Spice up your bread and add class to your salad with our selection of the best bites from the Middle East With England famous for fish and chips and Italy for its pasta dishes, the Middle East is famous for a few different dishes. Fresh, wholesome, healthy, rich, aromatic – it’s no wonder that the past decade has seen Middle Eastern cuisine’s global profile skyrocket. While everyone has their favourite dish, Arab cuisine is defined by the various regional cuisines spanning the Arab world, from the Maghreb to the Mashriq or Levant and the Arabian Gulf.
So what is your favourite Mideast dish?
Hummus is such a tasty and healthy alternative to most dips or spreads that it can be slathered on anything from a burger or baked potato to the traditional hot pita bread. You can always modify it according to your taste, but you cannot beat the original.
Try this: Hummus Crusted Chicken
It’s difficult to think of an Arabic breakfast that is more popular or loved than the manakish. Round flat discs of bread covered with ground meat or zaatar mixed with olive oil and baked in the oven or on top of a saj. Manakish is such a popular Levantine food that every borough or village has one or more dedicated bakeries.
Try this: Zaatar Manakish
It’s hard to remember a time when halloumi wasn’t a mainstay of Arabic dinner tables – its meaty and enjoyably rubbery texture, versatility and umami flavour caught every food lovers attention. This cheese is loved for its robust texture and deeply savoury flavour – plus its capacity to be grilled, barbecued or fried without losing its shape. Made from goat and sheep milk, no acid or bacteria is used during the processing of this cheese.
Try this: Halloumi aubergine burgers with harissa relish
The origins of falafel go way back and there’s no doubt that it’s a core element of Arabic cuisine today. Crispy and filling, falafel is a great snack by itself, stuffed into pita bread or served atop fresh spring greens. For the people of the Middle East, “Falafel is the perfect compact meal: full of protein, tons of flavour, and most importantly, can be repurposed into a variety of meals throughout the week.”
Try this: Falafel tacos
The ubiquitous chopped salad of the Middle East is a local addiction, quite seriously. Eaten at almost every meal, fattoush, with its cool cucumber and crunchy radish, feels more like a “proper salad” than the equally famous tabbouleh. Infinitely adaptable and wonderfully refreshing, fattoush salad makes a frequent appearance on the Middle Eastern dinner table.
Try this: Sprinkle it with sumac
Written By: Rehmat Hussain