Middle Eastern cuisine is unique and has a wonderful history filled with traditions and culture. The Middle East actually spans three continents. Within these, there are diverse culinary cultures. Some of the countries in the region will share signature meals such as skewered meat or flatbreads. But what is very special is that various traditional meals often depict the true spirit of the region. A study has shown some of the most popular dishes to choose from and here are a few must-haves and a reason to explore some countries you’ve never been to before!
Falafel in Saudi Arabia
Some of the popular foods in Saudi Arabian cuisine include wheat, rice, lamb, chicken, yogurt, potatoes, seafood and dates. Yes, Falafel is one of the most famous Middle Eastern delicacies, but what it is made from? These deep fried bites consist of fresh ground chickpeas, lots of garlic, lots of onions and lots of traditional spice. With a fluffy middle and fried crispy outside, they should be dipped into coconut sauce or humus.
Fish Ambul Curry in Sri Lanka
A trip to the island of Sri Lanka is an opportunity to feast on it rich cuisines, which is influenced by its geography. Positioned in the Indian Ocean between Eastern and Western culture, expect an abundance of flavours. A delicious fish Ambul curry was a top choice in Sri Lanka. It is packed with flavour and now that fish is becoming increasingly more special, this is a real treat. Also called Ambul Thiyal, the traditional Sri Lankan curry contains many spices and tamarind. Tamarind is what gives it the signature sourness – sounds slightly strange but it’s scrumptious. The curry is made with a large and firm fish and black pepper, garlic, cinnamon chillies cardamom and coriander.
Camel Steak in Dubai
The full Emirati experience is a special one. Camel masala is one of the ways to enjoy this special delicacy. A camel platter is often favourite of the locals and deemed an interest for tourists. The meat is often served on a plate of rice and a mix of vegetables. Camel steak marinated in camel milk is another alternative. You can try the different menus of camel steak in Dubai, depending on how adventurous you want to get.
Plov in Azerbaijan
The fame of rich Azerbaijani cuisine has probably gone around the world and back several times. This dish seems very simple, but tastes amazing. Often called pilaf, plov consists of two things. First the boiled saffron-flavoured rice with a special sauce known as gara, which is made up of meat, eggs, dry fruits and spices. Lamb and fish are typical meat choices. The rice is actually cooked with a crispy crust. Parcha-dosheme plov has mutton and prunes and is also very popular.
Korshary in Egypt
Egyptian cuisine is characterized by dishes such as ful medames, mashed fava beans; kushari, a mixture of lentils, rice, pasta, and other ingredients; molokhiya, chopped and cooked bush okra with garlic and coriander sauce; and feteer meshaltet. Korshary or koshari is one of Egypt’s most loved traditional meals. It combines rice, macaroni and lentils seasoned with tomato vinegar sauce. Not only is it delicious but it is also very filling!
Besides the delicious local cuisines that you can indulge in around the Middle East, these countries offer a lot to see and do, including historical attractions. From the Pyramids in Egypt to the Hagia Sophia in Turkey to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the options are limitless.