Arabic food

Discussion in 'F&F - Food and Fitness' started by JD666, May 14, 2014.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    This was a long pending discussion that I wanted to start. Arabic/Lebanese/Middle Eastern cuisine is comprised of a mix of the various regions, the food they grow and consume.

    But most of it relies of some basic facts that are the baseline for the food.

    a) Healthy, though Fattening at times.

    b) a proper balance of Protein + Fiber (which does get skewered at lot :p )

    c) Food that helps keep the body cool in the summer heat

    d) Food that helps the body absorb more water, so that one stays hydrated longer.

    Some of the regular food items that you are bound to see on the Menu in an Arabic/Turkish/Lebanese restaurant are -


    1) Hommus, Hummus, Homus - Different spellings, but referring to the same dish. This is essentially a cold mezzeh, had as is, or as an accompaniment with meat or bread.

    hommus.jpg

    This is made of white chick peas, Tahina (Arabic spice), Lemon juice, Garlic and Olive oil for topping. You can add some sumac (again a seasoning).

    Extremely tasty and high in nutrition, Hummus makes for a good main dish with Khubuz (traditional pita bread) or as part of a chicken roll or with Salad..


    Next up... Labneh...
     
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  2. dbg

    dbg RAID Staff Staff Member

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    Is Hummus good with sandwiches .. ?
     
  3. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    It is fantastic with sandwiches.
    My staple morning food is
    Bread: Mostly Polish rye toasted
    Chicken slices: lean
    One side humous and other side is either sour cream or coleslaw.
     
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  4. dbg

    dbg RAID Staff Staff Member

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    u firangs have the best food .. :/
     
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  5. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    I too love Hummus.

    @dbg, you probably meant that as a joke, but Indian cuisine is one of the best in the world, certainly one of the most diverse. Even the great Gordon Ramsay agrees, the hundred million spices we use and how we can produce so many flavors is crazy!
     
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  6. dbg

    dbg RAID Staff Staff Member

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    I meant like easy to prepare food .. like a sandwich n stuff.. pancakes.
     
  7. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    Italian, Greek, Chinese cuisines are pretty large range, but they got nothing on Indian in terms of variety.
    Though finding breasds and cheese and all kinds of spread in Europe is much easier.
     
  8. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Breads and spread are not common in India, in India the counterpart to these would be the wide range of paranthas/naans and achars.
     
  9. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    In a way ofcourse.
     
  10. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Moving on..

    2) Labneh - or Greek Yogurt.

    labneh.jpg


    Made of hung curd, that has all it's water drained, Labneh has a thicker texture and taste. Extremely nutritious it's a good source of protein.

    In addition, it helps bowel movement, keep the body cool, and hydrated.

    Preparation does take some time. Best option is to let regular yougurt hang overnight in a muslin cloth. Once the water is drained (and most of the sugar and carbohydrates), the yourgurt/cheese now takes a thicker texture and consistency. You can add some salt to remove water more efficiently and also for taste.

    Once the desired texture is achieved, I generally mix it with mashed Garlic cloves and some olive oil. A good mix, and then top off with some more olive oil and seasoning such as rosemary or thyme.

    Have as is, or again with khubuz and bread.
     
  11. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Next up - Mutabal - (pronouced Mutab-bal).

    This is again a cold mezzeh, made of egg plant, or Baingan -

    mutabal.jpg


    Something like a cold Baingan ka bharta, but with arabic flavor. I like it with bread, or again with khubuz. All of the above 3 go really well with a Shawarma as well (Just scoop out with a spoon or a fork, and put on roll before eating).

    It's prepared pretty much the same way, except the Eggplant is roasted in an oven (around 20 minutes at 425F or 220C).

    Clear out the insides, throw the skin, add lemon juice, tahina and mix it up in a mixie. After that just season as necessary with salt and eat! Simple and yummy!

    There is a slight variation, which does get mixed up with this one, and it's called Baba Ghanouj (ba-ba Ghanoush)

    That is basically an Eggplant Salad. More on that later.
     
  12. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    I took pictures of ethopian food the other day, I should post them.
     
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  13. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    I like Labneh, have it every now and then and quite similar to how you have it, I also like fine chopped onions in it.

    Never tried Mutabal
     

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