Arabic food fun facts – hummus, baba ganush, shawarma, lebna

Arabic food is one of the most flavorful cuisines of the world. With a heavy Mediterranean influence, olives, dry fruits (like pine nuts, cashews, pistachios and dates), cheese and other milk products are a big part of many Arabic dishes.

Hummus is a popular side dish made of chickpeas eaten with pita bread called khubus. Baba Ghanush or Mutabbal is the same as hummus but with an added flavor of smoked eggplant.  Felafels are also fried chickpea dumplings that taste great with hummus. Chicken and lamb are the most popular forms of meat eaten by Arabs. Shawarma, a lean pita wrap filled with skewered meat pieces is an all-time favorite snack amongst the Arabs. Kebabs, rotisserie grilled whole chicken are some of the other main Arabic dishes that usually go well with rice and tomato puree. Flat breads called fatayar filled with choice of lebna (yogurt), zaater (oregano), jiben (cheese), dijaj (chicken) or leham (lamb) make a great meal. Arabs believe in eating their greens especially in the form of salad called tabouleh (similar to greek salad).

No cuisine is complete without sweets. Bakhlawa, a kind of pastry filled with layers of dry fruit and sweetened milk is a worldwide hit. Kenafa is also a special kind of fried pastry with baked cheese where as Umm Ali is a delicious Arabic bread pudding. Arabs are shaay (tea) and kahwa (coffee) drinkers and take one or the other after almost every meal throughout the day.

Arabic lessons for kids

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