Middle East food, milleniums of inspirational food

Middle East food, what to enjoy, and how to make it

Middle East food or Arab cuisine is a rich and diverse culinary tradition that has been influenced by a number of factors over the centuries. These include the region’s climate, culture, religion, and available ingredients. And the good news is it is healthy from many recipes with chicken to vegan recipes. Just as many.

It is a lot about rice, bread, lamb, chicken, fish, and vegetables

The cuisine of the Arab world is characterized by a great deal of variety and ingenuity. Common staples include rice, bread, lamb, chicken, fish, and vegetables. A wide variety of spices and herbs are used to add flavor to dishes, and many Arab dishes are quite hearty and filling.

There are a number of regional variations in Arab cuisine, but some common favorites include hummus (a chickpea dip), falafel (fried chickpea balls), shawarma (spiced meat grilled on a spit) and kibbeh (ground lamb or beef mixed with bulgur wheat). Arabic coffee is also very popular and is often served with sweet pastries or dates.

Table with various arabic food served. Middle East food

Table with various arabic food served. Middle East food

The most popular traditional Arab dishes

Traditional Arab dishes are typically made with lamb or chicken as the main protein source and are often cooked in a clay pot or grilled over an open flame. Common spices used in Arab cuisine include cumin, turmeric, cloves, and cinnamon. Rice is a staple of many Arab dishes and is often served alongside vegetables or stewed meats. There are many popular Arab dishes, but some of the most well-known include:

Falafel, from street food to vegan favorites

Falafel consists of a variety of spices including cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, ginger, and salt to name a few. All of these spices work together to create a unique and delicious flavor that has made falafel a popular street food all over the world.

When it comes to making falafel, there are two different methods that you can use. The first method is to soak dried chickpeas in water overnight before grinding them into a paste. The second method is to use canned chickpeas, which will save you some time but may not give you as much flavor.

Once you have your chickpea paste, the next step is to add in the spices and mix everything together until it forms a smooth dough. Then, you will need to form the dough into small balls or patties and fry them in oil until they are golden brown and crispy.

Falafel is typically served with flatbread or pita bread, topped with chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and tahini sauce. It makes for a delicious and filling meal that can be enjoyed anytime!

Healthy Vegetarian Falafel Balls with Rice and Salad. Middle East food

Healthy Vegetarian Falafel Balls with Rice and Salad. Middle East food

Kabsa, a classic in Middle East food

Kabsa: A rice dish typically made with chicken or lamb, Kabsa is a staple in many Arab homes, typically made with lamb or chicken, and seasoned with spices like cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon.

Chicken kabsa dish from above, Middle Eastern Cuisine

Chicken Kabsa dish from above, Middle East food

Maqluba or Makluba

Maqluba or Makluba: A rice and vegetable dish that is often upside-down when served, maqluba is another popular option.  The upside-down rice dish is usually made with chicken or lamb, vegetables (such as tomatoes, eggplant, and onions), and fried nuts (such as almonds or pistachios).

Makluba, an upside-down rice and vegetable dish. Middle East food

Makluba, an upside-down rice and vegetable dish. Middle East food

 Musakhan

Musakhan is often referred to as Palestinian roast chicken, Musakhan is a dish made with chicken, onions, and sumac spice.

Chicken with sumac and onions served with taboo bread

Shawarma

Shawarma. This sandwich-like dish is typically made with lamb or chicken that has been slowly cooked on a spit.  Thinly sliced meat (usually lamb or chicken) that is grilled on a spit and served in a loaf of pita bread with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and tahini sauce.

Lamb Kebab. Pita bread and spices. Middle East food

Lamb Kebab. Pita bread and spices. Middle East food

Tabbouleh salad

Tabbouleh: A salad made with bulgur wheat, chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes, and onions. It is usually seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil.

A bowl of delicious fresh tabouli with parsley, mint, tomato, onion, olive oil, lemon juice, and bulgar wheat.
Fattoush, another delicious salat from the Middle East food scene

Fattoush: A salad made with toasted or fried pieces of pita bread, chopped vegetables (such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions), and herbs (such as mint and parsley). It is usually seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil.

Traditional fattoush salad on a plate with pita croutons, cucumber, tomato, red onion, vegetables mix and herbs.

