Whilst some people are afraid to try out new foods originating from other parts of the world, I can categorically state that I am the opposite! Being someone that has lived in several parts of the globe over the past few decades, I have sampled all manner of weird and wonderful food.
One of my favourite foods has to be Middle Eastern food. I am probably biased admitting this fact, given that my parents originate from this interesting if a little unsafe part of the world, but it is a heritage that I am proud to be a part of as it makes me somewhat culturally diverse!
I could never be the sort of person that spends their lifetime eating the same foods every day, it would drive me mad!
I love to have variety in my life where food is concerned, and so I could have a lovely pasta meal one day and something derived from the Arab world the next!
Most meals prepared in various cuisines around the world contain meat, fish or poultry, but despite what some naysayers might tell you, there are plenty of mouthwatering vegetarian dishes available.
In today’s blog post, I will introduce you to four tasty vegetarian dishes that originate from the Middle East. After reading this blog post, I can guarantee that you will want to try them out today!
Tabbouleh is a Levantine dish and type of salad that comprises of bulgur wheat, tomatoes, parsley, mint, and onion.
Everything except the bulgur wheat is chopped and diced finely, and then everything is seasoned with lots of olive oil and lemon juice. It’s a great dish to eat on its own or with other foods as part of a mezze.
My better half first tasted this delightful dish at a restaurant called Beirut Nights (arguably the best Lebanese restaurant in London) many years ago and has been hooked since!
2. Ful MedamesImage Credit: scaredykat
A popular dish in Egypt, Sudan and other parts of the Middle East, ful medames comprises of fava beans that are mashed and then mixed with other ingredients such as onions, olive oil, cumin, coriander, parsley and lemon juice.
Ful medames can be enjoyed at any time of the day or night, and is a simple yet delicious meal. People normally eat ful medames with pitta bread or markook (a whole-wheat Bedouin-style bread).
Falafel is probably one of the more commonly-known vegetarian foods hailing from the Middle East.
They are essentially deep-fried balls of ground or crushed chick peas, and go well with many Middle Eastern dishes. I personally like to dip mine in some hummus, but a lot of folks prefer to eat them in wraps with salad (and hummus).
4. Baba Ghanoush
Another signature treat from Egypt is baba ghanoush. It comprises of cooked aubergine, onions, tomatoes and various seasonings topped with olive oil.
In Syria and Lebanon, this is often eaten as a starter.