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Over the last cen­tu­ry, authen­tic Mid­dle East­ern food has gained immense pop­u­lar­i­ty in the Amer­i­can as well as oth­er cul­tures of the world, and we are not surprised! Mid­dle East­ern cui­sine boasts of hav­ing some of the most delight­ful, aro­mat­ic, and deli­cious recipes. Rang­ing from the gut­sy and inno­v­a­tive to the has­sle-free dish­es that you can eas­i­ly cook in a mat­ter of minutes. This arti­cle is aimed at pro­vid­ing a deli­cious run­down of the five best tra­di­tion­al Mid­dle East­ern recipes that will sure­ly make any food­ie fall in love with the region’s cuisine.


Canva - Egyptian Rice - Koshari Koshari, pop­u­lar­ly known as the nation­al dish of Egypt, is served in almost all homes, restau­rants, and on every street cor­ner in Egypt. This high­ly pop­u­lar and deli­cious pot dish comes with an unusu­al blend of mac­a­roni, rice, and lentils. A spicy toma­to sauce (a unique com­bi­na­tion of toma­toes, onions, gar­lic, and vine­gar) is typ­i­cal­ly driz­zled over the top. Sounds strange, right?! But believe us, you will end up crav­ing it once you have tast­ed it. Koshari can be pre­pared quick­ly and is superb for a din­ner par­ty or fam­i­ly get-togeth­er. Let’s look at the ingre­di­ents and the method required to pre­pare Koshari.


  • 50 ml of olive oil
  • 200 gm (1 cup) bas­mati rice
  • 560 ml (2¼ cups) hot veg­etable stock or water
  • 250 gm brown lentils
  • 100 gm small macaroni
  • 20 gm but­ter, coarse­ly chopped
  • 2 onions, thin­ly sliced
Toma­to sauce
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 onion, thin­ly sliced
  • 1 gar­lic clove, fine­ly chopped
  • 2½ tsp (spices mix ) salt, cumin and black pepper.
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 600 gm canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp vine­gar, or to taste


1- For the toma­to sauce, heat oil in a saucepan over medi­um-high heat, add onion and gar­lic and sauté until ten­der (4–5 min­utes). Stir in spices mix and chilli flakes until fra­grant, add chopped toma­toes, sea­son to taste and sim­mer until slight­ly thick­ened (6–7 min­utes). Stir in vine­gar, check to sea­son and keep warm. 2- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a saucepan over medi­um-high heat, add rice and stir to coat. Sea­son to taste, then add the stock, bring to a sim­mer and cov­er. Reduce heat to low-medi­um and cook with­out uncov­er­ing until rice is ten­der and liq­uid is absorbed (12–15 min­utes). Set aside. 3- Mean­while, cook lentils in a large saucepan of unsalt­ed boil­ing water until almost ten­der (6–8 min­utes). Stir in pas­ta and cook until pas­ta is all done (6–7 min­utes). Drain, then stir lentils and pas­ta into rice, sea­son to taste, and keep warm. 4- Heat but­ter and remain­ing oil in a saucepan over medi­um-high heat, add onion and fry until gold­en brown and crisp (8–10 minutes). 5- To serve, divide lentil mix­ture among bowls, spoon toma­to sauce on top and scat­ter with crisp onion.

Bechamel pasta

Canva - Pastitsio Traditional Greek Baked Pasta Casserole With Ground Beef, Tomatoes, Feta Cheese and Bechamel Sauce One of life’s true plea­sures, the Egypt­ian bechamel pas­ta, is undoubt­ed­ly the most delec­table pas­ta recipe on this planet. A ground beef mix­ture between lay­ers of penne pas­ta and topped with the cheesy bechamel sauce, what else could you prob­a­bly ask for? You can use any type of pas­ta (mac­a­roni, spaghet­ti, or angel hair) accord­ing to your lik­ing, but we love penne, so that’s what we will use in our deli­cious bechamel pas­ta recipe. It’s an Egypt­ian favourite for sure because who on the face of the earth can resist beef, pas­ta, and sauce. This dish is great for din­ner par­ties and can eas­i­ly feed a crowd; all you need is some sal­ad to go along! Super addic­tive, we swear. Now with­out any fur­ther ado, let’s get elbow deep into the ingre­di­ents and recipe.


