Middle Eastern Dishes You Must Try Part 2
Part 1 of this blog, published a few months ago, covered some of the most popular must-try Middle Eastern dishes. The interest it evoked was great, so here is another list of more dishes, some of which may be less well-known, that must be tried. Homemade hummus in San Mateo is only the beginning of Middle Eastern food.
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- Shanklish: Round pieces of cheese dipped in herbs or chili flakes and eaten with olive oil, onions, and diced tomatoes.
- Kebab Karaz: Lamb or beef mixed with sour cherries and pomegranate seeds and then skewered on a stick and cooked over coal. A wonderful mix of sweet and sour tastes.
- Shish Tawook: Skewered pieces of chicken cooked with garlic paste and other spices. Often eaten with pita bread or slices of fried potatoes.
- Masgouf: Fish lovers will enjoy this dish of carp that is slow-cooked for up to 3 hours with lemon and Middle Eastern pickles to give it a unique and very satisfying flavor.
- Dolma: Minced lamb or vegetables rolled into vine leaves and eaten either as a snack with a dip or as one course of a full meal.
- Kofta: Meatballs of lamb or beef that have onions and spices mixed into them to give a spicy, but not unpleasant flavor. Koftas can be barbecued, baked, fried or grilled, and if the ball shape is not to your liking, they can be shaped into a cylinder.
- Quwarmah Al Dajaj: Those who like curries will enjoy this curried chicken preparation made with spices like cumin, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, lime, ginger, turmeric, baharat, etc. to give it a truly zesty punch.
- Mansaf: This Middle Eastern version of pizza has toppings of tender lamb, almonds and pine nuts and is covered with a yogurt sauce.
- Baklava: Almost everyone knows this. It is made from filo pastry, chopped nuts, sugar syrup and honey. An old recipe that has stood the test of time to become one of the most popular desserts on the planet.
- Knafeh: A Mediterranean cheesecake flavored and colored with orange blossom or rose water.
- Umm Ali: A Mediterranean bread pudding that contains croissant pieces, pistachios, raisins, and vanilla. A great dessert that is not excessively sweet.
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There is much more to Middle Eastern food than the dishes listed here. Use this as a starting point to begin your exploration of the many flavors and facets of the cuisine. It is a journey you will enjoy and which will not end.
If the names of these dishes sound strange, don’t worry! Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food is full of flavor, but not heavily spiced. It is easy to eat and digest and the health benefits that stem from this cuisine are well-known. Find a Middle Eastern deli and try out more than just homemade shawarma in San Mateo. Your palate, digestion, and overall health will thank you for it.