As a food lover, everything related to food excites me. I love trying different dishes from all over the world. A plate of food can give so much away about a country and its culture. I often choose holiday destinations depending on the food of that country. If the country only has boring fast food and not much for the halal diet then no point going for me. A holiday destination for me can’t just be about the scenery, I need to taste the local food. Even when I am home, I love tasting different dishes.
So here are my 5 favourite dishes from around the Middle East:-
The Iraqi Dolma
There are different Dolma recipes all over the Middle East but none quite like the Iraqi version. Vine leaves and onion skins are stuffed with rice, mincemeat, tomato and herbs. They are cooked on top of a layer of lamb chops. Everything is then drizzled with a tomato, Pomegranate molasses and cooked slowly. The combination of slow cooked onions and vine leaves give a beautiful flavour. It’s a salty, spicey, slightly sweet and rich flavour, truly like no other. The pieces of meat at the bottom of the pan are so tender and glazed with the flavours too, simply a mouth-watering dish.
The Lebanese Kibbeh bil labaan
This is a dish of meat filled dumplings in a rich yoghurt sauce. The little kibbeh balls are made of Bulger wheat and are poached in the sauce. The yogurt sauce is flavoured with garlic, olive oil, fresh parsley and mint. The warm taste of the yogurt and herbs is so yummy with the succulent Kibbeh.
The Syrian Oozie
Oozie is a famous Syrian dish that’s delightfully different. It consists of spiced, fragrant rice which is wrapped in crispy filo pastry. The rice is mixed with tender meat, peas, pine nuts, spices, herbs and onions. It’s one of those dishes with the wow factor, plus it’s delicious.
Persian Jewelled Rice
This dish is called the king of all Persian dishes and it truly tastes majestic. It’s called jewelled rice because it has gem stone-coloured ingredients. The rice is mixed with saffron, spices, candied orange, red berries, almonds and pistachios. This combination of rice, nuts and spices is so good, like a bust of flavours in your mouth, it’s truly scrumptious.
The Greek Moussaka
This delicious dish combines soft aubergine, tomato flavoured minced meat, a creamy béchamel sauce and lots of melted cheese. Although this is a Greek dish, its origins are from the Arabs and that is why I have included it here. This isn’t surprising considering Arabia’s love with the aubergine. The Moussaka can be best described as a lasagne without pasta. Cooked, thin slices of aubergine are used to replace the pasta. These are then layered with mince, flavoured with onions, tomatoes, garlic and spices. This is topped with a creamy sauce, cheese and baked. As an aubergine lover, this dish introduced me to the cheese, tomato and aubergine combination, which is divine and so moreish.
Mother, social media addict and food lover. Using the power of social media to inspire and promote opportunities for women in every walk of life. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and am always searching for the next challenge. A firm believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason and that it is either a blessing or a lesson.