Every cuisine has its own set of popular dishes. For example, Italian food is famous for its amazing pasta dishes, English food is known for fish and chips, and the Middle East is celebrated for hummus.
However, there is still more to Middle Eastern dishes than the ones you already know. Below are some of the most sumptuous dishes that will surely satisfy your taste buds.
Dolma consists of stuffed vine leaves that are rolled to perfection. These should be fresh with juicy veggies or succulent lamb.
Foul Meddamas is made of fava beans, parsley, olive oil, onion, lemon, and garlic. While it may not have the most appetizing of presentations that look like a blobby brown mush, its texture and taste make up for the appearance.
Grilled halloumi is not your usual grilled cheese. These are small slabs of chewy goodness made from sheep and goat milk. What makes it different from other cheeses is that no bacteria or acid is used during the processing.
In Iraq, they have mastered the art of cooking carp. This dish is slow-cooked for a maximum of 3 hours until the fat is burned off and served with pickles and lemon.
Also called desert candy or cherry kebab, this Syrian dish provides a new take on the well-known meat stick. Kebab karaz features pomegranate pips and sour cherries, rendering the meaty combination o blood red, sour, and sweet.
Knafeh is a delicious cheesecake that uses Nabusi cheese, common in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. The blush coloring is thanks to the rose water and orange blossom water.
Don’t let the looks of kofta deceive you. Popular in Pakistan and Iran, these balls of minced beef or lamb have a spicy, onion kick. The patties can be baked, barbecued, grilled, or fried although these are best served with a unique spicy sauce. Kofta is found in cylinder shapes in the Arab region, typically on a stick.
Manakeesh is considered the pizza in the Arabic world. It is a round bread that is sprinkled on top with herbs, cheese, or ground meat. This is best enjoyed for lunch or breakfast. Varieties come from both street vendors and fancy Levantine restaurants.
Quwarmah Al Dajaj
This zesty dish which most people know as Kuwaiti curried chicken is made with a combination of Middle Eastern spices and flavors, such as baharat, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, lime, nutmeg, and paprika turmeric. All of these combine to create a distinct pop.
Shanklish is sheep or cow milk often fashioned into bites of golf ball size and rolled in chili flakes or zaatar herbs. These are usually enjoyed with olive oil, onion, and diced tomato.
The most delicious bread pudding of Egypt, umm ali is a type of hearty pastry cooked in cream and milk. Variants are made with condensed milk, vanilla, pistachios, raisins, and pieces of croissant.
Prepare these cuisines in the comforts of your home by shopping for the ingredients you need from the nearest Middle eastern market San Francisco.