Hummus

(Chickpeas Dip)

In Arabic language the word “Hummus” is used to describe the dish or just chickpeas by themselves. The full name of the dish is ‘chickpeas with tahini’. Hummus is the most popular dip throughout the Middle Eastern world, but its origins are unknown and highly debated throughout the Middle East.

Hummus contains large amounts of the nutrients iron, vitamin c, and is a good source of protein and dietary fiber, and depending upon the recipe, it contains various amounts of monounsaturated fat. The Hummus with pita bread provide all essential amino acids to our bodies.

Hummus can be eaten in many ways throughtout the middle east.  It can be garnished with parsley, paprika, cumin (in Egypt), pine nuts (in Palestinian), tomatoes, cucumber, pickled turnips (in Lebanon), thinly-sliced onions, or with whole chickpeas over the top before drizzling with olive oil. Hummus is best eaten with warm pita bread, on fresh bagel, or with crackers.

Ingredients: 

  • 8-oz. can chick peas (reserve a few for garnish)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 4 tbsp tahini paste (sesame paste)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 black olive, chopped parsley, and paprika to garnish

  Method: 

  • Place the chick peas into a strainer, and drain the liquid.
  • Mix together tahini paste, garlic, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  • Blend the chick peas to a smooth puree.
  • Then, add the tahini paste mix to the chick peas.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil through the lid.
  • Add the ground cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Blend to mix, and scrape the hummus into a bowl.
  • Drizzle over some olive oil.
  • Garnish with reserved chickpeas, black olive, chopped parsley, and paprika.

 

Baba Ganoosh

(Aubergine, Baba Ganoosh or Eggplant Dip).

Aubergines with sesame paste dip is very popular in the Middle East. This dip is also served as a salad and eaten with crackers or pita bread. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 3 tbsp. tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. parsley chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley and paprika to garnish

Method: 

  • Prick eggplant all over with a fork.
  • Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until soft.
  • When ready to handle, peel the skin off.
  • Place the eggplant in the blender and add garlic, lemon juice, and parsley.
  • Blend until coarsely chopped.
  • Then add the tahini paste gradually, and beating all the time.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Blend until all the ingredients to form a smooth paste.
  • This mixture should be quite sour.
  • Chill in the refrigerator until served.
  • Garnish with parsley and paprika, and serve with pita bread.

 

Tabbouleh (Lebanese Salad)

(Tabbouleh)

The king of Lebanese salad is the tabbouleh. This classical Lebanese salad carries several names like wheat garden salad, parsley salad and cracked wheat salad.

The ingredients for salad must be as fresh as possible. No meal is complete without a platter of crisp salad vegetables. This is a well-known Middle Eastern salad. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup fine bulgar wheat
  • 2 large bunches of fresh parsley washed and dried
  • 10 spring onions (scallions)
  • ½ bunch fresh mint (or 2 tbsp dried mint)
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes
  • ¼ cup (or more) olive or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish with a few black olives

Method: 

  • Soak wheat in cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until swollen and tender.
  • Squeeze wheat dry by pressing between palms of hands to remove any excess water. (The wheat will swell to double its original size.)
  • Place the wheat in a bowl.
  • Finely chop the parsley (remove thick stalk), mint, onions and tomatoes.
  • Add wheat, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Spoon the tabbouleh on to a shallow serving dish.
  • Garnish with a few black olives.
  • Serve with fresh lettuce leaves (used as scoops).
  • Serves for 6.

(Keywords: tabouli, tabooli, tabooly, tabouly, parsley salad.)

Red Cabbage Salad

(Salatit El Malfouf)

This is the tasty salad from Middle Eastern origin. The main ingredient of this salad is cabbage and it should be washed well and dried, and served fresh and crisp. This is one of the healthy salad recipe. 

Ingredients for salad: 

  • 1 small red cabbage or green cabbage
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 tsp. salt

Ingredients for dressing: 

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 glove garlic crushed
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Method: 

  • Remove tough outer leaves of the red cabbage.
  • Finely shred the cabbage leaves and sprinkle some salt.
  • Let it stand for half an hour.
  • Then, squeeze the leaves to remove moisture and place them in a serving bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  • Adjust salt and lemon juice according to taste.
  • Serve on a salad plate.
  • Garnish with tomato pieces.
  • Serves for 6.

(Keywords: cabbage salad, red cabbage salad, green cabbage salad.)

 

Fattoush (Peasant Salad)

(Peasant Salad)

The name Fattoush is derived from the Arabic word and is often pronounced ‘fadash’. It is one of the most popular salads in Lebanon. One of the great advantages about Fattoush is that can use a variety of vegetables according to taste preferences. The vegetables are cut into relatively large pieces compared to Tabbouleh. 

Ingredients for salads: 

  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup toasted pita bread, torn into pieces
  • 1 small green pepper (capsicum), chopped
  • 2 small cucumbers peeled and chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup chopped spring onions
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint (1 tbsp dried mint)
  • 1 tbsp sumac (optional)

Ingredients for dressing: 

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 glove crushed garlic

Method: 

  • Place all the salad ingredients in a serving bowl and toss well.
  • In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine.
  • Adjust salt and lemon juice according to taste.
  • Serve on a salad plate.
  • Serves for 6.

(Keywords: fattoosh, fatoush, fatoosh, fatush )