The first time I went to eat at an authentic east Indian restaurant, I was a little confused by the choice of food that the owner served. I had noticed that most restaurants in Delhi and many other cities have a choice of ‘standard’ eastern Indian dishes along with the more exotic varieties. The problem with that is that we don’t have the time to prepare all the ‘standards’, so we resort to taking the fast food or going for quick lollies at the nearby bistros. But, the quality of the dishes from the East still leaves a lot to be desired.
Hummus is perhaps the most famous dish of all – a spongy paste of mashed tomatoes, chickpeas, olives, lemon juice, coriander seeds, tahini and extra virgin olive oil that give it a very nice texture. It is available in a variety of flavors, but what makes it so special is that the recipe is almost exactly the same, handed down from generation to generation in the family kitchen. And one of the best ways to sample different versions of hummus is to visit authentic restaurants and take home the ingredients to make your own. Here are some of my favorites:
Zaatar Paneer: This is a thick, rich, and spicy pickle made from chick peas, onions and ginger mixed with vinegar, spices, ground pepper, salt and water. While I love Zaatar Paneer, I have also enjoyed other popular pickles like the Hyderabadi Sadhams, made from red chili powder, ground pepper, turmeric, dried red chilies, coriander and lemon juice. Hyderabadi Paneer is making using a variety of spices including garlic, ginger, black cardamom, fennel, fenugreek, saffron, cinnamon and cardamom. If you want to make a ‘cheap’ hummus, then use zaatar paneer. However, I don’t think it compares to the authentic stuff, which is definitely worth spending money on.
Falafel: This is a soft, fluffy Middle Eastern bread typically eaten with tahini, which is ground camel milk. Traditionally served with pita, the flatbread is also enjoyed as a dessert. In my opinion, there is nothing better than falafel topped with egg, sugar or Tahini sauce. If you are going to make this yourself, then use chick peas instead of kidney beans and/or onions, and use quality spices to make the flavor more intense and delicious. Read more about 먹튀신고
Shawarma: This dish is extremely popular in the Middle East and is cooked over an open fire. Usually, Shawarma is made with beef or lamb, but you will find it made with poultry, fish, chicken and even pork if you go to a good hawala market. It is a flatbread dish, which is deep-fried. You can marinate meats in a variety of different ingredients to enhance the flavor and aroma. I like to add the tomato sauce, rosewater sauce or herbs like basil and mint to enhance the flavor.
Hummus: If you are looking for something exotic, then I would definitely recommend trying hummus. It is a Middle Eastern appetizer that is made with chick peas, grape tomatoes, tahini, garlic and tzatziki (a type of paste made from olive leaves). I love to eat hummus with chopped tomatoes as well as sliced vege and olives. In addition to being incredibly tasty, it is also extremely healthy because it contains no fat, calories or salt. One of my favorite things about hummus is that you can make it the night before and freeze it so you can take it out to eat the next day. I absolutely love eating hummus on its own but it tastes so much better when it is served with tzatziki.