5 Middle Eastern favourite dishes
The Middle Eastern cuisine is made up of many different regions and countries all with their own unique dishes, flavours and ingredients. Each region's cuisines share certain distinct elements and ingredients including spices, meats, legumes and pita bread.
The following 5 dishes are among the most popular Middle Eastern dishes. If you haven’t tried making them before - give these tasty recipes a go!
Hummus is made from blended chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini until a creamy smooth dip has formed. This dip is versatile and makes a great snack - often served with vegetable sticks or pita bread. Hummus is made from chickpeas, a legume which is high in fibre, packed with vitamins and is a ZeroPoint™ food. You can also try flavoured varieties, such as pumpkin and beetroot.
Falafels are made using chickpeas which are processed with herbs and spices, then rolled into balls and fried until golden. Although there are many variations on the falafel, traditionally ingredients include; chickpeas, parsley, cumin and coriander. They are a popular street food in the Middle East and usually served wrapped in pita bread with hummus and tabouleh or eaten as part of a mezze platter.
Tabouli is a vegetarian salad traditionally made from fresh cut tomatoes, bulgur, onion, parsley, and mint and seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil. Variations of the traditional ingredients make this classic Middle Eastern dish a versatile recipe to keep in your repertoire. Try swapping out the tomatoes for fresh sliced mango, pomegranate seeds and fresh dates in our sweet tasting mango and pomegranate tabouli.
Mezze plates are popular in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries. The platter made up of many small plates designed for sharing. These dishes vary by region but common dishes include; falafels, dips like baba ghanoush and hummus, labne (thick strained yoghurt), tabouli, olives, vegies and pita bread. The best thing about making your own mezze plate is you can mix and match the dishes you like. Choose your favourite breads, vegies, dips and spreads, salads, cheese and meats to create your perfect mezze. They also make a terrific entertaining plate to serve.
Shakshuka is made by slowly simmering tomatoes, spices and herbs, then adding eggs on top to poach in the sauce. It is usually prepared and served in a cast iron frying pan or skillet. Popular in the Middle East and North Africa this dish is enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
This simple dish is popular as it uses every-day low-cost ingredients you usually have at home, like canned tomatoes, chilli flakes, eggs and capsicums. There are so many tasty variations and additions to a Shakshuka. Try adding in spices like cumin, paprika, cannellini beans and kale like in our shakshuka recipe below.