[caption id="attachment_2922" align="alignleft" width="295"] Ingredients for Middle eastern dishes in a souk in Cairo[/caption]
Making authentic Middle Eastern dishes nowadays is so much more convenient than before, as we have access to ingredients which were once not so readily available. Families would often have to collect ingredients while on their travels, to take home and be able to prepare their favorite meals.
This would involve plenty of shopping in the souks to seek out all the spices, vine leaves and as many ingredients as possible to take on the journey. It certainly was no easy feat to gather all the spices to make dishes such as kibbe ad falafel, or the cracked wheat for an authentic tabbouleh salad.
Today, we can search online sites for some of our favorite recipes. One such site is the recipe database by Ziyad Brothers Importing, which has over 100 recipes and photographs to browse through.
Ziyad Brothers Importing owns date palm plantations in Jericho which naturally produce some of the world's most sought after dates, Palestinian Medjool Dates, which are considered a delicacy. Today, they import a range of Middle Eastern food, spices and other ingredients to America so that you can have the flavors of the Middle right in your kitchen.
[caption id="attachment_2921" align="alignright" width="300"] Delicious 'Fasolia'[/caption]
Although some of our dishes can be time consuming, the meal is well worth the wait. It may take a long time to wrap vine leaves, but at least we don't have to drive through the countryside looking for vines to pick the leaves from, as was the case with our forefathers. Rolling up vine leaves is tricky, but if you cook your rice so that it's not too soft and mushy, it'll be a breeze.
A great recipe to try, which you can get from the online recipe database, is 'Fasolia.' This is a Middle Eastern lamb dish which is prepared using chopped lamb with a tomato stew, long green beans and a helping of rice. Making tabbouleh is always useful as well, as it can be enjoyed as a side salad along with many of your meals. For these and other Middle Eastern recipes, go to http://www.ziyad.com/.