Every cuisine has its most popular dishes. Greek food is famous for Gyro, American food is known for its burgers, while the Middle East is famous for incredible hummus. However, there's a lot more to know about the wondrous gastronomy of fairy tales land.
There are fewer things tastier in the world than a plate of fresh hummus. Others say the same thing about crispy Falafel or Shawarma. Middle Eastern fare comprises a wide array of foodstuffs, but the common thread is the local spices and herbs that help to create masterworks with deep and complex flavors. Today we will talk about the top ten Middle Eastern foods you need to put on your bucket list.
Mirza Ghassemi is an Iranian appetizer specific to the Northern Iranian and the Caspian Sea regions. In western countries, it's widely known as Persian eggplant dip. The dish consists of smoky eggplant seasoned with garlic, tomato, turmeric and mixed together with sticky eggs. It is usually prepared as a casserole dish and served with bread or white rice.
Shawarma is one of the most famous roadside foods available to find everywhere in Middle Eastern countries. Prepared with a filling of grilled meat and wrapped in handmade bread, it's extremely tasty. The garlic sauce, hummus, or tahini paste inside the wraps gives a unique taste. Shawarma is usually served as a bread roll or a platter along with other popular dishes such as Fattoush or Tabbouleh.
A typical Middle Eastern starter Baba Ganoush acts as a perfect dip for pita bread. To prepare this dish, eggplants are baked or boiled in an open flame until they turn soft and mushy. Their skin is then removed and mashed to form the base for this dish. The mashed eggplant is then seasoned with salt, red chili, olive oil, and lemon juice. The smoky flavors give it an outstanding taste.
Tahchin is a traditional Iranian rice cake made of rice, yogurt, saffron, and eggs. Some dish versions are more elaborate, featuring rolled chicken fillets, vegetables, fish, or red meat.
While most of us have tasted versions of fried snacks, nothing can be compared to a falafel. It is one of the most common Middle Eastern foods found in every corner of this region. It's basically made with grind chickpeas flavored with spices, onions, and red chili. This is an excellent vegetarian appetizer in a meat-loving region.
Gheimeh is a dish made of beef and split pea stew, which is a very traditional and popular Iranian stew with saffron potatoes served over white rice. The dish is extremely common as an everyday meal in Iran, served in homes for lunch or dinner or in various religious ceremonies such as Ashura (Yawm Ashura) or Ramadan.
Pide is one of the common traditional stone-baked specialties. It looks very similar to pizza with some stylistic differences. Pide is made with ground beef, onions, parsley, chopped tomatoes, and various spices, stretched-curd cheese, spinach, and eggs laid out across a rolled-out dough.
Ghormeh Sabzi is a traditional Persian stew served over steamed white rice. It has tender cooked meat along with kidney beans and flagrantly rich lemon-herb gravy. Initially known as a Persian national dish, this stew is full of protein and dietary fiber.
A delectable main course dish, Mandi is very popular in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other countries of the region. Served mainly on special occasions such as religious festivals, family functions, or weddings, it is a highly rated dish. Consisting of flavored rice and lamb, mutton, or tandoori-cooked chicken, Mandi is one of the best must-try Middle Eastern Foods.
It's time for a sweet moment. Baklava is a Turkish phyllo pastry consisting of thin dough layers stuffed with grounded nuts, honey, sugar, and spices. It's usually topped off with sweet syrup as a conclusion to this mouthwatering dessert. Baklava with pistachio and walnut is the traditional recipe, but you may also find it stuffed with fruits and chocolate.