Though the Middle East has many specific regional and national cuisines, one item ties them all together: aromatic spices. Middle Eastern cooking also features many ingredients in common, like pita, honey, sesame seeds, sumac, chickpeas, mint and parsley.
Sweet Syrup for Middle Eastern Pastries
Atar (Syria, Lebanon, Egypt)
Sheerah (Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Gulf States)
The general rule for syrup is to pour hot syrup over cold (or room temperature) pastries and to serve cold syrup over hot pastries.
In some areas, eating syrup and honey is superstitiously believed to ward off the djinn (evil spirits) and to make life sweeter.
3 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1 tbsp. orange-blossom water or rosewater
1. Boil the sugar with the water until dissolved and viscous, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients and remove from the heat.
The Arabian Delights
by Anne Marie Weiss-Armush
$15.00 / paperback
Lowell House, 1994
Recipe reprinted by permission.
Middle Eastern Recipes
- Brides Fingers (Asabia el Aroos)
- Festive Spiced Rice (Al Koozy)
- Grilled Kefta Kebab (Kefta)
- Plain White Rice
- Sweet Syrup for Middle Eastern Pastries
- Triangles with Meat Filling (Samboosak)
from Kate's Global Kitchen
Middle Eastern Cookbooks with Recipes
- Arabian Cuisine by Anne Marie Weiss-Armush
- A Biblical Feast, Foods from the Holy Land, by Kitty Morse
- Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa
by Habeeb Salloum
- Mediterranean Street Food by Anissa Helou
- The Spice and Herb Bible by Ian Hemphill
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The Middle East on Wikipedia
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This page modified January 2007