Traditional fattoush salad on a plate with pita croutons, cucumber, tomato, red onion, vegetables mix and herbs.

Recipes for Middle Eastern Cuisine

If you’re looking for some delicious Arab food recipes, you’ve come to the right place! Here we’ve gathered a collection of our favorite dishes from across the Arab world, including classics like hummus and falafel, as well as more unique options like Ma’amoul cookies and shawarma. Whether you’re in the mood for something healthy or hearty, there’s an Arab recipe here for everyone to enjoy!

Falafel and delicious hummus, chickpeas, pita, vegetables and spices

Falafel and delicious hummus, chickpeas, pita, and vegetables. and spices

Hummus. Perhaps the most popular Middle East food

Ingredients:
-1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-1/4 cup tahini
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1/4 cup water
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 teaspoon paprika

Instructions:

1. Add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

2. While the food processor is running, slowly add the water until the desired consistency is reached.

3. Pour the hummus into a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil and paprika. Serve with pita bread or vegetables for dipping.

Falafel

Ingredients:

-1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
-1/2 onion, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1 tablespoon flour
-1/4 cup parsley, chopped
-Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions:

1. Drain the chickpeas and place them in a food processor with the onion, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, flour, and parsley.

2. Pulse until the mixture becomes a coarse paste.

3. Scoop tablespoons of the mixture into your hand and shape into balls.

4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and Fry the falafel balls until golden brown on all sides. Serve with tahini sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.

Middle Eastern Cuisine Chicken Shawarma, Pita Sandwich, roll in a pita with fresh vegetables, cream sauce and french fries

Middle Eastern Cuisine Chicken Shawarma, Pita Sandwich, roll in a pita with fresh vegetables, cream sauce and french fries

Shawarma, the most well-known Arab/Middle Eastern dish?

Ingredients:
-1 pound boneless lamb or chicken, cut into thin strips
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
-1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 onion, sliced
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 cup chicken broth
-10 whole wheat pita pieces of bread
Tahini sauce:
-1/2 cup tahini
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-Water as needed for consistency
Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, combine the lamb or chicken strips with the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat.

2. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat.

3. Add the lamb or chicken strips and onion slices to the grill or grill pan and cook until the meat is cooked

The best restaurants for Middle Eastern Cuisine in Europe

When it comes to the best restaurants for Arab food in Europe, there are many contenders. In London alone, there are several excellent options for those looking for authentic Arab cuisine. Here are some of the best restaurants for Arab food in Europe:

Al-Aryan: This restaurant is located in central London and offers a delicious array of traditional Arab dishes.

Mama’s Kitchen: Another excellent option in London, Mama’s Kitchen serves up delicious home-cooked style Arab food.

The Lebanese Restaurant: As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in Lebanese cuisine and offers an extensive menu of both traditional and modern dishes.

Za’atar: This restaurant is located in Paris and offers a fantastic selection of both traditional and contemporary Arab dishes. The highlight of the menu is undoubtedly the za’atar chicken, which is a must-try!

The verdict

There are so many delicious Arab and Middle Eastern dishes and recipes to try. If you’re looking for something new to cook, why not give some of these a try? From traditional dishes like kabsa and hummus to more modern recipes like quinoa salad and roasted cauliflower, there’s something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Get cooking!

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Healthy Vegetarian Falafel Balls with Rice and Salad. Middle Eastern Cuisine

Healthy Vegetarian Falafel Balls with Rice and Salad. Middle Eastern Cuisine

How to make Falafel:

Ingredients:
-1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
-1/2 onion, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1 tablespoon flour
-1/4 cup parsley, chopped
-Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions:

1. Drain the chickpeas and place them in a food processor with the onion, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, flour, and parsley.

2. Pulse until the mixture becomes a coarse paste.

3. Scoop tablespoons of the mixture into your hand and shape into balls.

4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and Fry the falafel balls until golden brown on all sides. Serve with tahini sauce or your favorite dipping sauce

Is Middle Eastern Cuisine healthy?

Overall, Arab cuisine is considered to be healthy. This is because it relies heavily on fresh ingredients, such as vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. Arab cuisine is also typically low in sugar and fat, making it a good option for those looking for a healthy meal option.

What animals are not eaten in Arab cuisine?

There are no specific animals that are not eaten in Arab cuisine. It is more or less a myth. However, pork is typically avoided as it is considered to be unclean in Islam.

