Friday, 31 May 2013

Guest Hosting : Flavors of Cuisines - Middle Eastern

 This month I am guest hosting the flavors of cuisines event started by Julie of Eriyum Puliyum.
At present I am living in U.A.E, I have some knowledge about the Middle Eastern Cuisine, when she announced this event, I asked her  for hosting Middle Eastern Cuisines and she happily  accepted immediately.Thanks Julie for giving me the opportunity.

Introduction to Middle Eastern Food and Cooking:
The Middle East consists of: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Most regions in the Middle East use spices. Typically, a stew will include a small amount of cinnamonclovescumin, and corianderBlack pepper is common, and chilli peppers are used occasionally, especially as a separate sauce or as a pickle. Parsley and mint are commonly used in cooking and in salads. Varieties of thyme are common in Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, and a mixture of dried thyme and sumac (crushed sour berries) is a common breakfast item with oil and bread. Sumac is also sprinkled over grilled meat. Garlic is common to many dishes and salads.
Lamb and mutton have always been the favored meats of the region. Pork is prohibited in Islam and Judaism and is rarely eaten in the region. Prominent among the meat preparations were the grilled meats, or kebabs. There are a wide variety of these grills, with many regional specialties and styles. The most common are the cubed cuts on skewers, known as shish kebab in most places. Chicken may also be grilled in the same fashion.

Another common variety is kofta kebab, made from ground meat, sometimes with onions and spices, shaped around the skewer like a long sausage and grilled. Kebabs are typically a street or restaurant food, served with bread, salad, and pickles. It is not usually prepared in domestic kitchens.
Meat and vegetable stews, served with rice, bulgur, or bread, are another form of meat preparation in the region. Kibbeh is a pie or dumpling made with meat and cereal. 
Vegetables and pulses are the predominant everyday food of the great majority of the people of the Middle East. They are boiled, stewed, grilled, stuffed, and cooked with meat and with rice. Among the green leaf vegetables, many varieties of cabbage, spinach, and chard are widely used. Root and bulb vegetables, such as onions and garlic, as well as carrots, turnips, and beets are equally common. Squash, tomato, eggplants, and okra are distinctive elements in the cookery of the region. Eggplant is often fried in slices and dressed in yogurt and garlic, or roasted over an open fire, then pulped and dressed with tahini (sesame paste), lemon juice, garlic, and cumin, a dish known as baba ghannoush. Tomato is the most ubiquitous ingredient in Middle Eastern cookery. It is used fresh in a variety of salads, cooked in almost every stew and broth, and grilled with kebab.
Beans and pulses are crucial to the diet of the region, second only to cereals. The fava beans are eaten green and dried. Dried, they are boiled in one of the most popular Egyptian foods of ful medames, a domestic and street food, eaten for breakfast or any other meal, mashed and dressed in oil, lemon, and chili.

The famous Falafel, now popular in Europe and America, was originally made from dried fava, crushed and formed into a rissole with herbs and spices, then fried. It is also made from chickpeas, or a mixture of the two. Green fava are cooked like other green beans, boiled and dressed in oil, or stewed with meat. The haricot beans and black-eyed beans are also common. Lentils, split peas, and chickpeas are widely used in soups, with rice, in salads, or with meat. Hummus, made from chickpeas and sesame paste, originated in Syria/Lebanon.

Stuffed vegetables are a dish most associated with the Middle East in the popular mind. They are commonly called dolma,the Turkish word meaning "stuffed," but also the Arabic mahshi. Grape leaves, chard, and cabbage are stuffed with rice, ground meat, pine nuts, and spices, and then stewed in oil and tomato. Many vegetables are similarly stuffed and stewed or baked, such as squash, onion, tomato, eggplant, peppers, and even carrots.
Arabs commonly consume milk, fresh or soured. Yogurt, a Turkish contribution, is commonly consumed plain, used in cooking, used in salad dressing, or diluted as a drink. White cheese, like the Greek feta and haloumi, are the most common in the region.
Meze is common throughout the Middle East. It consists of a number of small dishes that are picked at leisure: cheese, melon, nuts, various salads and dips, such as tabboule (chopped parsley, tomato, and a few grains of burghul), hummus and mutabbal, pickles, and also more substantial items, such as grilled meat, kibbeh, and sausage.

In some areas in the Middle East, especially in the Persian Gulf countries, it is common for people to take their food from a common plate in the center of the table. Rather than employing forks or spoons, people traditional dine without utensils; they scoop up food with their thumb and two fingers or pita bread.

Middle Eastern food first came became popular in the 1990s with the heart-healthy Mediterranean Diet. Healthfulness and freshness are central to the Middle Eastern diet.
Check Middle Eastern Food at

The event rules are as follows-
1.The event runs for the period of one month( 1 st - 30th June '13)

2.The theme for each month is "Cuisine hosted ".It can vary from starter,main dish ,side dish,soup,dessert or any other recipes,sweet or savory anything but strictly from that particular cuisine with the same ingredients & spices.No modifications or fusions or alterations is accepted.

3.Bloggers and Non bloggers can participate.Bloggers can link their recipes using the linky tool.Bloggers who find it difficult or find some problem to link can also send &Non-bloggers can send in their recipes to my mail  with the following details-
Your Name-
Recipe Name-
Recipe Details-
Pic of the Dish

4.Recipe must be linked to (your announcement page) and to My Healthy Happy Kitchen /Julie's page) .

5.You can link  Veg recipes in Sandhya's My Cooking Journey & Non Veg recipes here.

6.Send in any number of entries.You can link in two old or archived posts.No need to re post the post just add the link & logo.

7.Usage of logo is appreciated for all entries as it would help spread the word.

Also,I would like to give the following awards to the eligible participants-Participation Award to all ,Best Non veg Recipe award(based on the authenticity, health effectiveness & presentation),Best Veg Recipe award(based on the authenticity, health effectiveness & presentation) & Top Contributor Award.

Friends Please link your recipes here.


Babitha costa said...

happy hosting.will try to send in

Latha Madhusudhan said...

Happy hosting this wonderful event.

Rafeeda AR said...

Lovely event...will try 2 participate...

thelady8home said...

Beautiful post, very very informative. I am going to bookmrk this - has a goldmine of info. And surely will try to participate in it :)

Sanoli Ghosh said...

Wow....lovely event. Never cooked middle eastern cuisine before, will try to send of mine this time. Happy hosting Asiya.

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Very well explained! Happy hosting :)

Saraswathi Tharagaram said...

Happy Hosting Asiya.. will sure send some recipes..

Ruxana Gafoor said...

happy hosting...

Nilu A said...

Great event.. Have linked in my entry - Cheesy Chicken Kebabs ... Happy hosting Asiya :-)

Priya Anandakumar said...

Nice event akka, I will try to participate...
Happy hosting akka...

S.Menaga said...

Just now am post my draft post akka,happy hosting!!

Jaleela Banu said...

Happy hosting Asiya, Nice event. I have linked my recipes.