Ground Beef Mixture
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 8 oz Toma­to paste
  • 1/2 Tea­spoon Cinnamon
  • 3 table­spoons chopped parsley
Bechamel Sauce
  • 1 stick but­ter approx 120 gms
  • 8 heap­ing Table­spoons Flour approx 120 gms
  • 6 cups of milk
  • 2–3 pinch­es of fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tea­spoon allspice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cube chick­en bul­lion (option­al)
  • 1 lb Penne Pasta


Beef - Saute onion in oil until yel­low, sea­son with salt and pepper - Add ground beef and brown, sea­son with salt and pep­per and cinnamon - Drain excess water - Make a well in the mid­dle and add toma­to paste, saute for 2–3 minutes - Mix toma­to paste with beef and turn off the heat - Add chopped pars­ley Pas­ta - Cook pas­ta per pack­age direc­tions. Reduce cook­ing time by 1 to 2 min­utes as the pas­ta will con­tin­ue cook­ing in the oven Bechamel Sauce - Melt but­ter in large saucepan on medium - Add flour and whisk until smooth, cook for 2–3 min­utes con­stant­ly whisking - Put milk and whisk until flour is ful­ly incor­po­rat­ed. Add fresh grat­ed nut­meg, all­spice and bouil­lon cube. Sea­son with salt and pepper - Con­tin­ue stir­ring until milk comes to a slow boil - The sauce will thick­en after milk comes to a boil - Stir for 2–3 more min­utes then turn off the heat - Taste and add salt until desired taste - Drain the pas­ta and mix in 1/3 of the Bechamel sauce - But­ter bot­tom of a 9x12 bak­ing porcelain/Pyrex bak­ing pan - Lay­er in 1/2 of the pas­ta mixture - Add all of the beef as the sec­ond layer - Put remain­ing pas­ta as the third layer - Pour bechamel sauce in top until ful­ly covered - Bake in a 375-degree oven in the top half for 35–45 min­utes. Beschemel will bub­ble slowly - Increase temp to 425 to brown (mon­i­tor con­tin­u­ous­ly to avoid burning) - Remove from oven and allow to rest for 20 mins before serving

Stuffed grape leaves or Dolma

Middle Eastern Recipes l Middle Eastern Food Recipes l Easy Middle Eastern Recipes l Middle Eastern Chicken Recipes l Middle Eastern Vegetarian Recipes Dol­ma (also known as Stuffed grape leaves) is a Mid­dle East­ern dish that is eat­en and appre­ci­at­ed across the globe, all with a slight modification. This flavour­some dish can eas­i­ly be found in any restau­rant, specif­i­cal­ly the Mediter­ranean. Still, today we are going to teach you how to make the best Dol­mas at the com­fort of your home. In this recipe, the grape leaves are stuffed with a tempt­ing fusion of rice, onion, fresh herbs (dill, cilantro, mint), and warm spices. The Dol­mas in the Mid­dle East are usu­al­ly served with gar­lic yogurt and are eat­en warm or cold as an appe­tiz­er and as a main course as well. Depend­ing on your lik­ing, you can also add meat to the recipe!


  • 1 onion, fine­ly chopped
  • ⅔ cup rice (short or medi­um grain), washed and drained
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small bunch dill, chopped
  • 15 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tea­spoon salt
  • ¼ tea­spoon pepper
  • 65 fresh vine leaves (or canned)
  • 4 table­spoons but­ter, melted
  • ½ cup of water
Gar­lic yogurt
  • ½ cup plain yogurt, mixed with 2 chopped gar­lic cloves


Fill­ing In a large bowl, mix, onion, rice, fresh herbs, salt and pep­per and knead vig­or­ous­ly for 5 minutes. Dol­mas - If using fresh grape leaves, blanch 10 at a time in a large saucepan of boil­ing water for 2 min­utes. That will soft­en the leaves and make them eas­i­er to roll. Remove the leaves with a slot­ted spoon. Cut the stems or hard veins. - If canned leaves, place them in a large colan­der and rinse thor­ough­ly with cold water. Cut stems or hard veins. If canned leaves are too thick, blanch in boil­ing water, in the same man­ner as fresh leaves, but only for one minute, then drain. - Place the shiny side of the grape leaf down on a board or in the palm of your hand. And place 1 tea­spoon of stuff­ing at the basis of the stem of the leaf. Fold the low­er end of the sheet up, then fold its sides over the fill­ing and roll. - In a Dutch oven or non-stick pot, place the stuffed grape leaves, close to each oth­er. You can make sev­er­al lay­ers, if necessary. - If using fresh grape leaves, sprin­kle a lit­tle salt between each layer. - Pour the melt­ed but­ter over the grape leaves and add the water. - If nec­es­sary, place a small lid or a small plate on top of the dol­mas to keep them tight and to pre­vent them from opening. - Cov­er and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium/low heat and sim­mer for 1 hour 30 min­utes to 2 hours or until the leaves are tender. - Serve dol­mas hot or warm accom­pa­nied by gar­lic yogurt.

Chicken Kabsa

Middle Eastern Recipes l Middle Eastern Food Recipes l Easy Middle Eastern Recipes l Middle Eastern Chicken Recipes l Middle Eastern Vegetarian Recipes Regard­ed as the nation­al dish of Jor­dan and Sau­di Ara­bia, Chick­en Kab­sa is sure to turn your next din­ner par­ty into a feast. This Ara­bic dish is a fam­i­ly favourite and is suit­able for any occa­sion. This spiced chick­en and rice recipe is served with roast­ed almonds and raisins. Some fresh car­rot, toma­to and let­tuce sal­ad with pita bread on the side com­pli­ment Chick­en Kab­sa very well. Driz­zle some cit­rusy yogurt sauce on top, and you are good to go. So chan­nel your inner chef this sea­son and cook the tan­ta­liz­ing Chick­en Kab­sa for your friends and family!


