You may know hummus and baba ghannouj but have you heard of torshi seer? Spanning the vast region east of the Mediterraneanthe Middle East's cuisine include those of Israel, Iraq, and Azerbaijanwhich some call the world's last great undiscovered cuisine.
Try your hand at the region's greatest dishes, including spiced chicken kebabs—food is always more fun on a stick —and a Persian tamarind-stuffed fish. For a sweet cap-off to your Middle Eastern feast, learn how to make baklava and a Persian cantaloupe drink that can easily be converted into the perfect summer cocktail.
From Azeri lamb stew to Persian roast chicken, our best Middle Eastern recipes are bursting with flavor appropriate for any season. Menu Sign Up. In the warmer months, try to find and use fresh grape leaves; they are more tender and flavorful than the jarred types.
Beyond Hummus: 9 Popular Arabic Foods You Must Try
Out of season, jarred leaves are a fine substitute we prefer the Orlando brand. Cauliflower Shawarma Berber This dish will make you dust off the grill in preparation for spring, and the taste of pomegranate will remind you of warm days on the way. Roast Chicken with Sumac Flatbread M'sakhan Tart sumac balances sweet caramelized onions in a roast chicken and flatbread dish traditionally baked in a wood-fired oven. Chickpeas, chestnuts, and tender lamb-and-rice meatballs filled with dried fruit give it heartiness, and garnishes of radishes, scallions, and red onion add texture and crunch.
Persian Kuku Sabzi This classic frittata gets loaded with herbs for a fresh, springy dish perfect for Nowruz, the Persian new year, in March. Chopped cumin seeds add spice and a little crunch to the smoky eggplant. Herbed Lamb Stew Sabzi Govurma Garlic chives, which taste similar to scallions but with a faintly spicy raw garlic flavor, are common in Azeri stews.
In this one, the butter-stewed greens feature as prominently as the lamb, if not more so. A bit of verjus unripened grape juice or lemon juice brings lift and acidity to the stew's deep flavors. Persian Tamarind-Stuffed Fish A luxurious whole fish preparation flavored with tangy tamarind and fragrant barberries, perfect for Nowruz, the Persian new year. Galilean-Style Hummus Hummus Maushaushe Generous spice, a good dose of olive oil, and chickpeas piled high are the hallmarks of this Galilean-style hummus.
Tahini-Beet Dip Tahini's nutty, luxurious properties don't stop at hummus. Fried Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds This eggplant dish from Michael Solomonov's Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia highlights classic Middle Eastern ingredients: carob molasses, tahini, and pomegranate. Almond-Cardamom Pakhlava At Zulya Kazimova's bakery in Baku, pakhlava—the Azeri version of baklava, which she cuts into a diamond shape—is made using 14 layers of a dense yeasted dough rolled out so thinly and painstakingly that it becomes translucent.
For home cooks, prepared phyllo dough produces a wonderfully crisp, lighter, and flakier version. To defrost frozen phyllo quickly, set it in a microwave still wrapped in its plastic packaging on the defrost setting for about 30 seconds, then rotate the package and repeat. Persian Rice Rice is a staple at most meals in Iran; tahdigthe crust of crispy rice that forms on the bottom, is the most prized part.
Soaking the rice before cooking for 15 minutes helps to elongate the grains, resulting in a fluffier rice, while the towel on the lid helps to pull the moisture away during the longer cook time. Mashed Eggplant Dip Baba Ghannouj Across the Levant, eggplants are grilled and mashed to make baba ghannouj, a silky, delicious dip for flatbreads and vegetables. Torshi Seer For this sweet-tart Persian pickle, whole heads of garlic are fermented in a vinegar solution until the cloves are very soft.
Fried Artichoke Hearts Tender artichoke bottoms get cooked until crisp, then served with an intense tahini sauce.All cuisines have their most popular dishes. English food is famous for fish and chips, Italian food is known for its amazing pasta dishes, and the Middle East is famous for hummus.
