Monday, 7 March 2011

Food notes from Lebanon

A unique cultural past has helped make Lebanese food the most popular of all Middle Eastern cuisines. For most of its past, Lebanon has been ruled by foreign powers that have influenced the types of food the Lebanese ate. Ancient tribes journeyed throughout the Middle East, carrying with them food that would not spoil easily, such as rice and dates and this led to the evolution of Lebanese culinary culture.

The Lebanese gastronomy is a rich mixture of various products and ingredients coming from the different Lebanese regions. Olive oil, herbs, garlic and lemon are typical flavours found in the Lebanese diet. A perfect balance of dairy products, meat, fish, fresh vegetables and fruits, food in Lebanon is one of the most colourful and well garnished cuisines that one can come across.


Try out a nutritious pita wrap using our Lebanese products to make a healthy snack.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes;  Serves: 2

Ingredients:



  • 4 tbsp Falafel Mix

  • 2 pita pockets

  • 2 tbsp tahini dressing

  • 2 tbsp Tabouleh

  • 2 tsp Sumac

  • Olive Oil for frying the falafels


Method:

Heat the oil in a pan. Scoop up the falafel mix and shape into balls/bullets/patties. Fry four of these in the oil till they turn crisp and brown. Set aside

Open up the pita pockets and stuff them with tabouleh. Place 2 falafel patties inside each pocket.

Drizzle tahini dressing and sprinkle the sumac spice mix.

Either serve warm by heating it up a bit in the oven for 2 minutes at 200 C/400 F or serve cold just the way it is.



Read on to know more about our collection of Lebanese products by Al Fez:

Falafel Mix: A ready-to-use mix to make fresh, hot falafels at home within minutes of experiencing those pangs of hunger. Shape them in the form of bullets, nuggets or patties and serve in warm pita bread, stuffed with salad and topped with hummus, tahini or mayonnaise. Try serving Falafel patties served on a bed of salad leaves and drizzled with your favourite dressing!

Tahini Dressing: This nutritious creamy paste is made from crushed sesame seeds with a lovely nutty aroma and a fresh zesty flavour. Mix Tahini with Hummus for a rich and intense hummus experience or use as a dip for falafels, pakoras, frech fries and a host of other finger foods. Pour this dressing to liven up your salads or simply use a dip for chopped vegetables and bread.

Tabouleh: Tabouleh is one of the most popular salads or side dishes in the Middle East,

A zesty scented salad of bulghur, mint & parsley tastes perfect when served chilled.

This versatile dish can be eaten as a salad on its own, as an accompaniment or used as a tasty filler in a Lebanese wrap.

Sumac (Spice Mix): Sumac is a deep red berry with a wonderfully sharp & tangy

taste. Sumac is considered essential for cooking in much of the Middle East; it served as the tart, acidic element in cooking much like lemons. Sumac is great sprinkled on kebabs and in s alads ad pairs exceptionally well with raw onions. You can add it to rice and couscous for fantastic colour and flavour.  Next time a recipe demands you to squeeze a lemon, substitute it with a gorgeous sprinkling of sumac for delightful twist.

Zahtar (Spice Mix): A herby and aromatic blend of thyme and sesame seeds is just what is needed to enliven that boring salad or to make that dull plate of rice or couscous interesting to the palate. Sprinkle over salads, vegetables and flatbread or mix with olive oil to make a delicious dipping oil. Make spiced pita chips by cutting open a pita pocket, drizzling the inside with olive oil and sprinkling a generous measure of Zahtar. Grill until crisp.

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