Most of the time, travellers are afraid of trying new food in Arab and Gulf countries, especially if it contains ingredients you have never heard of such as lamb, goat or camel meat. Don’t get surprised as most of the meat dishes are made with mutton, lamb, chicken, goat as these are some common elements used in Arab cuisines. Middle Eastern cuisine, owing to the vastness of the land and the people it originates from, is rich in taste and ingredients. Arab countries offer tasty traditional food to tourists around the world. Whether it’s Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai or Lebanon, you will get the chance to enjoy the best, tasty and traditional Arab food everywhere.
So what is your favourite Middle Eastern dish? Have you ever tried any? If not then this blog is for you!!
So we have come with 8 most delicious Middle East foods to get you started along with destinations where you can find them.
Hummus is the most popular dish loved by everyone in the Middle East & Mediterranean countries. Hummus is the traditional dish of Arab countries. It is a local Arabic dip prepared from Chickpeas, Olive Oil, Tahini and Lemon juice which enhances its taste.
Hummus is mostly served with warm pita bread. It is a popular cuisine from Arab locals especially in Turkey, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Israel. Hummus is one vegan cuisine that provides many nutrients in your diet that is healthy for you.
Manakeesh is an authentic Arabic Lebanese dish which is popularly known as the pizza of the Middle East or Lebanese Pizza. This dish is prepared from flatbread topped with an excellent marinated meat, vegans and blend of Arabic spices and herbs. Any breakfast table in middle east countries is incomplete without Manakeesh on it.
This dish became one of the most favourite cuisines due to its flavours, low price, and the ease of preparation. You can taste different recipes of Manakeesh from fancy restaurants to street vendors at Arab countries. For savouring best Manakeesh, you can visit Fern Ghattas- Beirut, Lebanon, Al Reef Lebanese Bakery- Dubai, UAE and Manousheh- Manhattan, USA.
Shawarma is a little slice of heaven right here on Earth. It is the most famous middle eastern cuisine prepared from thin slices of chicken, goat, lamb and sometimes turkey wrapped into a large piece of flatbread or ‘pita’.
With sliced meat or chicken there are other things are added to enhance its taste such as garlic puree, tahini, pickles, vegetables and even french fries than it has been steamed or heated. Shawarma is a lot like a taco, but so different in many ways. The dish has gained popularity throughout the middle east through the influence and spread of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire.
Pita is yeast round flatbreads cooked from wheat flour, it is common in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Gulf regions.
Baklava is a rich pastry made with layers of ‘Filo or Phyllo’ and minced nuts with honey and syrup are combined together to satisfy your sweet buds! This beautiful dish soaked in light syrup is a gift to the world from the Ottoman Empire.
In the Middle East, Baklava is acknowledged as a presentation dish and reserved for special occasions because of its expensive ingredients and soulful taste. This dish is popular in the Eastern Mediterranean, Balkans, Caucasia, Turks, Arabs, Jews, Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians as they included Baklava as their national dessert.
Kabsa is a joyous dish originated from Saudi Arabia but it is commonly considered as a national dish of many Arab states of the Persian Gulf. This dish is prepared from basmati rice, vegetables, meat with a unique amalgam of spices.
Kabsa is addressed as a traditional dish in Dubai, Jordan, Qatar and Kuwait. This dish is prepared in different styles so the recipe and method of preparing Kabsa differ in almost every country.
Fattoush is actually a “bread salad,” which is originated in Northern Lebanon. This tangy salad is one of the Middle East’s greatest additions to world culture. A fresh and healthy Middle Eastern salad consists of crispy lettuce, crunchy fried pita, diced tomatoes, onion, cucumbers, garlic, lemon, olive oil and mint make for a refreshing addition.
Fattoush Salad is a delicious, light and healthy cuisine which makes a frequent appearance on the Middle Eastern dinner table.
Falafels are hot & crunchy from outside and fluffy and herby from inside. prepared from chickpea and other pulses. They are placed under the pita bread and served with ‘Tahini sauce’. This is the most popular dish served in every corner of Dubai especially from the Operation Falafel which is Dubai’s most renowned restaurants that work on the thought of ‘Revival & Survival’ of Arabic cuisine.
If you are in Dubai then trying this delicious dish is a must. Apart from Dubai, the best Falafel can be found in Israel. You can also taste this mouth-watering dish in most Middle East countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.
8. Shish Taouk
Shish Taouk is a simple yet delicious skewered chicken dish which is highly popular in Lebanon but you can commonly find and savour this tasty dish in Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Israel as well in the Gulf region. Shish Taouk is served with pure garlic paste, fries and pita bread. This dish is a kind of Kebab which is relatively low in calories, it is rich in fat. This is a widely-loved dish with deep cultural roots so there are as many recipes for Shish taouk. However, there are three main ingredients that are key to tasty Shish Taouk which are Lemon, Yoghurt and Garlic.
I know your mouth has already started watering! So what are you waiting for? Now, whenever you guys will travel to Middle East countries, relish these Arab cuisines and share your delicious and lip-smacking experiences with us.