Middle Eastern Cuisine and Recipes

The food of each region is unique as it tells a story of the past. You will find that many dishes are the same in Middle Eastern cooking, yet the recipes may taste quite different. They contain different herbs and spices, some with lamb , the other with beef, or with cheeses instead of meat. The recipes native to each region differ based in the availability of ingredients from the past. It all depended on what was traded in the region and what was offered at the marketplace. In essence, Middle Eastern food today is defined by its past.


Ab-Doogh-Khiar – Persian Summer Soup

This Persian Summer Soup is filled with herbs, nuts and raisins and is delicious with grilled bread. Perfect on a hot summer day!

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Afghan Cuisine

Afghan cuisine is largely based upon the nation’s chief crops; cereals like wheat, maize, barley and rice. Accompanying these staples are dairy products (yoghurt and whey), various nuts, and native vegetables, as well as fresh and dried fruits; Afghanistan is well known for its grapes.

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Afghan Kufta

Getting to eat Afghan Kufta is like embarking upon a gastronomic adventure like none other. In the simplest form, kufta consist of balls of minced or ground meat — usually beef or lamb — mixed with spices and/or onions.

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Afghani Mantu – Beef Dumplings

Mantu are Afghani meat dumplings, usually served with a tomato based vegetable sauce and yoghurt-based white sauce.

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Aish Merahrah – Egyptian Fenugreek Corn Bread

Aish Merahrah is an Egyptian flat bread made with 5 -10% ground fenugreek seeds and maize. It is part of the traditional diet of the Egyptian countryside, prepared locally in village homes in Upper Egypt.

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Amba – Mango Pickle

A tangy mango pickle condiment popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. Use as a condiment for felafel, shawarma, poultry, fish or meat, a cheese sandwich or a lunch of strained Greek yoghurt and crisp flatbread.

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Armenian Cuisine

Information about Armenian cuisine including the foods and cooking techniques of the Armenian people, the Armenian diaspora and traditional Armenian foods and dishes.

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Asida – Arabic Boiled Flour Pudding

An Arab dish made up of a cooked wheat flour lump of dough, sometimes with added butter or honey. Similar to gruel or porridge, it is eaten in many Arab and North African countries.

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Aush – Noodle Soup with Beef and Yoghurt

Aush is a soup of Afghan origin and made with noodles along with an assortment of vegetables in a rich tomato based broth. It is usually topped with sour cream and dried mint leaves. The aush can be rightly called the Afghani form of minestrone soup. Kidney beans and chick peas are often added to it in order to make it heavier. Aush is usually enjoyed in the winter or autumn season when the temperature dips considerably.

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Aushak – Afghani Spring Onion Dumplings

Aushak is an Afghan dish made of pasta dumplings filled with spring onion, with a meaty tomato sauce, topped with yoghurt and dried mint. A time-consuming meal to prepare, it is usually served on holidays or at special gatherings.

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Baba Ghanoush

A popular preparation method is for the eggplant to be baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste. Often, it is eaten as a dip with khubz or pita bread, and is sometimes added to other dishes. It is usually of an earthy light-brown colour.

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Baharat – Middle Eastern Spice Blend

Bahārāt is the Arabic word for ‘spices’ (the plural form of bahār ‘spice’). The mixture of finely ground spices is often used to season lamb, fish, chicken, beef, and soups and may be used as a condiment.

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Banjan Borani – Eggplant with Tomato and Yoghurt

The tangy, garlic-laced yoghurt contrasts nicely with the sweet tomato sauce and tender eggplant. It’s garnished with dried mint (don’t use fresh), which you can find in the spice section of a supermarket or in a Middle Eastern market.

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Bichak – Afghani Stuffed Savoury and Sweet Pastries

Bichak is a stuffed baked tricornered appetiser served in Jewish (Kosher), Afghan, Middle Eastern, and Moroccan cuisine. It is often served during tea or coffee hour. Bichak can be stuffed with pumpkin and jam for a sweet taste, or meat and cheese for a savoury addition to a lunch. Bichak are also popular because they can be prepared in large quantities.

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Bonjan Salat – Spicy Eggplant Salad

A traditional Afghan recipe for a classic salad of fried aubergine (eggplant) slices served in a lightly-spiced tomato sauce.

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