Specialized vegan restaurants have become more and more common but it’s still fun to go out to the same restaurant as your non-vegan friends and find exciting options on the menu. If you go to a Middle Eastern restaurant, chances are you will find just that.
While the Middle Eastern diet includes meats, it also has vegan meals that are not thrown together on the spot and actually taste good. These Middle Eastern vegan dishes are worth trying whether you’re vegan or not.
Hummus is by far the king of Middle Eastern vegan dishes. It has become so popular that it is not uncommon to find it on the menus of none Middle Eastern restaurants.
Mix chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic and you have a dish that can be eaten as a spread, a dip or a sauce. Restaurants have their unique takes on hummus by adding different spices. You can opt to make it at home as well but be warned, it might take you some time, especially if you start off with dry chickpeas.
It might be a tie between hummus and pita bread for the crown for most versatile Middle Eastern vegan dish. Restaurants serve pita in sandwiches, use it instead of white bread, toast it, use it as a base for pizza and you can use it as a spoon for whatever sauce or dish you are having.
Pita bread is light and fluffy which makes it the perfect companion to spicy dishes.
Fattoush is the go to Middle Eastern vegan dish for those who love salad. It is primarily made up of vegetables, pita chips and herbs. The vegetables and herbs might vary from one restaurant to the next though. Vegetables might include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, green peppers and green onions with some chefs choosing to remove or add a vegetable. However, to have great fattoush, most agree that the thing you shouldn’t remove is the sumac spice.
This meat ball lookalike is a favorite appetizer for vegans and none vegans alike. Like hummus, falafel is made from chickpeas. Add to that herbs and spices and you get what can be a very satisfying meal.
You have the option to have your falafel baked or fried. Plus, there are so many ways to eat falafel. Enjoy it in a pita sandwich, served with tahini dip, in a salad wrap and so much more. What’s not to love?
The aroma is what sets basmati apart from other rice, indeed the word basmati translates to ‘full of aroma’ in Hindi. That’s not all that makes it a go to for many diners. It can be eaten brown or white, steamed or fried. Take the flavor and nutrient value up a notch by opting for a vegetable fried pilau.
Texture and flavor are key to a good vegan dish. For the best Middle Eastern vegan dishes, go to a restaurant with a reputation for making their dishes with fresh ingredients and spices.