Starting with probably the best known Middle Eastern food, hummus is a mashed chickpea dip made with tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. It is an enticing appetizer, served with pita bread and vegetables but also amazing as a sandwich spread.
Malabi is a creamy, milk-based dessert that is hugely popular throughout the Middle East. Like knafeh, this tasty pudding is flavoured with rose water, giving it a sweet but gentle taste, and topped with pistachios. In Israel, malabi is ubiquitous and can be found in street stands and fancy restaurants alike.
If you ask someone to name the most famous Middle Eastern food and their answer is not hummus, then it's almost certainly going to be falafel. This widely recognized staple is a fried ball made of chickpeas, onions, and spices. It is served both as an appetizer on a mezze platter or as the protein in a vegetarian meal. Falafel makes a great sandwich inside pita bread with Israeli salad.
Baklava is popular throughout the Middle East and is a must for anyone with a sweet tooth. It consists of phyllo dough layered with honey and nuts and has a deliciously soft and flaky texture. A small piece of this scrumptious dessert is the perfect way to finish any meal.
This delicious bread salad is traditional to the Levantine cuisine, common in Arabic countries such as Lebanon and Syria. Fattoush is made with mixed greens and small pieces of fried Arabic bread, giving some crunchiness. It often also includes pomegranate. This is known as a great salad to share with others, making the dining experience a way of bringing people together and bonding over the mouth-watering cuisine.
Middle Easterners like their coffee strong and Turkish coffee is likely to be the beverage of choice. It has a bold, rich taste with a hint of cardamom. Prepared carefully in an ibrik, it's allowed to sit for a minute before serving to allow the coffee grains to fall to the bottom of the cup. According to a Turkish proverb "coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and as sweet as love".
Like Jachnun, Malawach was brought to Israel by Yemenite Jewish immigrants and today, it is a popular street food dish. It consists of a fried pastry that can be eaten sweet with honey, or savoury with a hard-boiled egg, tomato dip and zhug (spicy dip). It can also be served as a wrap (memulawach) filled with delicious ingredients such as tehina, hummus, a hard-boiled egg, eggplants, fried onions, pickles and more.