I have been living in Qatar for almost three years now and have been wanting to explore more about Arabic cuisine. When I started exploring about it, I realised that Arabic cuisine is absolutely scrumptious and worth a try. Arab countries like Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt are the ones where this type of cultural food is from. Join me in my foodie adventure and discover the delights of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern dish, commonly served with pita. The origin of falafel is unknown due to the gossip; it varies, but somewhere around the beginning of the 1950s was when it was first made. Falafel is high in protein, fibre, and complex carbohydrates. In fact, did you know that falafel became so popular that McDonald’s served “McFalafel” for a time in its breakfast menu all over Egypt in 2011? It is a street food delight for all ages. Falafel can also be had as a wrap like shawarma combined with chicken, chillies and onion.
This dip is so common that at almost every party with my friends and family, it is there. A common use is with chips at a movie night. In detail, hummus is a dip, or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, lemon juice, garlic. Hummus is usually served with pita bread, flatbread, crackers, nachos, and tortilla chips. It was created or invented in Ancient Egypt. However, hummus is very popular and can be found in most grocery stores and shops in North America and Europe. Or make your very own by using a recipe online! By far, hummus is also one of the most common dips used to compliment chips and starters.
Halloumi cheese was first created in Cyprus and was eaten to a great extent in the Middle East. Halloumi is usually made from unpasteurised sheep and goat milk and is regularly consumed in several parts of Levant in the Middle East such as Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq. The fat content for halloumi is approximately 25% wet weight, 47% dry weight with about 17% protein which gives you a reasonable balance of taste and body fat.
Tabbouleh is a traditional Arabic salad served in Lebanon. It’s made of fine chopped parsley, tomato, mint, onion, and bulgur [a type of cereal] and is seasoned with a lemon-olive oil mix. Tabbouleh is definitely a must-eat, from several great reviews, when visiting Lebanon, as it is its national dish. It is served cold like hummus, along with pita bread, and other famous Arab delicacies, its popularity has increased over the years, through the world.
Fattoush is also a well-known traditional Levantine salad made from toasted or fried pieces of khubz [Arabic flat bread] combined together with mixed greens and other healthy vegetables, such as radishes and tomatoes. The vegetables are cut into fairly large pieces compared to tabbouleh, which requires them to be finely chopped. Did you know that fattoush belongs to the family of dishes known as fattat [plural of fatteh], which use stale flatbread as a bottom base? The salad provides Vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron in moderate amounts.
My adventure ends here but you don’t stop! Try all these delights and never stop exploring! The world has Arab cuisine and culture everywhere, anywhere you live.
Contributor: Niharika Bisht
About our Writing Program Student
Niharika is our youngest writing program student. She’s 10-years-old and is studying in Class 6 in a British school in Doha. She loves reading the most and also enjoys sketching, making art and watching movies in her free time.
- References: Wikipedia
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