Middle Eastern cuisine. Mix of different styles among them is part of Mediterranean cuisine , part of Maghreb cuisine. It is part of the so-called Arab cuisine , although some cuisines from the Middle East are not included in the Arab world: Iran and Armenia, Israel.
These kitchens have the characteristic of having many variations in their dishes, due to the proximity of the countries that make it up and the fact that the majority of the population speaks the same language: Arabic . It can be said that the climate conditions and combines this set of territorial gastronomies because it is fundamentally dry in most of the territory.
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- 1 Flavors
- 2 Your guests
- 3 dishes
- 4 Middle Eastern recipes
- 5 Sources
The cuisine of the Middle East has flavors , sensual perfumes and many ingredients that myth proclaims as aphrodisiacs: dried fruits, cinnamon , cloves and other spices. Arabs are great hosts. Food is, of course, a form of love. In some Maghreb cities , the homeowner stops the clock when his guests arrive. Time no longer exists.
In the Middle East, the host-guest relationship is sacred. Politics or religion should never be discussed, food and drinks should be served without being ordered, and denials are never accepted. It’s about eating and having a great time. But eat with your hands. Normally three fingers are used, unless the food is inconsistent in which case the label allows the use of all five.
The order of the meals is similar to the western one: a multitude of hot or cold entrees, then main dishes where the lamb and rice are the protagonists, fruits and, with strong and sweet coffee, the sweetness with puff pastry , walnuts and almonds, very syrupy , with rose essence or orange blossom water. Pistachios and dates, figs from Smyrna and other sensualities complete the banquet. It is time to read the destination in the cafeteria .
Some must- haves in Middle Eastern cuisine are sesame paste ( tahine, which can also be replaced with peanut paste), spices, and rose water. They are all in Arab warehouses.
The arak , grape brandy flavored with anise , it is what is taken during lunch or after. Very cold, with water and ice. Like pastis, it takes on a milky white color. Not to be passionate about this innocent colored drink. It has an alcoholic strength of 45 degrees. These dishes go well with beer, with light and young reds or the new rosé wines. Muslims do not drink alcohol or eat pork . The brochettes and kebab are originally lamb, but nowadays they are usually made with beef. Figs, dried apricots, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, rose water, orange blossom water. These sensualities are part of all Arab desserts. They are excessively sweet, but they go very well with that intense coffee. They can be made less syrupy. They are rich anyway.
Turkish coffee is prepared in special containers, a kind of copper jars with long handles. It is always sweet, but one can do it with less sugar or bitter. When you finish the cup, don’t drink it. Invert the well on the plate , on the walls will be shadows, maps. Signs of destiny. There you read happiness or unhappiness, the things of chance. Fate is written on the coffee grounds.
Middle Eastern recipes
Hummus, Chickpea Pasta
The hummus is a paste made from chickpeas , traditional Arabic cuisine and the Middle East in general.
It is very popular as a dip, to spread on cookies or breads as an input. Because it is a paste, it can also be used in sandwiches as a dressing.
It has tahina, which is a sesame paste that is not always easy to get. In any case, hummus can be very tasty even without it.
- Chickpeas300 g
- Olive oil-50 cm3
- Tahina(sesame paste) – 50 g
- Lemon1/2 unit
- Garlic2 cloves
- If the chickpeas are dry, leave them to soak for at least 6 hours before preparing them. Thus they rehydrate.
- Place them in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Once the boil breaks, leave to cook for at least 12 minutes. No problem with overdoing them as they will then be processed to puree anyway. The chickpeas will be ready when pricked easily dispose of.
- While cooking, chop the garlic into brunoiseand squeeze the lemon and reserve the juice.
Place in a processor or mixer glass together with the olive oil and process. As you purée, add the tahina, the lemon juice, the minced garlic and the salt.
- Process until a smooth paste is left. To serve the hummus, place in a plate or bowl, make a small hole where to place a small splash of olive oil and finally sprinkle with paprika.
- Along with baba ganoush, it is very good to serve with falafel .
It is a typical croquette from the area of India and the Middle East. It can be made with beans or chickpeas, which is the most widespread version.
In countries where Arab food abounds, it is common to find falafel to eat on the go at street stalls.
Ingredients (12 units)
- Dried chickpeas (not canned) 250 g
- Corn starch(Maizena) 30 g
- Garlic2 cloves
- Mint or parsley(not both to avoid mixing too many flavors) 30 g
- Place the chickpeas in a container with water and leave them to soak for at least 6 to 8 hours.
- Chop the celery, garlic and mint or parsley. It is not necessary to respect a particular cut of vegetables since it will be processed anyway.
- Once the chickpea soaking time has elapsed, drain to remove the water and place them in a processor. While they are being processed, add the celery, the garlic and the mint or parsley. Then add the cornstarch, salt and pepper. Everything should be processed until there is a homogeneous mixture.
- It is important to note that up to this point the chickpeas have not been cooked.
- Take the mixture and form bites with your hands. Pictures show disc-shaped bites, but falafel can also be spherical or sausage-shaped. In general terms, the important thing is not to make bites too big because when they are cooked they could be raw inside.
- Once the falafel bites are ready, reserve in the fridgefor about 20 minutes. This will help make them consistent.
Although the traditional way of preparing falafel is fried, it can also be baked , which will mean a slightly lower calorie dish.
To fry them, place plenty of oil in a deep frying pan or pot and allow to heat. To test the temperature you can put a pinch of falafel mixture in the oil.
It will be at the correct temperature when what we throw into the oil sinks but it will immediately float before touching the bottom of the pan (remember the frying tips). Place the pieces and let cook until they take on a uniform dark golden color. Then drain on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
To bake falafel, place on a buttered plate and bake in a medium oven for about 20 minutes. The golden color they will take will be less intense than when fried.
In Arab cuisine there are yogurt-based sauces and hot sauces; all good ideas to accompany the falafel since by itself it can be a little dry. On the other hand, it is very well combined with hummus or baba ganoush.
Lebanese Salad, Taboule
Tabule Salad (also spelled “Tabbouleh”) is a cold dish originating in the Middle East, particularly the Lebanon region . It is also called an Arab salad or a Lebanese salad.
Its main ingredient is burgol (or burgul) wheat, which is a food made from wheat .
Ingredients (four servings)
- Burgundyor Burgul wheat – 250 g
- Tomato- 2 units
- Onion- 1 unit
- Lemon- 1 unit
- Olive oil- 50 cm3
- Garlic- 1 clove
- Chicken – 2 supreme
- Sesame seeds – 50 g
- Balsamic vinegar – 30 cm3
Pour the burgol wheat into a container and cover with water, exceeding the level of the wheat by one centimeter. Let stand for an hour to hydrate.
Cut the onion and garlic into brunoise. If you want the salad to have a milder flavor, pour a few drops of oil in a Teflon pan and sauté the garlic first and then the onion until transparent. Otherwise, the raw onion will taste quite strong and not everyone likes it.
Cover the tomato and mix it with the wheat, adding the onion and garlic. Incorporate the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix everything. To prepare with chicken , grilling on a plate supreme for about 7 minutes on each side. It will be ready when you release transparent liquid when you click on it.