Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Common Foods of Different Middle Eastern Countries

Although all of the Middle Eastern countries have fairly similar cultures and traditions, there are many distinctive differences. An example would be food. Each country has its own “signature” meals. Between countries, a lot of the food is similar but with slight variations.

Here are some of the Middle Eastern countries and their food:


Maqluba, is a meal consisting of rice, chicken, and fried cauliflower or eggplant (Palestinian Maqluba, 2010). Check out my recipe for Maqluba here.
Musakhan, which literally translates to something heated, is chicken on a bed of bread and caramelized onions and seasoned with sumac (Qasem, 2009)
Kinafa is a very popular Palestinian based sweet made of sweet cheese and shredded dough (Naylor, 2011). Check out my How to Make Kinafa video here.


Mansaf, which is one of my favorite meals, is made up of rice and lamb and covered in a type of goat yogurt called Jameed (Qasem, 2009).


Koushari is a meal I have never tried before but it sounds very interesting. It includes rice, lentils, chickpeas, and macaroni (Koushari Egyptian Rice, 2010).


Shish Barak is another meal I have never tried before, but I have heard it is delicious. It is similar to meat dumplings in yogurt (Mercedes, 2009).

Saudia Arabia:

Kabsih is a different take on your basic chicken and rice meal (Kabsa or Kabseh, 2009).  It has many surprising ingredients that somehow work well together. My favorite ingredient is the raisins, because I love the sweet and salty taste!

Many of the foods from different Middle Eastern countries are similar, but each country has its own style when it comes to food.


Kabsa or Kabseh recipe (chicken and rice). (2009). Retrieved from

Koushari (Egyptian rice, lentils, and noodles). (2010). Retrieved from

Mercedes. (2009). Shish Barak Lebanese meat dumplings in yogurt sauce. Retrieved from

Naylor, H. (2011). In Nablus, Kinafa is more than a desert, it’s a way of life. Retrieved from

Palestinian Maqluba. (2010). Retrieved from

Qasem, N. (2009). Mansaf. Retrieved from

Qasem, N. (2009). Musakhan. Retrieved from

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