When you choose to live in an alien country it is important to understand the culture of that place as well. And the region’s cuisine is definitely an integral part of their culture. For instance, Arab food is just as complicated as their culture. Although the “Arab world” connotes the 22 Arabic-speaking nations of the Arab League, people from regions spread across Africa, the Mediterranean, and West Asia are bound by a common language and religion with indigenous ethnicities also at play. Despite similarities, Arabic cuisine is hardly a single entity. So let us explore the Arabic cuisine for Indians living in the Middle East. The food is plentiful with so many different, delicious options appealing to every palette.
The origin of Hummus is highly disputed between Israeli, Greek, and Arabic. Either way, it is a very popular and staple dish among Arabic cuisines. Hummus is a must-try for anyone looking to get better acquainted with the food from this region. This simple dish is made of chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon. Hummus tastes best with pita bread.
This is a legendary North African stew that you can find in places such as Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Tajine is a cone-shaped clay pot in which the dish is cooked. The dish involves layering aromatics, such as onions and garlic, with meat, vegetables, spices, and oil. All the ingredients are steamed and caramelized together. The stew develops a deep and complex sauce that can be eaten with bread or couscous.
This a very popular dish in the Middle East and is known worldwide. It is made using spiced ground meat and grains, usually Bulgur wheat. The ingredients are mixed together and fried in order to make a small beefcake with toasted pine nuts and spices.
Mansaf is Jordan’s national dish but lamb being a staple meat in Arabic cuisine, this has also become a common and traditional dish in Arabic cuisine. Originally meaning a “large tray”, the dish is made with lamb, yoghurt and rice. The lamb is cooked in Jameed, a sort of cheese made from fermented yoghurt. The dish is served on a large platter with a flatbread that is topped with white rice, layered with meat, garnished with almonds and pine nuts, and then capped with a creamy Jameed sauce. This is a dish for feasts.
This is a Levantine salad made from small pieces of fried Khubz (Arabic bread) and mixed it often with pomegranate. A mouth-watering dish for sure.
There are many other food items belonging to the Arabic world such as Tabouleh, Batata Harra, Warak Enab, Kunafeh, etc. Do make it a point to try these!