you can couple it with grilled proteins or top it with some baked falafel to make it a meal. It can also be enjoyed as a side dish with some Lebanese bean salad, hummus, or toasted wedges. This dish is truly versatile and has a refreshing flavour. To accentuate the taste of vegetables in fattoush, it is often garnished with vinegar or sumac.
Foul medames is a famous breakfast food from Egypt. It is prepared from fava beans and is loaded with spices and fresh herbs like cumin and topped with hot peppers and lemon garlic sauce. It also includes vegetables like radish, tomatoes and spring onions. These vegetables are a rich source of fibre and help reduce the absorption of bad cholesterol by the body. Natives widely use it during Ramadan. The government regulates the price of beans to make them affordable even for the poorest citizens.
It is a dish prepared from mashed eggplant with seasonings of Tahini paste prepared from sesame seeds, garlic and lemon juice and drizzled with olive oil. It is traditionally served with pita bread, olives or vegetables and is a flavourful healthy appetizer.
Baba ghanoush is a healthy, low carbohydrates meal from the middle east. The word baba ghanoush is taken from an Arabic phrase baba gannuj, in which ‘baba’ means father and ‘gannuj’ means pampered. Baba ghanoush is believed to be a dish that originated from the royal harem of Egypt.
Baklawa is a middle eastern delicacy that hails from Istanbul. It was initially introduced in the seventeenth century in the kitchen of Topkapi Palace, the residence of the then Sultan. This delicacy soon became the sultan’s favourite.
Baklawa, a popular middle eastern dessert that looks like a thin pastry, has a filling of nuts and spices. The traditional recipe is made using layers of filo dough, and these layers have cinnamon scented walnuts in the middle. The crunchiness of nuts, with the softness of dough, gives it a crunchy and delicious taste. The flavour is enhanced by drizzling some organic and good-quality honey on its top.
If you haven’t tasted authentic Middle eastern food yet, you’ve missed out a lot in your life. Middle eastern food is a fusion of the best in the world. Some of the dishes are crunchy as well as soft and sweet with underlying tones of tart.
At Caravana cafe, we deliver the delectable and authentic taste of Middle Eastern food. Visit our website to know more www.caravanacafe.ca. Try out our meals once, and you’ll love them each time, every time!
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