The history of Middle Eastern Cuisine

Arab cuisine is one of the oldest cuisines in the world. It is rich and diverse, with influences from many different cultures. Arab cuisine has been influenced by the foods of the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. The earliest known Arab cookbook was written in the 10th century.

Arab cuisine is characterized by its use of spices and herbs. Common spices include cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and saffron. Herbs such as mint, parsley, and coriander are also used. Coffee and tea are popular beverages in Arab culture.

There are many different types of Arab cuisine, depending on the region. Some common dishes include hummus (a chickpea dip), falafel (fried chickpea balls), tabbouleh (a salad made with bulgur wheat and parsley), and kebabs (grilled meat skewers).

The history of Arab cuisine is a long and rich one that is reflective of the region’s diversity. From its humble beginnings to its present-day popularity, Arab cuisine has something to offer everyone.

Modern Arab dishes

There are many modern Arab dishes that are becoming increasingly popular in the West. One of these is shakshuka, a dish of eggs poached in a tomato and pepper sauce. Another is hummus, a chickpea dip that is often served with pita bread. Other popular dishes include falafel (fried chickpea balls), kebabs (grilled meat skewers), and tabbouleh (a salad made with bulgur wheat, parsley, and mint).

Recipes for Middle Eastern Cuisine

If you’re looking for some delicious Arab food recipes, you’ve come to the right place! Here we’ve gathered a collection of our favorite dishes from across the Arab world, including classics like hummus and falafel, as well as more unique options like ma’amoul cookies and shawarma. Whether you’re in the mood for something healthy or hearty, there’s an Arab recipe here for everyone to enjoy!

Falafel and delicious hummus, chickpeas, pita, vegetables and spices

Falafel and delicious hummus, chickpeas, pita, vegetables and spices

Hummus

Ingredients:
-1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-1/4 cup tahini
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1/4 cup water
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 teaspoon paprika
Instructions:

1. Add the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

2. While the food processor is running, slowly add the water until the desired consistency is reached.

3. Pour the hummus into a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil and paprika. Serve with pita bread or vegetables for dipping.
Falafel

Ingredients:
-1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
-1/2 onion, chopped
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-1 tablespoon flour
-1/4 cup parsley, chopped
-Vegetable oil for frying
Instructions:

1. Drain the chickpeas and place them in a food processor with the onion, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, flour, and parsley.

2. Pulse until the mixture becomes a coarse paste.

3. Scoop tablespoons of the mixture into your hand and shape into balls.

4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and Fry the falafel balls until golden brown on all sides. Serve with tahini sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.

Shawarma, the most well-known Arab/Middle Eastern dish?

Ingredients:
-1 pound boneless lamb or chicken, cut into thin strips
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon paprika
-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
-1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 onion, sliced
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 cup chicken broth
-10 whole wheat pita pieces of bread
Tahini sauce:
-1/2 cup tahini
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-Water as needed for consistency

Shawarma Plate , Shawarma beef and chicken plate: Middle East food

Shawarma Plate, Shawarma beef and chicken plate: Middle East food

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, combine the lamb or chicken strips with the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat.

2. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat.

3. Add the lamb or chicken strips and onion slices to the grill or grill pan and cook until the meat is cooked

The best restaurants for Middle Eastern Cuisine in Europe

When it comes to the best restaurants for Arab food in Europe, there are many contenders. In London alone, there are several excellent options for those looking for authentic Arab cuisine. Here are some of the best restaurants for Arab food in Europe:

Al-aryan: This restaurant is located in central London and offers a delicious array of traditional Arab dishes.

Mama’s Kitchen: Another excellent option in London, Mama’s Kitchen serves up delicious home-cooked style Arab food.

The Lebanese Restaurant: As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in Lebanese cuisine and offers an extensive menu of both traditional and modern dishes.

Za’atar: This restaurant is located in Paris and offers a fantastic selection of both traditional and contemporary Arab dishes. The highlight of the menu is undoubtedly the za’atar chicken, which is a must-try!

The verdict

There are so many delicious Arab and Middle Eastern dishes and recipes to try. If you’re looking for something new to cook, why not give some of these a try? From traditional dishes like kabsa and hummus to more modern recipes like quinoa salad and roasted cauliflower, there’s something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Get cooking!

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