Top 30 Popular Middle Eastern (Arabic) Street Foods, Snacks and Sweets
Grilled / Fried Cheese
Grilled cheese can be made from:
-Nabulsi Cheese (from the city of Nablus, Palestine) also called Jibneh baida is a firm white cheese, with a high melting point, a pungent flavor of goat and sheep milk, and a salty tang that will leave you reaching for bread. Fried and served with eggs, or as part of a mezze, this cheese is hearty enough that it can be served as a side dish.
-Halloumi cheese is a semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk, and sometimes also cow's milk. It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled.
Basbousa, Hareessa, Namoura
A sweet cake made of semolina, same wheat used in pasta and couscous, soaked in simple sweet syrup; sometimes the syrup is flavored with coconut or rose water. Basbousa can be eaten with nuts, heavy cream or plain. In Egypt this dessert is called Basbousa and its called Namoura in Lebanon and Syria and Hareessa in Jordan and Palestine.
Couscous is a traditional North African dish of semolina, which is cooked by steaming. It is traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it. Although couscous is mainly a North African dish, it is gaining popularity in the Middle East and Europe.
Sfiha (Lahma Ba'ajeen)
Sfiha is a pizza-like dish (open faced meat pie) originating from the Levant mostly likely Lebanon.
Shakshoukah or shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin. It is believed to have a Tunisian origin.
Not quite a quick meal but it's a simple dish and very easy to make. .Mujaddara or Mjedarrah consists of cooked lentils together with groats, generally rice, and garnished with sautéed onions. Simple lentils and rice dish. Thin pasta noodles or bulgur can also be used. Red lentils are not so good for this one, green or brown work best. There are quite a few varieties of Mujaddarah depending on the region or country.
Shish Kabobs (Lamb or Beef)
Shish kabab (also known as Lahm Mashwi in the Arab world) is a skewer with marinated cubed lamb or beef and vegetables (onions, tomatoes, green peppers) and is usually grilled. Although originating in the Middle East, shish kababs are popular world wide with many nations having their own version or method of cooking. Kabab is usually served with pita bread or Arabic flat bread and accompanied with Arabic salads and hummus.
Kofta Kabobs (Ground Lamb / Beef)
Kofta kabob is usually prepared by mixing minced lamb or ground beef with onions, parsley and spices such as all spice, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. It is then shaped into balls or cigar shaped-cylinders and grilled or broiled. Kofta is served with hummus or tahini sauce, Arabic salads and Arabic flat bread or pita.
Tahini (sesame paste) is Middle Eastern pantry essential and is the foundation for many dishes such as hummus and baba ganouj. Tahini sauce is made by thinning out the tahini paste. Basic recipe for tahini sauce is mixing tahini paste with water, lemon juice, fresh garlic and salt. Other ingredients are cayenne papper, cumin and parsley. Tahini sauce often accompanies kofta kabobs and falafel. Tahini sauce also used for baked fish and kofta.
Tis Egyptian dessert staple is made of phyllo pastry, milk, double cream, nuts and is sometimes topped with raisins, powdered sugar and coconut flakes.
Arabic (Palestinian) Salad
Salad made of diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and green peppers. Chopped parsley, dry or fresh mint, olive oil and fresh lemon juice is added and also a pinch of salt. Arabic also know as Palestinian salad usually accompanies rice such as mjedarrah and maklouba.
These oil-cured tiny eggplants are very popular in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. They are normally stuffed with walnuts and garlic. They function as a plate on a mezzeh/tapas table, as a perfect snack when scouting your fridge for something yummy to eat or as an accompaniment to a main dish.
Shorabet 'Adas (Lentil Soup)
Rich, creamy soup made of lentils, minced onions, cumin and other spices.
Turshi (Pickled Vegetables)
Turshi is made of variety of pickled vegetables. Turnips, cucumbers, beets and eggplants are the most popular pickled vegetables. Most Arabic dishes are served with turshi. Pickles are usually added to shawarma and falafel sandwiches.