But, of course, there's a lot more to all the world's cuisines. So below you will find the most popular and widely recognized Middle Eastern dishes and their recipes. Starting with probably the best known Middle Eastern food, hummus is a mashed chickpea dip made with tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. It is an enticing appetizer, served with pita bread and vegetables but also amazing as a sandwich spread. A virtual tie for popularity, fame, and frequency of use is tahini.
The sesame paste is a foundation for many good Middle Eastern recipes. It can be an ingredient, a dip or a spread and is used in both sweet and savory dishes. If you ask someone to name the most famous Middle Eastern food and their answer is not hummus, then it's almost certainly going to be falafel. This widely recognized staple is a fried ball made of chickpeas, onions, and spices.
It is served both as an appetizer on a mezze platter or as the protein in a vegetarian meal. Falafel makes a great sandwich inside pita bread with Israeli salad. Tabouleh is a salad that is made with cracked wheat also known as bulgur wheatmint, parsley, and vegetables.
It's served both as an appetizer or just a great light and healthy lunch. Pita bread is a staple in the Middle Eastern diet. It is served with just about every meal. Warm, toasted, stuffed, or dipped, pita bread is the most versatile food in Middle Eastern cooking. It's easy to make, too!
In the Middle East, baklava is often pronounced baklawa. The spelling may be different but the tastes are very similar. The Greeks use honey, while, in the Middle East, orange blossom or rose water is commonly added to the sweet syrup.
This delicious dessert may be time-consuming to prepare, but well worth the effort! Baba ghannouj is a vegetarian favorite.
It's a smooth and creamy dip made with roasted eggplant and tahini, ideal for dipping pita bread or vegetables.
It has a bold, rich taste with a hint of cardamom. Prepared carefully in an ibrik, it's allowed to sit for a minute before serving to allow the coffee grains to fall to the bottom of the cup. According to a Turkish proverb "coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and as sweet as love". Made simply with sugar and cornstarch, they're addictive and irresistible! Continue to 5 of 9 below. Pita Bread. Baklawa or Baklava. Baba Ghannouj. Turkish Coffee. Continue to 9 of 9 below.
Turkish Delight. Read More.Is it Israeli, Greek or Arabic? This simple dish is made of chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon — and is simply delicious. This delicious bread salad is traditional to the Levantine cuisine, common in Arabic countries such as Lebanon and Syria. Fattoush is made with mixed greens and small pieces of fried Arabic bread, giving some crunchiness.
Top Most Popular Middle Eastern Foods
It often also includes pomegranate. This is again known as a great salad to share with others, making the dining experience a way of bringing people together and bonding over the mouth-watering cuisine. Much like hummus and fattoush, tabouleh is a common mezze in the Arabic world. Mezze is a well-used word that visitors will find in menus of Arabic restaurants and it means a small dish to share at the beginning of a several course meal — or an appetizer.The Ultimate DUBAI FOOD TOUR - Street Food and Emirati Cuisine in Dubai, UAE!
This salad is made with parsley, mint, onion, tomatoes, bulgur, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper and salt. Lamb is a staple meat in the Arabic cuisine, being a common and traditional dish in commemorative occasions such as Eid. Mansaf is a dish traditional of Arabic countries such as Palestine and Jordan, as well as others.
The dish essentially is made with lamb, yoghurt and rice. This is a must try especially for visitors going to Jordan, as it is perhaps the most popular food of the country. This traditionally Lebanese dish is also known as spicy potatoes, and that pretty much describes what the dish is. Batata harra are potatoes made with red pepper, garlic, olive oil, coriander and chili. Move over french fries, batata harra might just be the best potato-based dish in the world. This Levantine dish is known worldwide.
Ask anyone around the world about Arabic cuisine and the first food that will probably come to mind is kibbeh. This is a favorite of tourists visiting the Middle East and can be made with different types of meat, although it is more commonly found made of ground beef, onions and bulgur. The ingredients are mixed together and fried in order to make a small beef cake that is incredibly tasty. Less commonly found around the world but equally delicious is the raw kibbeh, which takes the same ingredients but is served entirely raw.
Better known as grape leaves or vine leaves, warak enab is most common to the Lebanese cuisine, although it can be found in several other Arabic dishes, including in Gulf countries. The cold mezze is composed of grape leaves stuffed with rice, which can be mixed with several other ingredients such as onions, tomatoes and mint.
This is a fantastic dish for vegetarians who still want to try Arabic plates. As this cuisine is very meat heavy, vegetarian options are not as common, but warak enab definitely is the most delicious of them.
Select currency.It's a colorful tossed salad with a lemony garlic dressing. See how to make this addictive roasted red pepper and toasted walnut dip.
This Cypriot cheese holds its shape after grilling or frying, making it a delicious addition to salads, kabobs, or appetizers. I added diced jalapeno. Ate them in pita with hummus, cucumbers, lettuce, red bell pepper strips, and dill sauce.
Couldn't be happier! Middle Eastern Recipes Find your favorite Middle Eastern recipes for hummus, falafel, tabbouleh, kebabs, phyllo pastries, and more. Sean's Falafel and Cucumber Sauce "Absolutely awesome! Chakchouka Shakshouka. Chef John's Falafel. Turkish Eggs Cilbir. Authentic Falafels. Farro Tabbouleh. Turkish Chicken Kebabs. Air Fryer Falafel. Easy Curry Couscous. Green Lentils and Rice Assyrian Style.
Recipe of the Day Iskender Kebab. I tried this dish at a Turkish restaurant in London and was amazed by its delicious taste! I later found out that this dish was named after Alexander the Great, whom the Persians called 'Iskender. Real Hummus. A traditional hummus recipe includes tahini and makes a wonderful snack or appetizer. Serve with warm pita bread or veggies. Baba Ghanoush. This wonderful dip is made with roasted eggplant, tahini, lemon and lots of roasted garlic.
Even if you don't usually like eggplant, you just may love this. It is the perfect starter for a Middle Eastern dinner. By Lauri Ann Randolph. Hamusta Soup. Hamusta soup, a popular Middle Eastern vegetable soup, gets a hit of tanginess from lemon juice added to the broth. By Linda. Easy Lamb Shawarma. Lamb marinated with yogurt, lemon juices, garlic and seasonings is cooked quickly in a skillet. These sandwiches are a delight for all the senses. The lamb can be served over rice instead of being made into sandwiches.
This marinade also works well with beef. Turkish Kebabs. If you love doner kebaps, you'll love this homemade version!An Arabian Feast — 7 dishes prepared in just 1 hour. Stress free, crowd pleasing, exotic, super cost efficient and make ahead. Oh, and incidentally gluten free. My favourite menu for feeding a crowd! I recently single handedly prepared this for 50 people though this did take more than 1 hour as I had to make 4x the quantity of each dish!
You will be amazed how fast and easy it is to prepare this feast! Can be made ahead up to 2 days keeps for a week, but is best made closer to serving day. Make ahead day before or on the day. Serve drizzled with olive oil and Yoghurt Sauce on the side. I like to use a soft feta like Danish feta so it can easily be spread onto bread with a knife, but sometimes I make it with hard Greek feta too.
Then on the day, grill, rest then slice to serve on pita bread with salad. Shape into sausages and thread onto skewers. Can be prepared ahead. Both these salads are great for stuffing into pita breads with the grilled meat. The chickpea salad is a great meat free alternative for stuffing into pita breads.
Spiced Chickpea Chopped Salad 15 minutes — chopped tomato, cucumber and red onion topped with chickpeas coated in a spice mix, herbs and a fresh lemon zest dressing. The dressing and chickpeas can be made the day before but the salad is best chopped on the day. I have made it up to 12 hours before serving and it was fine. The tip to make ahead is to scoop out the watery centre of the tomatoes before chopping them. This helps keep the salad fresh for longer.
Shredded Cabbage, Carrot and Mint Salad 10 minutes — if you have a tool to julienne the carrots I slice the cabbage by handthis takes just 5 minutes to chop.
