If you are someone short on time especially if you work a 9-5, we have a solution. Not all Middle Eastern recipes have to be complicated. Some are actually pretty quick and easy, perfect to be made mid-week. The following are a few recipes that you can make in under 30 minutes:
Shakshuka, a North-East African dish loved by many and for good reason. Not only is it very easy and quick to make, but it’s also very malleable, meaning you can play around with it and make a wide range of variations to suit your taste. You can beef it up with some minced meat or turn it green with green onions and fresh herbs. You can eat it as any meal of the day. As most of its ingredients can easily be found in your pantry, all while not leaving a hole in your pocket.
In its simplest form, the dish consists of a bed of tomato mixed with onion and garlic with poached runny eggs on top. It is usually served hot, straight from the pan. You’ll have to pull up your sleeves and pick up a nice piece of bread and get your hands dirty as you scoop the delicious tomato egg mixture. Following this simple recipe, you’ll get to enjoy this Middle Eastern fan-favorite dish.
Egyptian Ful Medames
When one thinks of Egypt, one also must think of Ful Medames (refried beans). Whether it’s served from a street cart or made at home, this dish can be found everywhere in the country. This popular dish mainly consists of fava beans that are cooked with garlic, olive oil, and tomatoes.
Just like shakshuka, ful medames is easy, super versatile and extremely affordable to make. When it comes to its variations, the options are endless. You can either mash the beans or keep them whole. You can add tahini or make it spicy by adding spices and chili. It all depends on your mood and what you are craving. To dig into this special dish, try out this recipe that will take a few minutes.
Another staple food that is synonymous with so many Arab countries is the famous falafel. Nothing beats biting into that crispy, crunchy exterior especially when it’s freshly fried and you have to hold a tissue under the falafel to stop the oil from dripping on the floor. This dish is loved so much to the extent that different Middle Eastern countries took it and made it their own. In Egypt, this crispy delight is made with foul while in Palestine and Lebanon, it’s made with ground chickpeas. Then the mixture is deep fried.
The best part is when it’s made into a sandwich. You can either use pita bread or Egyptian baladi bread or any bread you have laying around. Don’t forget the tahini, it’s falafel’s perfect pairing. If you can’t wait to dig in then click here for an easy and quick Palestinian falafel recipe.
Lebanese Beef Shawerma
A dish that may not need an introduction, shawarma is the ultimate sandwich. Similar to falafel, it has its variations among Arab countries. The most unique being Egypt’s new take on the classic Lebanese wrap. Serving it within a hot bun, Egyptians tend to cover their beef shawarmas with tahini or chicken with garlic paste and pickles. No matter the variation, this global dish is pretty easy to make and will probably take you less than 20 minutes. To change things up, here’s a quick beef shawarma recipe to make the MENA region’s favorite sandwich.
Be ready for a full-powered food coma if you will be choosing this dish as your mid-week recipe. This Egyptian street food known as hawawshi (minced meat sandwich) basically consists of a dough or pita bread stuffed with minced beef that is mixed with onion, spices, hot peppers and herbs. The secret to what makes this dish very special is that the entire hawawshi is then dropped into sizzling, bubbling oil to be deep fried into a golden brown, crunchy pie.
Bear in mind, when you eat it, sometimes it can be really spicy. It will sort of feel like a fire is igniting in your mouth. You may need to chug a cup or two of milk to tame the heat. To make this quick and easy dish, just follow this recipe that will take you no more than 30 minutes.
Another versatile Arab dish, Couscous is actually a kind of pasta made from mixing semolina and water. It is then rolled into very tiny irregular-shaped pieces. Considered the ultimate blank canvas, many Arabs enjoy taking this ingredient and creating something new and exciting with it. In Egypt, especially along Alexandria’s corniche, you will find these small shops that sell famous desserts, couscous being one of them. Served hot, you can add powdered sugar on top as well as warm milk. It is a perfect treat during the cold winter months.
It is more famous served, however, as a savory dish, especially in Morocco. One of the special ways couscous is used is as an accompaniment to a Moroccan vegetable stew with pieces of beef. Again, a great dish during the winter months. Using this recipe, you can make this delicious dish in less than 30 minutes.
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