8-Arabic Dishes that Everyone Must Try

8-Arabic Dishes that Everyone Must Try

Swaying my white Habibi thobe under the bright yellow sun, surrounded by medium-sized heaps of sand, with a red-white checked Ghutra on my head; that’s what the word Arab brings to my mind.

Wait, something is missing.

Let’s give it a go again;

Swaying my white Habibi thobe under the bright yellow sun, with a Shawarma in my right hand and Basbousa in the left, surrounded by medium-sized heaps of sand, with a red-white checked Ghutra on my head. Now that’s what the word Arab brings to my mind.

Because obviously, any depiction or idea of Saudia Arab happens to be utterly incomplete without the mouth-watering, tangy, and rich Arabic dishes.

In case you didn’t already follow me, I’m swaying on my Arabian Camel, slowly making my way into the immersing, engulfing savory flavors of the Arab world. I’m gradually advancing towards the rich combinations of Middle Eastern and Turkish flavors in the Arab Cuisine. So hayyaa Habibi, join me in!

1. Falafel

The Falafel is, perhaps, the most popular Arabic dish in the world. The crunchy exterior, along with a slightly grainy interior, tastes well together.  The major ingredients in Falafel balls are chickpeas, fava beans, onions, tomatoes, and herbs. Well, considering the overall appearance and ingredients, it wouldn’t be wrong if I call them vegetarian meatballs!  Although a majority prefers Falafel sandwich, you can also eat it with tahini sauce, hummus, or as a part of a salad.

2. Manakeesh

Manakeesh, also known as, Muajjanat is more or less, the Arab version of pizza. It comprises of a baked crispy flatbread topped with cheese, minced lamb, chili, spinach, Kishq, and Za’atar. The unusual ingredients, namely Kishq and Za’atar, are what bring the unique, delicious taste of Manakeesh.

Kishq is a mixture of finely ground wheat and dried version of fermented yogurt. Za’atar is a combination of dried thyme, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, sumac, oregano, and sometimes, olive oil. The spicy dish usually forms a part of the lunch, breakfast, or brunch.

3. Arayes

Certainly, we all must have tried out those Paratha variations with Aloo, Dal, and even chocolate.  But, have you tried out a pita bread sandwich filled with delicious mincemeat mix? The Arayes, singular Arous, is a famous Arabic food served at reputable restaurants and food places. Basically, the meat mix inside comprises of minced meat, onion, tomatoes, and various spices. After the meat mix preparation, it gets stuffed in pita bread, and either baked, grilled, or toasted. The outside of the Arayes is very crispy while the interior is juicy. The preferred eating style is with yogurt, but you can also try it with pickled olives.

4. Basbousa

Honestly, Basbousa is an Arabic sweet that everyone should try. Only, last week, my mother made it for the evening tea, and trust me, the experience was heavenly. However, to fully cherish its taste, you must have a liking for semolina because it is a semolina cake. It tastes like any other plain cake, but with a prominent semolina flavor. In Arabic style, the Basbousa is cut into rectangular pieces,  glazed with a sugar syrup, and garnished with almonds.

5. Umm Ali

Umm Ali is a type of Arabic pudding similar to bread and butter pudding. It comprises of bread or pastry, milk, raisins, sugar, cream, coconut, and lots of nuts. Overall, the dish tastes sweet and nutty. The surface of the pudding is crispier than the soft milky interior.

6. Fatayer

Considered a snack, the Fatayer is a pie filled with meat, cheese, or spinach. These amazing food delights come in all shapes and assortment. Some of the Fatayera exposes the ingredients inside while some do not. One can enjoy a wide pool of Fatayer variety, such as cheese Fatayer and Spinach Fatayer. The taste varies from type to type, though the generally taste crunchy and juicy.

7. Kibbeh Bites with Tahini Sauce

Kibbeh is a traditional Middle Eastern delicacy made from Bulgur wheat, mincemeat, onions, and other vegetables. This meaty dish, shaped into balls or patties, is often paired with Tahini sauce. Sauces are life-saving ingredients to turn dry dishes into juicy and creamy. However, searching for an appropriate sauce can be somewhat of a problem, which is why chefs are always in hunt of an all-rounder sauce. Well, if you are in a similar situation, then stop right there because this brilliant Arabic sauce is an idealistic option. With a nutty and grainy taste, the Tahini sauce goes well with almost all the Arabic dishes, including Falafel and Arayes.

8. Shawarma

One of the best Arabic dishes, Shawarma is popular, throughout the Middle East as well as Pakistan. With special stations, this particular meat wrap gets cooked, in a peculiar way. The main ingredients include meat, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, pita bread, herbs, sauces, spices, and many other types of vegetables. Together, the combination tastes phenomenal!

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