Must-Try Food of The Levant

If there’s one thing us Arabs take pride in, it’s definitely our food. We don’t do little dinners or quick breakfasts – we feast! For today’s foodie article, we, at The Modern East, are going to be giving you a little insight on Arabic food – specifically – the food of the Levant! The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia and includes the countries: Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. Join us on our journey through to the top of Levantian menus for some of the most immaculate dishes of the region.

Palestine: Maqluba

Maqluba or Maqlooba (sometimes pronounced “ma2loubeh”) is a traditional Palestinian dish served throughout the Levant. It consists of meat, rice, and fried vegetables placed in a pot that is flipped upside down when served, hence the name maqluba, which translates literally as “upside-down.”

Syria: Mahshi

Mahshi is a form of stuffed squash, courgette, marrow, or zucchini. It is a dish common in the region of the former Ottoman Empire from the Balkans to the Levant and Egypt, but it is most popular in Syria. It consists of various kinds of squash or zucchini stuffed with rice and sometimes meat and cooked on the stovetop or in the oven.

Jordan: Mansaf

Mansaf is a traditional Arab dish made of lamb cooked in a sauce of fermented dried yogurt and served with rice or bulgur. It is a popular dish eaten throughout the Levant. It is considered the national dish of Jordan but can also be found in various locations in the Levant.

Lebanon: Kibbeh

Kibbeh is a family of dishes based on spiced ground meat and grain, popular in Middle Eastern cuisine but known as the national dish of Lebanon. In Levantine cuisine, usually bulgur wheat is pounded together with meat into a fine paste and formed into balls, with toasted pine nuts and spices. It may also be layered and cooked on a tray or served raw.

Iraq: Masgouf

Masgouf is a Mesopotamian dish consisting of seasoned, grilled carp; it is often considered the national dish of Iraq.

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