Exotic Lebanese Foods You Must Try

It can be daunting to look at a menu filled with words that you’ve never seen before–let alone, can even pronounce–but most of us love to try new dishes from time to time.  Middle Eastern culture–and specifically Lebanese–contains an enormous amount of recipes featuring delicious spices, incredible flavors and fresh ingredients.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to try any of these dishes before, learn about them first and get your mouth watering before making your way to one of our three locations!

Kibbee

kibbee

Kibbee is a Levantine Arab dish made of burgul (crushed wheat) or rice and chopped meat. The best-known variety

Kibbee is one of the most characteristic foods of Levantine cuisine. It is widespread in Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Cyprus (where it is called koupes or koubes), Egypt (where it is called koubeiba), the Arabian Peninsula, Armenia, Israel and several Latin American nations which received part of the Syrian and Lebanese diaspora during the early 20th Century, such as Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Honduras or Mexico.is a torpedo-shaped fried croquette stuffed with minced beef or lamb. Other types of kibbee may be shaped into balls or patties, and baked or cooked in broth.

Shawarma

shawarma_meat.e77370e273

Shawrma is an Arab method for cooking meat. Meats such as chicken, lamb, beef, and sometimes goat are placed on a vertical spit that slowly turns. In fact the Arabic wordshawarma is derived from the Turkish word cevirme which means to turn.

Slices of fat and seasoned or marinated meats are layered on the spit and the meat slowly cooks through the heat from the center cone throughout the day. With a large knife or other tool, meat shavings are removed from top-to-bottom and collected in a tray below. An onion, lemon or tomato may be added to the top of the skewer for additional flavor.

Falafel

falafel_sandwich.768c38b0e5Falafels are scrumptious, round, golden-brown croquettes, crispy and crunchy on the outside, warm and moist on the inside.  This great vegetarian dish consists of fava beans, chick peas and a special blend of spices.  Typically, falafel is served with tahini sauce and can be eaten on its own or wrapped up and rolled into a sandwich with pita bread.

Falafels have been around for more than a 1,000 years, thanks to their delicious taste and high nutritional value. Derived from the word ‘filfil’ meaning ‘pepper’ in Arabic, falafels started off as a nutritious, vegetarian, Middle Eastern delicacy during the month of fasting. Over time, they also became a popular side dish, main course and a quick, casual snack.

Mujadara

mujadaraMujaddara is the Arabic word for “pockmarked”; the lentils among the rice resemble pockmarks.  The first recorded recipe for mujaddara appears in Kitab al-Tabikh, a cookbook compiled in 1226 by al-Baghdadi in Iraq.  Containing rice, lentils, and meat, it was served this way during celebrations.  Without meat, it was a medieval Arab dish commonly consumed by the poor, reputed to be a derivative of the “mess of pottage” Jacob used to buy Esau’s birthright.  Because of its importance in the diet, a saying in the Eastern Arab world is, “A hungry man would be willing to sell his soul for a dish of mujaddara.

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