  • 1/3 cup veg­etable oil
  • 2 cups onions chopped
  • ½ tsp gin­ger grated
  • 600 gms chick­en pieces with bones and skin
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ½ tbsp ground pepper
  • ½ tbsp car­damom powder.
  • 1 dried lime
  • ½ tsp cin­na­mon powder
  • ¼ tsp clove powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp toma­to paste
  • 2 cups toma­toes fine­ly chopped
  • 1 ½ cup long grain rice like Basmati
  • 2 cup car­rots shredded
  • 1/3 cup almonds blanched and halved
  • 1/3 cup raisins


1- Wash and soak the rice in cold water for 45 minutes. 2- In a big pot, add 1/3 cup of veg­etable oil, chopped onion and gin­ger. Fry on medi­um heat until brown. 3- Add the chick­en and brown it on both sides. 4- Add the car­damom pow­der, cin­na­mon pow­der, clove pow­der, dried lime, bay leaf, salt, and pep­per and mix well. 5- Add the toma­to paste and the chopped toma­toes and cook until the oil ris­es to the top. Add 1 litre – 4 cups of water, cov­er and let the chick­en cook for 25 min­utes on medi­um-high heat. 6- In the mean­time, fry the raisins until plump and brown in a lit­tle bit of oil, drain and keep them aside. Then do the same thing with the almonds. Keep aside. 7- Once the chick­en is cooked, remove it from the pot and put it in a bak­ing pan. Broil it in a hot oven for 5 to 10 min­utes. Keep aside. 8- Drain the rice and put it in the pot from where you removed the chick­en. Add the shred­ded car­rots and mix well. 9- Cov­er with a clean tea tow­el and then cov­er with a lid (this will pre­vent the steam from evap­o­rat­ing too quick­ly) — Cook the rice for 20–25 min­utes on medi­um heat. 10- Serve the rice topped with the chick­en and the roast­ed almonds and raisins.

Fattoush salad

Middle Eastern Recipes l Middle Eastern Food Recipes l Easy Middle Eastern Recipes l Middle Eastern Chicken Recipes l Middle Eastern Vegetarian Recipes Fat­toush sal­ad is a clas­sic dish that is served in almost all Lebanese restau­rants. The dish is pre­pared from fresh veg­eta­bles and pita bread.  It typ­i­cal­ly includes toma­toes, radish­es, cucum­bers, pars­ley, gar­lic, yogurt, cheese, and fried pieces of pita bread. Sumac, gar­lic, vine­gar, mint and lemon juice adds to the flavour and makes the recipe more refresh­ing and satisfying. Pre­pare Fat­toush sal­ad as a light evening snack or as a full meal by top­ping it with hum­mus, or crispy baked falafel.


  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 3–4 large heir­loom toma­toes, diced
  • 3 oz radish­es, thin­ly sliced
  • 5 mini cucum­bers, thin­ly sliced
  • 1 scal­lion, diced
  • 1/2 oz fresh mint, coarse­ly chopped
  • 1 oz flat-leaf pars­ley, coarse­ly chopped
  • 1 large clove gar­lic, diced
  • 3 table­spoons fresh­ly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 2 table­spoons vinegar
  • 1/2 tea­spoon fresh­ly ground black pep­per, plus more to taste
  • 1 tea­spoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 pita bread, toast­ed until gold­en and ful­ly hard
  • 6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tea­spoons sumac (or more to taste)


  • In a mason jar or cup with a lid, shake milk and yogurt togeth­er and place it in the fridge until bub­bles form on the sur­face. Let sit for at least 2 hours, but up to 1 day.
  • When you’re near ready to serve, com­bine the fer­ment­ed yogurt mix­ture with toma­toes, radish­es, cukes, scal­lion, mint, pars­ley, gar­lic, lemon juice, olive oil, and vine­gar. Sit for at least 20 min­utes for all the flavours to combine.
  • When you’re ready to serve, crum­ble the pita into large pieces and toss to com­bine. Towards the end of your mix­ing, toss in feta. Gar­nish with sumac and serve!
Omnia Abde­laz­im con­tributed to the article


So, there you have it, the five best Mid­dle East­ern dish­es that every­one should try at least once in their lives. If you haven’t tried the Mid­dle East­ern cui­sine yet, plan your next vis­it to any of the Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries or just reach out to the near­est restau­rant that serves great Mediter­ranean food. The deli­cious and palat­able cui­sine will leave you crav­ing for more of the Mid­dle East­ern good­ness. Amid the many tempt­ing dish­es on their menu, do remem­ber to try out the five best ones that we men­tioned above. Enjoy, and do let us know about your flavour­some experience!

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