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Arabian Tidbits

Modern Emirati cuisine is a mixture of dishes found around the Middle East, leaning heavily on dishes that originated in Lebanon and the Levant. The traditional Bedouin diet was very simple, consisting of roasted meat—usually kid or camel—unleavened bread, bulgur wheat, and whatever greens were at hand. This meal was often followed by a dessert of dried fruits or pastries and sweet tea or coffee. Arabian restaurants in Dubai more often serve Lebanese-style food, concentrating on a range of small starter dishes known as mezze, which may include any of the following:

Bourek or Burek: pastries with spinach or cheese stuffing.

Tahini: sesame seed paste.

Kibbeh: minced meat, bulgur wheat, and spices in torpedo-shaped fried balls.

Baba ghanoush: eggplant salad with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.

Dolma or Mahshi: stuffed vine leaves.

Falafel: fried balls of crushed chickpeas.

Fattoush: a salad of seasonal vegetables.

Fuul: slow-cooked fava beans served as a cold salad.

Kofta: ground meat, spices, and onions mixed with bulgur wheat, then cooked in sauce, steamed, or fried.

Man'oushi: miniature pizzas with a range of traditional toppings.

Mujaddara: cooked lentils with wheat and onions.

Pastirma: pressed dried meat.

Tabbouleh: bulgur wheat with finely chopped mint, parsley, tomato, and spring onion.

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