The Middle Eastern meal
Mezzes (different spending to Turkish meze) are the best known aspect of the Middle Eastern cuisine, and it is in fact claimed that mezzes were invented by the Lebanese, together with alfresco dining. A typical Middle-Eastern meal will consist of a number of mezzes, served together with flat bread. At a Lebanese banquet there are often over 40 mezze dishes on offer. The main course a casual affair, with an average family of 4-6 people enjoying 3-4 dishes, placed on the table simultaneously. Should additional guests partake, more dishes are added as opposed to increasing the size of dishes. Similarly dessert also could involve several dishes.
Irrespective of the total number of dishes, the Lebanese table always includes olives, pickles and labne (cream cheese); as well as bread, fresh herbs, cucumbers and onions.
A few classic Lebanese dishes
- Baba ghanoush
- Hummous with ground lamb and pinenuts
- Cabbage rolls
- Stuffed vine leaves
- Pickled turnips
- Labneh – a yoghurt cheese, delicious with raw vegetables.
- Fish fillets with tahini sauce – good with any fish, a classic Lebanese dish.
- Roast chicken – with onions, served on flat breads, popular restaurant food.
- H’reesy – a classic Lebanese dish of creamed chicken and wheat.
- Fattat Djaj – a bed of toasted bread, topped with chicken and the yogurt sauce.
- Kibbi Naye – raw lamb mixed with burgul, mint, coriander, onion and spices
- Baked kibbi – layered with pinenuts and onions.
- Deep-fried kibbi balls – filled with pinenuts.
- Kafta – minced spicy lamb on a skewer.
- Shish barak – Lebanese lamb tortellini, in a yoghurt sauce
- Green bean stew with lamb
- Fattoush – the most popular everyday Lebanese bread salad.
- Tabbouleh salad – delicious buffet summer salad made with parsley and burghul.
- Bean stew – French beans with tomato and onion sauce.
- Stuffed vegetables – typical of the Middle East.
- Stuffed eggplant – with mince, toasted bread, tomato sauce and yoghurt.
- M’judra Byda – lentils with rice and caramelized onions, eaten hot or cold.
- Lebanese rice – rice mixed with vermicelli delicious with stews.
Breads and pies
- Pita bread
- Mahrouh – flat paper bread
- Za’tar pies – flat bread with thyme, sesame seeds and lemon.
- Deep-fried bread pies – with meat or cheese fillings.
- Triangle bread pies – stuffed with spinach and feta.
Cakes and desserts
- Muhallabiya – Milk pudding, the most popular restaurants dessert, topped with nuts.
- Osmaliyah – Kataifi pastry with a cream filling and lemon syrup.
- Ma’moul – shortbread with chopped nuts, typical Easter biscuits.
- Baklava – a dessert of layered pastry filled with nuts and steeped in honey-lemon syrup, usually cut in a triangular or diamond shape.
- Turkish coffee
- Mint tea
Middle Eastern food
Roughly speaking the Middle-East sweeps south from Egypt through Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and the Arabian Peninsula, through to Iran and Turkey. The majority of the people … Read more
Wickedfood Cooking School Johannesburg runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built cooking studios. We offer a variety of Middle Eastern cooking classes. Classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – team building cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference.
Our classes are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these classes are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients.