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Middle Eastern cuisine includes a wide variety of foods, but common threads are vibrant spices and herbs that help to create dishes with deep and complex flavors. It is a simple meal that must be shared, usually enough food is placed on the table to feed a small republic. This is not a true Middle Eastern meal if you do not have the obligatory meez plate, salad, main dish and some kind of delectable dessert to end with. The following list provides the most delicious examples of each of these food components. And yes, Falafel is included in this list.

Home made bread and hummus
Photo by Nicholas Barbaros / Unsplash


My personal favorite , is a dip made from a basic base of hummus chickpeas, tahini and garlic mixed together until smooth and creamy. Originally found in all Middle Eastern restaurants and generally everywhere in the mezze / appetizer section in the Middle East, hummus is a staple dish that can be eaten plain with some fresh dads or served as a dish. Is added to other dishes. Easy to make and healthy too; Original recipe here.

Fresh Kebab!
Photo by Kishor / Unsplash

2. shavarma

Any child who had a birthright would tell you that Israel has two food options: falafel and shawarma. It told us to eat, which was always available and yes, really ridiculous. Like a Greek gyro, but with more easily recognizable meat, the meat is slow roasted, with a twist spit, lending juices and tenderness. Added to that is a tangy blend of spices with a spicy smell and meaty flavor, which once formed a small bundle of goodness wrapped in a laffa with some veggies and sauces. Chicken and beef are the most widely available in American, but keep an eye out for lamb, which is a more traditional specialty.

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis / Unsplash

3. Tabuleh

for this next dish as it is basically a guarantee that something green will be stuck between your teeth. Filled with green herbs, tomatoes and bulgur (aka cracked wheat), the tabu is a refreshing side dish with bold flavors. So when you are headed after a shawarma sandwich with falafel (you, talking to birthmothers), look for this bright and healthy salad or make it at home. When you're done, don't forget to direct those choppers to the mirror.

4. Soup-e Adas (Lentil Soup)

A warm and hearty soup is one of the basic appetizers of any Middle Eastern meal. With lentils being a popular and versatile ingredient in food, it makes sense to make them the star of this vegetarian comfort food dish. Grab a bowl courtesy of Azita's Turmeric and Saffron blog, as we do in months.

Photo by Ali Tarhini / Unsplash

5. Baklava

It is time for this sweet moment, this flamboyant, poignantly sweet pastry known as baklava (note: this is a very different thing than a balkava). It is usually made from a type of walnut mixed with honey and sugar. It is topped with a dripping of sticky, sweet syrup as the finishing touch for a unique dessert. Pistachio and walnut baklava are common, but stuffing can also have fruit or other flavors. Also look for fun shapes: Baklava comes in triangle shapes in cylinders, bird nests and other varieties. What can be worse when so much butter and sugar are involved?

6. Baba Ghanauj (Baba Ghanaus)

Like other Middle Eastern foods, there are a million variations in the spelling of this juicy eggplant dip. Regardless of what it is, the basic structure, however, is the same in the Middle Eastern region: roasted brinjal, tahini, garlic and spices. Commonly found in the same mezzas platter as hummus, it is one of several tasty spreads that comprise the backbone of Middle Eastern cuisine. Try to make something at home - it is easy, healthy and perfectly satisfies the craving for snacking.

7. Sashakoka

If you are not aware of what is the age of this day and the Mediterranean diet, then get ready. Nothing, eating more than one pot pan and shakschoka is relaxing. Tomatoes make up the majority of this dish, and they slowly boil over with herbs and spices before they break off the top of the egg and cook with heat. In a spicy (and sometimes, spicy) tomato sauce with soft-cooked eggs, what follows is the result. With some hearty bread for the needle, Shashkoka always hits every note of comfort you need in your life. Delicious for breakfast, lunch and dinner, try an authentic Spoon U recipe here.