Shrouded in mystery, the land of fairytales, middle-eastern countries have always inspired people from all over the world. Just like its diverse culture, its food is highly rated and is one of the finest cuisines in the world. Its rich, aromatic textures engulf your senses and take you on a gastronomic journey. While some dishes are simple and easy to make, there are others that are subtly crafted. Globally, the audience for middle-eastern food has increased manifold and it is praised in all quarters.
If You Are Interested In Middle-Eastern Cuisine, Let’s Find Out The 10 Best Dishes To Try This Year.
A delectable main-course dish, Mandi is very popular in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Egypt and other countries of this region. Served on special occasions such as religious festivals, family functions and weddings, it is a highly rated dish. Made with a combination of flavored rice and tandoor cooked chicken, lamb or mutton, its aroma, flavor and taste is simply awesome. So, if you are in any of the middle-eastern countries and particularly in United Arab Emirates, do not miss out on a plate of Mandi.
2. Foul Medames
Served as a main course, foul medames are extremely healthy and delicious. Cooked with fava beans, it is flavored with different types of spices, garlic, lemon juice, onion and different types of herbs. It can also be made with a combination of fava beans and other vegetables. A soupy dish, it goes very well with Arabic bread and flavored rice. It is based on a very ancient recipe and is a staple for people living in this region. While some have it for breakfast, others like to include it for lunch or dinner. If you are in the middle-east, it is more than likely that you will come across a hot bowl of foul medames in any of your trips to the restaurant.
A plate of kofta is all you need to satiate your hunger pangs. It is absolutely delicious and can be eaten with Arabic bread or flavored rice. Prepared with minced meat from chicken, lamb, beef or mutton, there are different types of kofta. Depending on the recipe, the meat is flavored with a varied mix of spices. It is then skewered and barbecued, grilled, baked or fried. It is often served with spicy dips and sauces that complement the excellent taste of this grilled meat.
4. Shish Taouk
A famous item on the menus of kebab joints, a shish taouk is a typical chicken kebab marinated with flavorful spices. It is a favorite of the Arab world and you will find it in any restaurant. Generally marinated with yogurt, all spice, lemon juice or tomato puree, there are different variants of this popular dish. It is then skewered and barbecued or grilled until it is perfectly cooked. Served with salads and dips, the shish taouk is an all-time favorite that must be tried.
Fattoush is a renowned Arabic salad that has made its way to different parts of the world. It has traversed global cuisines and can now be found in many countries. It is a tangy salad made with a combination of diced cucumbers, tomatoes and crispy lettuce. Fried pieces of pita bread is also added to the salad for crunch and extra taste. It is seasoned with a dressing made with lemon juice, fresh garlic, olive oil, onion and mint leaves. This salad can be served with any meal and serves as a great addition to world cuisine.
6. Baba Ganush
A typical middle-eastern starter, Baba ganush acts as the perfect dip for pita breads. To prepare this dish, eggplant is either baked or broiled in an open flame until it turns soft and mushy. Its skin is then removed and mashed to form the base for the dish. The mashed eggplant is then seasoned with salt, red chilli, olive oil and lemon juice. The smoky flavors give it an outstanding taste and is often served with stir-fried vegetables or plain breads.
While most of us have tasted different varieties of fried snacks, nothing can be compared to a falafel. It is one of the most common middle-eastern foods, found in every nook and corner of this region. It is basically made with grinded chickpeas flavored with a few spices, onions and red chili. An excellent vegetarian appetizer in a meat loving region. This is served in small as well as big restaurants and fine dining joints.
An extremely filling, cheap and easily available roadside food, found almost everywhere in middle-eastern countries, is a Shawarma. It is served as a very interesting wrap or sandwich. Prepared with a filling of grilled meat and wrapped in a handmade bread, it is extremely tasty. The garlic sauce, hummus or tahini paste inside the wraps give it a unique taste. A few pieces of salads are also inserted into the wrap to give it a fresh taste. It is either served as a rolled bread or even spread on platters along with other popular dishes such as fattoush and tabbouleh.
For desserts, people in the middle-east try some of the most delectable things. The Baklava is one such sweet that will leave a lasting taste in your mouth. Sweet, crunchy and nutty, it has a very distinct taste and flavor. It is extremely difficult to make and needs a lot of finesse to create a masterpiece like this. Made with layers of buttery filo pastry, it is stuffed with different type of dry fruits such as almonds, pistachios, dates or peanuts and brushed with a sweet syrup flavored with honey or rose water.
10. Kunafah or Kunafeh
Even if you do not like sweets, a kunafah is one dessert that you will hate to dislike. Its subtle taste will mesmerize you and you will certainly be ordering more. It is a fine cheese pastry soaked in a sugar syrup. A thin crunchy upper layer gives way to a cheesy layer inside and as you dip it in the sugar syrup, it tastes heavenly. So, without a doubt, this is one of the finest foods that you must try this year.