When you think of Middle Eastern food, you think of hummus, falafel, tabouli – right?
These are internationally renowned dishes (and for good reason), but there’s also much more to love about Middle Eastern cuisine than just the classics. In my kitchen, you’ll have the opportunity to try a few new Middle Eastern dishes, each made in the traditional style and packed with incredible flavours and textures, and perhaps you’ll even discover a new favourite.
Here are five Middle Eastern dishes I doubt you’ve tried, but I know you’ll love!
Shanklish is a favourite in my family. It is essentially a cheese ball, but unlike you’ve ever tasted it.
There are lots of ways to make shanklish, but here at Alma’s, we use aged labneh cheese. We flavour it with cold-pressed olive oil, cucumber, tomato, onion, and pickled green chilli then roll it into convenient bite-sized balls for serving.
This is a snack served cold, and makes for the perfect tasty side dish when you want a little something extra.
2. Batata Kezbara
Everywhere I’ve been in the world, it seems like every culture has its own national dish based on potatoes. For me, that’s batata kezbara.
We pan fry crispy potatoes with a little garlic, coriander, chilli, lemon, and spices. It’s warm and satisfying, and totally loaded with flavour, and we serve it with toum (a creamy garlic sauce) for the perfect final touch.
This is a simple dish, but one that’s perfect when you need something to fill you up with a hug from the inside, and once you’ve tried it once it will be hard not to order it every time!
Murtabak is what you would get if you crossed crepes with omelettes, but 100 times better.
We describe it as a folded pastry pancake, and it will vary greatly depending on where in the world you try it. When you order it from me, I add fresh prawns, mixed seafood, and a heavenly Baharat spice blend. We’ll grill it, then serve it to you hot and fresh with a little rocket, tomato and lemon.
It’s the kind of Arabic you can’t help but love, and I can’t wait for you to try it!
4. Shish barak
You’ve heard of shish kebab, but have you heard of shish barak?
It is believed that this dish may have Turkish origins, but all I know for sure is that it is unmissable. This is a dish of spiced mincemeat dumplings in a minty yoghurt sauce, with chilli oil for kick, parsley for freshness, and burnt butter and walnut for extra depth of flavour.
These are dumplings like you’ve never experienced, all made in house.
No meal is quite complete without a little something sweet, and when you’d like to try something new, you can’t go past the knafeh pan.
This dish involves sweet halloumi cheese layered between traditional kataifi pastry. We serve it with blossom and rose syrup, pecan caramel ice cream, and sugar roasted nuts, for the perfect sweet finish to your meal.
If you’re ready to discover your new favourite Middle Eastern dish, come and see me by making a booking at Alma’s for tonight’s dinner!