1001 Arabian dishes: Mideast countries and their glorious gastronomy

Published July 18th, 2013 - 11:34 GMT

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Jordan Mansaf
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Image 1 of 13: Jordan's juicy Mansaf: Locals say you aren’t a true Jordanian if you don’t dig the mansaf, the national dish assembled from lamb, fermented yoghurt and rice. Feasting on this home-grown specialty is taken seriously, and an empty stomach before taking the plunge is a must.

Libya Bazeen
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Image 1 of 13: Libya's delectable love: Decked with barley, meat, eggs and potatoes, Bazeen is a traditional Libyan medley usually served on Fridays during big family get-togethers.

Palestine Musakhan
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Image 1 of 13: Palestine's Paradise: A bit stodgy for the faint-hearted, but sure to hit the spot, post checkpoint-crossing grilling. Chicken 'n' bread layers, traditionally dripping with grease, it’s the tangy bite of the Sumac spice that is the pièce de resistance of Musakhan. The best way to experience this 'peasant' grub is to dip in bare-handed!

Iraq Masgouf
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Image 1 of 13: Iraqi-style! More than a morsel...Masgouf comes in the form of a super-sized fish, crisped to perfection and served with lime and mango chutney. This Iraqi creation is cooked up on national holidays or by diaspora Iraqis remembering the taste of home. Just the ticket for a Baghdadi barbeque!

Iran's Chelo Kabab
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Image 1 of 13: The Persian palate: Grilled tomatoes and butter set off the Iranian traditional dish of kebab and basmati rice. Also known as Chelo Kebab, Iran's warming dish is seasoned with saffron and served with a sour yoghurt drink.

Tunisia Lablabi
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Image 1 of 13: Tunisia's tasty traditional treat: Only the bravest tastebuds will savor Lablabi, the Tunisian national dish that comes with chickpeas dipped into a cumin-flavored soup, served with bread, tuna and harissa. This rustic ritual is not for the delicate palate!

Morocco Couscous
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Image 1 of 13: Morocco's moreish meal: Loved the world over, couscous hails from the Maghreb. Served with tagine, another star of the nation’s culinary repertoire, couscous is as delicious sprinkled with sugar and dates, as it is eaten with tender lamb and root vegetables.

Yemen fahsah
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Image 1 of 13: Yemen's yummy Fahsah: Arabs love their meat, and Yemenis are no exception. One of their traditional wares and a Sanaa favorite, Fahsah, is made up of a mean mix of lamb and spices, served piping hot.

Syria Shish Barak
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Image 1 of 13: Syria's sumptuous Shish Barak: Move over Chinese, Syrians excel with their own traditional tiny meat dumplings cooked in a plain yogurt stew, enjoyed with a helping of pearly white rice. To die for!

Lebanon Kibba Nayeh
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Image 1 of 13: Lebanon's gritty gourmet: Kibbeh Nayyeh - if you’re a sushi fan who happens to love a bit of red-meat - is a must-try! This rough n ready raw delicacy takes more prep than some cooked creations: Minced beef or lamb meticulously blended with fine bulgur and spices galore, whipped up with fresh mint & olive oil, and ready for the mezza platter.

egypt rice with rabbit and duck
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Image 1 of 13: Egypt's ravenous for rabbit: Tender pieces of duck and rabbit thrown into a fragrant bowl of rice - and the people literally salivate over this peasant dish in Egypt. Kushari - a hearty mix of pasta, rice and lentils - is the popular food of the masses and more commonly known as Egypt's national dish, however.

Saudi Kabsa
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Image 1 of 13: Saudi succulent staple: Kabsa is the definitive Saudi dish. With its main ingredient rice, kabsa can be made in a variety of ways, with different spices like saffron, cinnamon, black lime, bay leaves and nutmeg all making an appearance.

Daqous Kuwait
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Image 1 of 13: Kuwait's Kabsa with Daqous: This fish rice curry carries hints of the East. Native to other Persian Gulf states, it’s all about a stuffed fish lined with coriander and garlic and sprinkled with aromatic rose water and saffron.

Italians are famous for their pastas, the English for their fish & chips and Arabs, well, they’ve got a medley of colorful stews and brews under their abaya sleeves.

From the aromatic and the coarse, through the healthy and decadent, and the rustic to the gourmet, it’s no wonder the world has fallen in love with Middle Eastern fodder. The number of native and foreign foodies flocking to authentic Arabic restaurants in the West has skyrocketed in recent years.

If your experience of Arabic cooking is stuck at humous and falafel - those stock Mideastern staples - we want to open your eyes to the array of delectable dishes bubbling below the sand-line.

So, if you’re up for exploring more Arabian cuisine, we have rustled up some titilatting inspiration for where to get started, in our geographical tour of this regional minefield, bursting (and exploding) with flavor and zest.

We have selected the 15 most popular dishes around the region for our panel of plates. Which concoction one will get your fasting bellies rumbling? Feast your eyes on this food, glorious food, from Planet Arabia!

 

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