Middle Eastern cuisine is a diverse and flavorful culinary tradition developed over thousands of years. It encompasses a range of dishes from the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula, each with its unique blend of spices, herbs, and cooking techniques. From savory meats to sweet desserts, Middle Eastern cuisine offers a feast for the senses that will tantalize the taste buds of food lovers everywhere. In this article, we’ll explore some must-try dishes that showcase the richness and diversity of Middle Eastern cuisine.
A popular Middle Eastern snack, falafel is made from ground chickpeas mixed with spices like cumin and coriander. The mixture is formed into small balls and deep-fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Falafel is often served with tahini sauce and pita bread and can be enjoyed as a vegetarian or vegan option.
Another classic Middle Eastern dish is a creamy dip made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. It’s usually served with pita bread, and you can add toppings like olive oil, parsley, or paprika to give it an extra kick of flavor.
A popular street food in the Middle East, shawarma is a savory sandwich made from meat (usually chicken or lamb) marinated in a mixture of spices and roasted on a spit. The meat is then sliced thin and served in a pita bread wrap with vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, and sometimes with a side of garlic sauce or hummus.
A fresh and light salad perfect for hot summer days, tabouleh is made from finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, onions, and bulgur wheat. It’s usually dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and can be served as a side dish or as a main course.
Middle Eastern cuisine is known for its delicious grilled meats, and kebabs are a perfect example of this. Kebabs are made from chunks of marinated meat (usually beef, lamb, or chicken) skewered and grilled over an open flame and are often served with rice, salad, or bread.
If you have a sweet tooth, you can’t miss out on baklava. This decadent dessert is made from layers of phyllo pastry filled with chopped nuts (usually pistachios or walnuts) and sweetened with syrup or honey. It’s a deliciously sweet and crunchy treat perfect for special occasions.
Shawaya Chicken is a popular Middle Eastern dish made by marinating chicken in a blend of spices and yogurt before grilling it over an open flame. The result is a juicy, flavorful chicken perfect for a summer barbecue or family dinner.
This traditional Jordanian dish is a must-try for meat lovers. It’s made by slow-cooking lamb or chicken in a yogurt-based sauce and serving it over a bed of rice or bulgur wheat. Mansaf is often garnished with pine nuts and served with a side of pickled vegetables.
Middle Eastern cuisine offers a wide range of dishes sure to please any palate. From savory meat dishes to sweet desserts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If you want to experience the richness and diversity of Middle Eastern cuisine, try out these must-try dishes and prepare to be amazed by the flavors and aromas of this delicious culinary tradition.
After experiencing the richness of Middle Eastern cuisine, let’s take a culinary trip closer to home. Here’s your guide to the ultimate Los Angeles food trip with 10 dishes you have to try.