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5 Essential Ingredients that Make Amazing Middle Eastern Cuisines

by Kristen White Blogger
The striking features of the Middle East are its rich culture and intriguing cuisine. Undoubtedly, its sensational food has made a phenomenal impact globally, with many appreciating the explosion of delightful flavours. Since the Middle Eastern people love flavourful food, each one of their culinary preparations bursts with deliciousness. A taste of their world-famous delicacies will please your palate no end.

By liberally using certain key ingredients like an intoxicating Middle Eastern spice mix, you can recreate the traditional fare of this region. Though there are many core components of this renowned cuisine, we will introduce you to the five essential ones. Experiment with these classic ingredients in your kitchen, and you will be hooked:

Tangy Sumac

Red berries plucked from the sumac bush are dried and crushed to produce this glistening deep red powder. A sprinkling of this spice native to the Middle East lends color and a fruity, tart flavour to your meals. Sumac is quite versatile as it works well as a marinade for your meats and fish, as well as in oil-based salad dressings.  You can even sprinkle it over leafy green vegetables for that added burst of freshness.
 
Sweet and Sour Pomegranate Molasses

Fruity pomegranate molasses lends a lovely earthy note to savoury dishes, beverages, glazes, salad dressings, and dips. You can even spray this thick syrup over meringues, ice-creams, and desserts made with rice and milk. How to make pomegranate molasses is no rocket science as it is just reduced pomegranate juice. This process of reduction intensifies the fruit’s natural flavours. As the liquid condenses, bring it to taste with the addition of lemon juice and sugar.

Some of the recipes enumerating the steps of how to make pomegranate molasses recommend you boil the juice with allspice berries and black peppercorns. The last two ingredients add a welcome zing to the molasses. It is advisable to strain them out once the flavours are duly incorporated, so you are left with just the clear liquid. At a pinch, you can even source readymade bottles of pomegranate molasses.

Hearty Chickpeas

The main ingredient of the famous Middle Eastern hummus is the humble chickpea. This nutrient-rich dip is made by blending cooked chickpeas with lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, and spices. When you make hummus, be generous while spreading olive oil. Sprinkle on some toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley, and smoked paprika for that wow factor. Chickpeas are a very versatile legume, rich in dietary fibre, and a fantastic source of protein. They are also responsible for adding a substantial bite to tagines and stews.

Intoxicating Za’atar

This nutty Middle Eastern spice mix is a flavour enhancer typically made with dried thyme, oregano, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, cumin, and salt. Add some olive oil to za’atar for a delicious dip in which you can dunk your crusty bread or generously smear this concoction atop your flatbread. Being an intensely aromatic spice blend, you can incorporate za’atar into your rice, meat, vegetables, and even salad dressings. Often you will find bottled za’atar as a table condiment to sprinkle over your food for added flavour.

Crunchy Pistachios

These nuts provide a textural element to both savoury and sweet delicacies. Pistachios are a part of the nutty filling for baklava. This dessert is traditionally made with filo pastry, and each layer is sprinkled with a mixture of nuts, including pistachios. The latter is also used as a decorative garnish for cakes, spiced chicken, pilaffs, and rose-infused rice puddings. Pistachios are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fibre; hence, good for your health.

Stock up on these essentials to bring the flavours of the Middle East closer home.

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About Kristen White Committed Pro  Blogger

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Joined APSense since, August 19th, 2016, From Chicago, United States.

Created on Jan 20th 2020 03:26. Viewed 123 times.

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