While the Baklava does take time to assemble, it is actually quite straight forward and is an impressive dessert that lasts for days — and feeds a crowd! So just make one big batch. This also saves on preparation time. So truth be told, the total preparation time adds up to 1 hour and 5 minutes, but I rounded it down to 1 hour!Inside the Middle East.
Facebook Twitter Email. CNN — Fresh, wholesome, healthy, rich, aromatic -- it's no wonder that the past decade has seen Middle Eastern cuisine's global profile skyrocketing.
While everyone has their favorite dish, we hit up Lebanese-American food blogger Bethany Kehdy of dirtykitchensecrets. Her favorite dishes are simple and rustic, such as m'jadarrah. That's a lentil stew also known as poor man's stew consisting of slow-cooked lentils with a sprinkling of burghul and caramelized onions and served with a side of zesty cabbage salad. Or kishik -- a porridge made from burghul fermented with yogurt and dried in the sun on rooftops over seven days during the fall before being ground into fine powder.
Along with Kehdy's takes, we rounded up 20 of our favorite Middle Eastern dishes to get you started along with destinations where you can find them:. The big daddy chickpea spread can be slathered on anything from a burger or baked potato to the traditional hot pita bread.
The pizza of the Arabic world, manakeesh is a round bread sprinkled with either cheese, ground meat or herbs zaatar. It's ideal for breakfast or lunch. Varieties come from both fancy Levantine restaurants or street vendors. These mini-slabs of chewy goodness are made from goat and sheep milk. Unlike other cheeses, no acid or bacteria is used during processing. Made of fava beans, olive oil, parsley, onion, garlic and lemon, this dish doesn't have the most appetizing of presentations -- blobby brown mush is about the best we can say of it.
Taste and texture make up for it. You may consider fried chickpeas with herbs as simply a great snack. Or tasty pita filler. For Middle Easterners, however, the origins of falafel are a matter of patriotic interest. The "New York TImes" has reported how the dish's provenance sparks fierce debates, but we're happy to sit on the sidelines and remain addicted to the taste. You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this magical combination of bulgur, parsley, mint, onion and tomatoes.
But watch out, you just might be tempted to switch teams after a steady diet of this popular salad. Just when you're ready to declare hummus the best dip on the planet, you find moutabal. Similar to baba ghanoush, the dip offers a similar consistency with an eggplant kick.
Spiced up with chili, it delivers a zing. This tangy salad is one of the Middle East's greatest contributions to world culture. Crispy lettuce, crunchy fried squares of pita, diced tomatoes, cucumbers and onion, garlic, lemon, olive oil and mint make for a refreshing addiction.
Egyptian bread pudding, or umm ali, is a hearty pastry cooked in milk and cream. Versions are made with croissant pieces, raisins, pistachios, vanilla and condensed milk.
20 top Middle Eastern foods: Which is the best?
This cow or sheep milk cheese is usually fashioned into golf ball-sized bites and rolled in zaatar herbs or chili flakes the latter version favored in Syria.
Also often enjoyed with diced tomato, onion and olive oil. No, shawarma wasn't invented as a hangover cure.Sambousak or sambousek is a fried pastry with a savory filling, such as meat, spiced potatoes, cheese, or peas It may take different form Tamees is an old Arabian famous bread which is baked in unique ways and results in a soft, tender flatbread.
It is best eaten when it i Super soft, dense, and melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Stuffed meats and vegetables, combined with freekeh, take centre stage at family gatherings By Mai Kakish Arab cooks take much pride Makrouta combines layer upon layer of flaky dough and sweetness By Nur Ashour I have an obsession with maamoul, a date-filled biscuit An unusual combination of sweet rosewater-scented savoury minced lamb or beef and spiced pilaf-style rice makes these simple ingredients Home About Contact Us.
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Chicken Shawarma is like the ultimate on the go meal. Thinly sliced meat, wrapped in a pita bread with veggies and sauce is a delicious quic Make Best Falafel Balls Recipe. Learn how to make the best authentic falafel balls. A very filling vegetarian recipe, perfect as a starter, main course or just a snack. Follow by Email. Popular Posts. Powered by Blogger.