Updated: Sep 16, 2021
The Middle East is known for its amazing sights, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering food. These days, Middle-eastern food is hard to miss out on, especially with its recent boom in popularity. The aromatic, adventurous taste is guaranteed to make anyone fall head over heels for this cuisine. Here are some of the most loved dishes from the Middle East!
When someone mentions Middle-eastern food, the first dish that comes to mind is hummus! This rich and creamy dish is made primarily from chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil. It's a classic feel-good dish that can be enjoyed alone with pita bread or with most other Middle Eastern dishes.
This dish is recognized as Lebanon's national dish and is loved by almost everyone across the Middle East. It's a traditional salad that's a combination of finely chopped parsley, tomato, onion, mint, and bulgur (whole wheat grain that is partially boiled and then dried). It is normally seasoned with a lemon-oil mix and is usually a side dish on most Mediterranean menus.
Falafel is a popular vegetarian Mediterranean street food dish that is made up of fava beans, or chickpeas, or a mix of both. These fried falafel balls are often served as is or in a pita wrap as a roll, garnished with fresh tomatoes and crunchy pickled cucumbers.
4. Shish Tawook
Shish Tawook is a traditional Middle-eastern chicken dish that is commonly eaten on a skewer and is a great starter for any Mediterranean feast. This dish consists of tender, juicy chicken marinated in spices, yogurt, lemon juice and garlic- enough to make anyone drool.
Shawarma, a dish that is characterized by its special meat roasting style, is one of the most popular Middle-eastern foods. The juicy meat is placed on a large, rotating machine, where thin slices of cooked meat are cut to add to the shawarma mix. The tender-grilled meat along with hummus, pickles, fries, and veggies are either neatly tucked in a pita wrap or placed on a platter, making for a savory delicacy enjoyed by many.
Also known as manakish, manakeesh is a Middle-eastern flatbread that is often topped with a variety of cheeses, meats, vegetables, or a za'atar spread. Often eaten as a breakfast meal, the bread is most popularly enjoyed with the za'atar spice blend and is commonly paired with tomatoes, cucumbers, or tea.
Also known as chakchouka, this Tunisian-Israeli dish is a combination of the best foods in one pan. The name ‘shakshouka’ quite literally means all mixed up and is known as a comfort food to many from the Middle East. Usually eaten during breakfast or lunch, this impressive one pan dish is made up of poached eggs, tomatoes, onion, and spices.
As the national dish of Jordan, mansaf is a delicacy that's the pride of many Jordanians and is a celebrated food in their cuisine and culture. Mansaf, which means 'large platter', is a dish literally served on a large platter and consists of a foundational layer of shrak (a thin flatbread), and is topped with yellow colored rice as well as melt-in-your-mouth tender meat. The dish is then garnished with fried nuts and is enjoyed with a side of jameed (goat yogurt).
Fattoush is a dish with Lebanese roots that is a frequent side dish to many Mediterranean foods. It's a simple salad that consists of fried, toasted, or grilled pita bread, mixed with a variety of chopped vegetables like lettuce, radish, tomatoes, and onions, and topped with fresh herbs like parsley or mint. A dressing made up of olive oil, lemon juice, and pomegranate syrup is then drizzled on the dish, making for a fresh and crunchy meal.
Also known as kunafa, this sweet dish is a perfect end to a delectable Mediterranean meal. It is considered to be one of the most loved desserts in the Middle East, and it's easy to see why. Beneath its crunchy top made up of ripped pastry layers lies a soft, creamy milk pudding which is enough to make anyone’s mouth water. Topped with pistachios and a simple syrup, this delicacy is truly deserving of the title 'The Queen of Arabic Desserts’.