It’s no surprise that Middle Eastern Cuisine has been growing in popularity over the last few years. There’s so much room for variety with Middle Eastern cooking, as recipes range from all kinds of Arab, Kurdish, Greek, Egyptian and other regional dishes. Local chefs make use of ingredients such as Olives, Rice, Mint, Honey and Chickpeas, as well as a whole host of spices to create warm, exotic dishes that will leave you excited to try more.
It’s worth checking out a few of the popular ones we’ve selected below to pick up some new ideas to try out in the kitchen…….
Hummus and Tahini
Hummus is the best known Middle Eastern food. It is a mashed chickpea dip made with tahini, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. It is a very popular item sold in stores worldwide. It is an enticing appetizer that can be served with pita bread and vegetables but is also amazing as a sandwich spread. Tahini is a virtual tie with hummus for popularity and frequency of use. The sesame paste is seen as the foundation of many delicious middle eastern dishes. It can be used as an ingredient, a dip or even a spread. It is used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Shakshouka is a traditional Israeli dish which can be made with many variations. Eggs and a bright tangy tomato sauce are the consistent foundation of this dish while other ingredients can be added such as meaty butter, beans, avocado and feta cheese. Like so many other egg dishes, Shakshouka is a versatile dish and can be enjoyed for brunch, lunch or dinner. Culinary sauces such as the tangy tomato sauce used are staples of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Fattoush is often thought of as one of the Middle East’s best contributions to world cuisine. Packed with flavour, this salad is traditionally made up of crispy lettuce, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, mint garlic, fried squares of pita to add a welcome bit of crunch and then finally it is dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. This dish was originally made in Lebanon and spread it’s way across the Middle East because of its use of natural ingredients and wholesome flavors.
Mastering mealtime is a difficult task but it has been perfected in this dish. Shawarma really is an understated delicacy, being an immensely popular street food in countries like Egypt and Turkey. Tender pieces of chicken are grilled with a marinade of lemon juice, oil and spices before being served with a creamy Labneh sauce, pita bread and an optional couscous, for a dish that’s filling and bursting with exotic flavours.
Kofta is a general term for a family of Middle Eastern dishes that contain meatballs or meatloaf and it can be made from many different types of meats. Kofta kabob refers to cooking the meat on skewers in the oven or the grill. It is then usually served off the skewer on rice. But kofta in the non-kabob form is usual cooked in a culinary sauce, most often a spicy curry in Indian cuisine.
Generally, there’s just a huge choice with this cuisine and in the past while it may have been hard to come across some of the premium food ingredients that are commonly used across many of the dishes, these days that’s not a problem because with a fantastic array of food ingredient suppliers. Of course, this means that consumers are taking more of an interest in Middle Eastern food.
If you are considering introducing some exciting new food to your range – get in touch with the Culinary Food Group team and we can we work together to find the most commercially successful solutions for your business.