At HTCGF we love food from all over the world. But one of our absolute favourites has to be Middle Eastern or if you like Arabic cooking. Below we have set out our top 10 Arabic recipes that we see as must haves (Not in any particular order). Give them a whirl and of course please do let us know how you get on.
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01 – Tajine
A tajine or tagine Arabic: طاجين tajin from the Arabic طاج) is a historically Berber dish from North Africa that is named after the type of earthenware pot in which it is cooked. We have added 2 recipes below one chicken and one lamb, both are delicious.
02 – Shish Taouk
Şiş tavuk, Tavuk şiş or Shish taouk (Arabic: شيش طاووق, Azerbaijani: Toyuq kababı) is a traditional Turkish shish (brochette), which can also be found in Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian, Lebanese, Egyptian, Israeli and Iraqi cuisines, but is made in kabab houses in many cities around the world. The dish originates from the Middle East, namely Lebanese and Syrian cuisine. A similar dish in Persian cuisine is the traditional jujeh kabab. The dish consists of cubes of chicken that are marinated, then skewered and grilled. Common marinades are based upon yogurt and lemon juice or tomato puree, though there are many variations. Shish taouk is typically eaten with toum (garlic paste).
03 – Shakshouka
Shakshouka (Arabic: شكشوكة; Hebrew: שקשוקה) (also shakshuka) is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin. It is believed to have a Tunisian origin. Shakshouka means “a mixture” in Arabic slang. It is likely that it was first known as chakchouka, a Berber word meaning a vegetable ragout. A wonderful breakfast dish that is welcome at anytime of the day.
04 – Baba Ganoush
Baba ganoush is such a beautiful eggplant or aubergine dish, now before start we all have to understand that there are many ways of making this dish. It is Middle Eastern but India has a version as does Romania for example. So Do we add Tahina, do we ad cumin, chili, olive oil, pomegranate, mint or parsley. Do we add tomatoes or walnuts. Well the answer is simple, add what ever you like as you will be eating it. Even within the middle eastern countries there are huge differences. Syrian, Lebanese, Bahrain and so on all have a slightly different twist.
05 – Ful Medames فول مدمس Mudammasa
This is such super easy bean dish to make. There are many ways of making this dish but Fava or Broad beans with Cumin, Garlic, Lemon Juice and Olive Oil are the basic and must have ingredients. Then depending how you like it you can add parsley, onions, tomatoes, hard boiled egg or even feta cheese. When served as a breakfast a fried egg on top is common. Also do you mash the bean or keep them whole? Again this depends on country, region, village and household.
06 – Lamb Kabsa – Machbus Machboos كبسة – مكبوس
Kabsa (Arabic: كبسة kabsah) is a family of mixed rice dishes that are served mostly in Jordan and Saudi Arabia — where it is commonly regarded as a national dish in Saudi Arabia. Kabsa, though, is believed to be indigenous to Yemen. In places like Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Iraq and Kuwait the dish is popularly known as machbūs (Arabic: مكبوس), but is served mostly in the same way. These dishes are mainly made from a mixture of spices, rice (usually long-grain, mostly basmati), meat and vegetables. There are many kinds of kabsa and each kind has a uniqueness about it.
07 – Mutabal
This is not to be confused with Baba Ghanoush. Mutabal is the one with yogurt, Tahini and Garlic. Baba Ghanoush is the one with pomegranate molasses, tomatoes, parsley and walnuts.
08 – Beef Tikka
Although it has its origins in Iran this has been now a firm main stay in Bahrain and is now also know as Bahraini Tikka. Very simply made, small cuts of beef, lamb or chicken in fact are mixed with black lemon powder and griiiled.
09 – Hawaij (Spice Mix) حوايج
Hawaij (Arabic: حوايج, Hebrew: חו׳יג׳), also spelled Hawayej or Hawayij is the name given to a variety of Yemenite ground spice mixtures used primarily for soups and coffee. Hawaij is used extensively by Yemenite Jews in Israel and its use has spread more widely into Israeli cuisine as a result. The basic mixture for soup is also used in stews, curry-style dishes, rice and vegetables dishes and even as a barbecue rub. It is made from cumin, black pepper, turmeric and cardamom. More elaborate versions may include ground cloves, caraway, nutmeg, saffron, coriander and ground dried onions.
10 – Mujaddara مجدرة
Mujaddara Arabic: مجدرة mujadarah, with alternative spellings in English majadra, mejadra, moujadara, mudardara, and megadarra consists of cooked lentils together with groats, generally rice, and garnished with sautéed onions. Simple lentils and rice dish. Thin pasta noodles or bulgar can also be used. Red lentils are not so good for this one, green or brown work best.