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24 marvellous Middle Eastern recipes

There's nothing like filling the kitchen with the fragrant spices for which the countries of the Middle East are famous. Dinner dishes come alive thanks to mouth-watering flavours from sumac to za'atar while desserts are sweetened with a light touch of rose water and orange blossom. Here, we've pulled together our best meals that make the most of these sensational spices. There's everything from roasted eggplant with pomegranate molasses, a favourite ingredient in Iran, to konafa, a sweet cheese pastry popular in Lebanon. Dig in!

  • 1

    Sumac chicken with herbed couscous

    Create authentic Middle-Eastern inspired dishes in no time at all using our handy shortcuts. The whole family are sure to love this sumac-rubbed chicken recipe, especially when served over a fluffy herbed couscous.

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  • 2

    Spiced lamb with burghul

    This lamb tastes exquisite. Do try to use dried mint (it’s readily available) because it gives a different flavour to our common garden mint.

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  • 3

    Roasted eggplant with spiced lamb

    Silky eggplant and crunchy cauliflower topped with spiced minced lamb - delish! This dish is a stand out winner for a quick and easy midweek dinner. And it's great for diabetics.

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  • 4

    Basic hummus

    When thinking of healthy snacks to keep you full throughout the day, it can be difficult to find something that appeals to both the flavour and health aspects. This is why our basic hummus recipe comes in handy - it's healthy, tasty and packed full of protein and fibre to keep you satiated.

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  • 5

    Za’atar bread

    Delicious and easy-to-make Middle Eastern za’atar bread. Michael Rantissi of Kepos Street Kitchen shares his recipe from his book Falafel for Breakfast.

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  • 6

    Rose-infused figs

    Native to the Middle East, the humble fig has endless varieties and possibilities. Woman's Day have infused them with rose water, here. The results are decidedly delicious and exotic.

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  • 10

    Lamb Shanks with Sumac and Mint and Date Stuffing

    It’s time to dig out the slow cooker and make the most of cheaper cuts of meat. Get them chugging away early in the day, so that by dinnertime the house is filled with gorgeous savoury aromas and you’ll have everyone clamouring around.

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  • 11

    Baked kibbeh with tabouli

    This traditional Middle Eastern dish is so versatile in how it's served. Try baking in different shapes and styles.

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  • 12

    Ghoriba biscuits

    These Middle Eastern biscuits are perfumed with orange flower water.

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  • 14

    Ilaria’s Burghul Salad

    When renovating a house one of the most unsettling things is having to make do without a kitchen. Rather than resigning yourself to takeaways every night, borrow an electric frying pan and a gas ring if you don’t already have them and have a go at turning out these dishes. It’ll keep you healthy, sane and on budget.

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  • 19


    Served with coffee or tea, this Middle Eastern treat makes the perfect ending to any meal.

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  • 24

    Lamb gozleme

    Full of fresh flavours, gozleme is the king of sandwiches. Here, we show you how easy it is to make your own flatbread, then sandwich it with our mouth-watering lamb filling, spinach, mint and fetta. Finish, of course, with lemon wedges.

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