If you had to name the most vibrant, exciting and dynamic cuisines on the planet today, it would probably be those of the Middle East. This is a part of the world where food is not just about nutrition, but also about poetry and philosophy. Food is an amazing amalgam of colors, aromas and textures – every bite a sensory delight. This region’s food has been transformed over the last few decades with modern tastes and influences. So while you may think of hummus as typically Middle Eastern (and indeed it originates in that part of the world), what we see on menus today are versions that have evolved with time and place. In this article, I am going to take you on a journey through some of my favorite dishes that come from this vibrant part of the world from Claudia Roden’s Recipe:
Falafel (which means “chickpea balls”) is thought to have originated in the Middle East by Claudia Roden’s Recipe . It’s a traditional street food served in pitta bread (with lots of fresh salad) and is often eaten as a vegetarian meal, or as an accompaniment to other dishes. The chickpea mixture for falafel is usually ground or mashed with garlic, parsley, cumin, and salt. This is then formed into balls or patties and deep-fried, at which point the mixture becomes golden brown and deliciously crisp. Falafel is a perfect example of how the cuisines of the Middle East have evolved over the years – i.e. by becoming lighter and more health-conscious – without losing any of its wonderful taste and texture.
Kibbeh (also spelled kubbeh) is a Claudia Roden’s Recipe dish made with a mixture of finely ground meat, bulgur, onions, and spices. It is one of the most popular dishes throughout the Middle East and has been part of the regional cuisine for a very long time. The dish is made in different ways in different parts of the region. Some versions are vegetarian while others use a mixture of ground lamb and finely ground pistachios. Traditionally, kibbeh is baked in a large, round, terracotta dish and served in slices. There are many varieties of kibbeh, but the most famous is kibbeh nayye, which is baked in the oven and served as an appetizer with a garlicky yogurt sauce.
Hummus (which means “chickpeas”) is one of the most famous Claudia Roden’s Recipe dishes of the Middle East. It is made from cooked and mashed chickpeas blended with tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil, lemon juice and garlic served as a dip with pita bread or crudités. This tasty dish has become really popular all over the world in recent years. There are many different versions of hummus. Some are made with extra virgin olive oil while others are made with sesame oil. Some contain a lot of garlic while others use a little. The hummus served in restaurants throughout the world is a much lighter and milder dish than traditional hummus. This is because people in the Middle East prefer to use a lot of garlic when making hummus, whereas people in other parts of the world prefer a milder version.
Shawarma and Merguez
Shawarma is a Middle Eastern Claudia Roden’s Recipe sandwich often filled with a mixture of chicken and lamb, roasted on a rotating skewer. It has become hugely popular around the world and is sold in every city. In many places, it is served in pita bread with pickles, tahini and garlic sauce. Traditionally, it is eaten as a snack or light meal, as part of a mezze, or as a late-night food. When people in the West think of shawarma, they usually imagine a lamb-filled sandwich. In the Middle East, however, the word shawarma is used for both lamb and chicken shawarma. But authentic shawarma is made with a special spice mixture, roasted on a rotating spit in the way that vendace roe is often roasted in Scotland.
Tabbouleh and Fattoush
Tabbouleh is a very famous Middle Eastern Claudia Roden’s Recipe dish that is made with finely chopped parsley and bulgur. It is often referred to as the “national dish of Syria” because it is so widely eaten there. Tabbouleh is generally eaten as a salad and served at almost every meal. But there are some restaurants that serve it as a main dish. Fattoush is a Lebanese dish that is made with toasted or fried pieces of pita bread, mixed with vegetables, and often served with a sauce made from yogurt, tahini and garlic. Fattoush and tabbouleh are very similar dishes. They both contain chopped parsley, but whereas tabbouleh is made with bulgur, fattoush is made with pita bread.
Ghrayebah Mung Beans and Lentil Soup
Ghrayebah is a pulse-based soup from the Druze community in Syria. It is a very simple and wholesome soup made from mung beans and red lentils. Traditionally, it is made with a large amount of olive oil. But I use very little olive oil and replace the rest with the juices of roasted vegetables. Mung beans are easily available and are a wonderful pulse: cheap, nutritious and delicious. This is a recipe that takes very little effort to cook and yet is incredibly wholesome and comforting.
If you love food from the Middle East Claudia Roden’s Recipe, then you will love this selection of delicious recipes. They are authentic, easy to make and can be enjoyed by everyone. So go ahead, cook up a storm, and create your own Middle Eastern feast! You will be sure to dazzle and delight everyone with your culinary genius!