When it comes to Middle Eastern cuisine, they have a variety of food and a number of popular dishes. They are not only versatile and easy to prepare, infact some of them are worth trying, delicious, wholsome, rich and aromatic. You can’t stop yourself from gravitating towards them.
So, I have listed down a few that will give your taste-buds a pleasant surprise.
Kunafeh is the queen of Arabic sweets. It is a rich delicious dessert found in many regions of the Arab world more like a version of cheesecake. Basically it’s made of semolina dough and thin noodle-like phyllo pastry. Stuffed with a white soft cheese such as Nabulsi, crunchy from the outside but soaked in sugary syrup and garnished with crushed pistachios. You can bake it for about forty minutes until the crust turns golden brown in color. Large stainless steel trays are used to serve this dessert.
Baklava is a delightful and delicious dessert, rich Middle-Eastern pastry made with layers of phyllo dough and nuts can be baked then soaked with a syrup of honey and lemon juice. Baklava should always be shiny and crunchy. The colour of a well prepared baklava is golden. It has sweet, buttery taste and flaky nutty flavour and texture. Walnut and pistachio baklavas are the most popular but cashews, almonds and hazelnuts can be used as well. The thicker the nut filling is the richer and the tastier it is.
Tabouleh is very popular in Arab countries. It is a lovely and refreshing salad that is perfect for the hot desert climate. It is made with cracked bulgur wheat, mint, parsley, vegetables, olive oil and lemon juice. It can be made with quinoa also because it is a gluten free option. It is served as an appetizer or just a light and healthy meal. Tabouleh is not only fresh and healthy but also offers a variety of tastes, textures, and colours although it is low in fat but provides fiber, minerals and carbohydrates.
Hummus is one of the most famous dishes of Arabian cuisine. It is a creamy thick spread made from mashed chickpeas. The dip is made with few healthy ingredients like chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and tahini (sesame paste). It’s a healthy nutritious savory snack. Hummus is often eaten with pita bread. One of the benefits of hummus is that it can keep your digestive tract regular. It is an effective and tasty way to get more fiber into your diet. Hummus has high amount of protein .You can use hummus as a substitute for mayo and used as salad dressing. You can even use it as a dip for raw veggies instead of ranch dressing. Hummus is a healthier alternative.
Another Arabian dish is falafel. It is a fried ball made of chickpeas, onions and spices that is served as an appetizer with different toppings. It is crunchy from the outside and light, crumbly and herby from the inside. It is typically deep fried dish but you can shallow fry also. Falafel is a favorite food among vegetarians. As a main dish it is served as a sandwich which is stuffed in pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini. As an appetizer it is served on a salad or with hummus and tahini. It can also be served with hot sauce.
6. Baba Ghanoush
Baba ghanoush is an amazing roasted eggplant dip. It is healthy, gluten free, vegan, natural and so delicious. As an appetizer it can be served with pita bread, crackers or chips. It is made with roasted bell peppers, and often mayonnaise is added for richness. It is very easy to make. Simply roast whole eggplants and let them cool then mix with a combination of tahini (sesame paste), lemon juice, garlic and other flavors.