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Middle Eastern

Easy Yogurt and Red Chili Dip with Honey

This red chili dip is very simple to make and you just need to combine the ingredients, and then garnish it with olive oil and chili powder. You might need to add a little milk to the dip, depending on which kind of yogurt you have used to make it. If you are using strained Greek yogurt, for example, you will probably need the milk to thin it a bit. The ingredients for this chili yogurt dip are a rough estimation because you might want to add more of one ingredient to give the end flavor of the dip more balance. Just use your judgment with it and let your palate guide you.

Serve yogurt dip recipes like this chili dip recipe with sliced pita bread, tortilla chips, or crackers. It is also good with vegetable crudités – raw carrot, radishes, mushrooms and zucchini are all great for dipping. There are lots of similar recipes to this one but the combination of sweet, sharp and tangy flavors in this chili dip recipe are especially good.

If you are making your dips in advance, this one is suitable for that, but do not add the olive oil and chili on top until you are just about to serve it. Keep this yogurt dip covered and refrigerated until you are ready to serve it. Continue reading

Arab Style Red Chili Dip with Onions

This red chili dip is easy to make because you just combine all the ingredients. Sumac might be an ingredient that you have not used before. It gives sourness to recipes, rather like lemon juice. Sumac comes from the berries of a Mediterranean wild bush. These berries are dried and then crushed to make a reddish purple powder, which is fruity but sour. If you cannot find sumac you can use lemon juice instead or even a touch of lime juice in the recipe. It will be slightly different to the traditional recipe but still sour and sharp, as it is supposed to be.

Arab food is varied and delicious and you can could the regional dishes from Afghanistan, Turkey, India, Morocco, Yemen, Somalia and more places in the Middle Eastern world as Arab style recipes. A long time ago, the Arab diet was based on barley, wheat, rice, meat, and dates. Yogurt was also very popular. Modern Arabian cuisine features meat, fish, chicken, herbs and spices, dairy products, vegetables, nuts and dressings. Dressing and sauces often contain parsley, olive oil, garlic, tanihi (sesame paste), lemon juice, or thinned yogurt. Dips are popular and enjoyed with kabobs, meat dishes and more. A red chili dip or chili pepper dip is something that would feature in an Arab meal.

Because Arab cuisine encompasses so many regions, there are a lot of differences in what people eat in different areas. Some dishes are native to some Arabian countries but unheard of in others. Cinnamon is often used in Arab meat dishes, unlike in many western cuisines, as well in desserts. Fried dough and rice pudding are popular Arabian desserts and ground nuts are often used in pastries and cakes. Fruit juices are popular in many Arab countries and saffron is used in beverages, rice dishes, candies and more. Continue reading

Easy Baklava Recipe with Bacon

Baklava is a deliciously sweet and rich pastry, which is made of filo dough layers. It is sweetened with honey or syrup and contains chopped nuts. Baklava is enjoyed throughout southwest and central Asia, in Iran and in various former Ottoman Empire cuisines. Baklava recipes are normally for desserts or sweet snacks but the following baklava recipe makes a wonderful appetizer because it contains bacon, combining saltiness with the typical sweetness associated with baklava recipes.

The combination of salty bacon, sweet dates, maple syrup and orange zest and flavorful bourbon and almonds is what makes this one of our more unusual appetizer recipes, as well as one of the most flavorful. Baklava is served in slightly different ways. Sometimes you layer the filo sheets, also spelt phyllo sheets, with spoonfuls of the filling between them, and cut the baklava into wedges. Other times you can make little diamond shapes, pinching the sides of the baklava so you can see the filling.

This sweet appetizer recipe is guaranteed to tantalize your guests’ taste buds because it is unusual and really flavorful. Traditional baklava recipes are nice too but if you are serving a baklava recipe as an appetizer, try making this easy baklava with bacon. Continue reading

Traditional Lebanese Tabbouleh Recipe

Tabbouleh has a long history in the Middle East. It is known that bulghur wheat has been used for at least 4000 years. Tabbouleh was probably invented not too long after. Combining the wheat with all the fresh greens and tomatoes makes for a very tasty and nutritious dish. Tabbouleh can be eaten as a side dish or as a main dish. You can even set out a bowl with individual lettuce leaves piled high so everyone can use them to hold an appetizer sized portion of the salad. Tabbouleh excites the taste buds while it nourishes the body. Serve it alone or with lamb or chicken.

One of the best things about tabbouleh recipes is how easy it is to make the recipe larger or smaller. The salad is based on a balance of ingredients. Authentic tabbouleh is ¾ parsley and ¼ everything else. Keeping that in mind, you can increase your ingredients from feeding 6 to 60 with little trouble. In the United States, many recipes for tabbouleh are mostly wheat. While this is still tasty, remember that authentic recipes are mostly parsley. You can mix up the parsley a little bit by mixing in some curly parsley if you wish. It does not change the flavor, but it does fluff up the salad a little and gives more textural contrast.

Tabbouleh can be served as a dip with pita chips, stuffed as filling inside pita bread, or eaten wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Of course, you can also use a bowl and a fork if you prefer. The salad should remain simple. Use the freshest ingredients you can find. Use vine ripened tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil for the flavor. If you can, avoid the food processor in favor of hand chopping so the greens do not get bruised. Once you taste it, you will understand. Continue reading