Middle eastern cuisine is some of the most spicy on earth, and full of exotic ingredients like pomegranates, rosewater, orange blossom water (and lentils – okay not so exotic!) It’s great for plant-based meals, as the ingredients tend to be cheap and easy to cook (rice, beans, lentils) and the meals are often finished off with mint tea or strong black coffee. Make Your Own Tahini (Crowded Kitchen) with 2 recipes. Tahini is a calcium-rich creamed paste made from sesame seeds. Choose from plain or chocolate.
Here are some nice plant-based recipes and books to try, whether it’s your heritage, or you simply like Middle Eastern cuisine. Also see vegan alternatives to Halal (and Kosher) food. Both religions can be plant-based or vegetarian, if wished.
Plant-Based Middle Eastern Recipes
Try this recipe for tahini pasta (Crowded Kitchen). Makes a nice change from tomato sauce, and is very rich in calcium and protein.
Middle Eastern Green Lentil Soup (Lands & Flavors) is a nice cheap and simple supper. It features tender lentils, hearty chickpeas and a spicy broth. Serve as is, or stir in some chopped greens.
Mujadara (Crowded Kitchen) is a plant-based version of a classic Middle Eastern dish, made with lentils, quinoa, caramelized onions and a tahini yoghurt sauce.
Plant-Based Middle Eastern Desserts
Middle Eastern Rice Pudding (Lands & Flavors) is a comforting and aromatic dessert. Scented with unique flavours and easy to adapt. Serve hot or chilled.
Tahini Banana Bread (Short Girl, Tall Order) is the best recipe, free from refined sugar and sweetened with maple syrup. The perfect breakfast treat, it’s studded with vegan chocolate chips.
Cranberry Pomegranate Tart (Addicted to Dates) blends the North American berry with the Middle Eastern fruit. It hasa roasted buckwheat base with buttery pecans, and is sweetened with coconut sugar.
Pomegranate-Glazed Gingerbread Bundt Cake (Rainbow Plant Life) combines two winter tastes into one delicious sweet treat.
Chocolate Tahini Freezer Fudge (Short Girl, Tall Order) is no-bake, easy to make and needs just 7 ingredients.
Plant-Based Middle Eastern Recipe Books
Vegan Recipes from the Middle East is a stunning book of authentic recipes. Enjoy making spicy stuffed veggies, cool fragrant soups, preserves, pilafs, breads, pickles, relishes and pastries. The book features recipes from Iran, Armenia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Turkey. Recipes include:
- Stuffed Aubergines with Walnut & Pomegranate
- Tomato & Cucumber Salad with Mint
- Spinach Barley & Chickpea Soup
- Tahini & Parsley Dip
- Aubergine Mousse with Tahini
- Cardamom, Clove & Cinnamon Rice Pudding
- Butternut Squash Tagine
- Almond & Rose Cake
Parvin Razavi was born in Iran and spent her early years at the Caspian Sea and in Tehran, before her family emigrated to Europe. She has worked as editor for a magazine on sustainable lifestyles.
Tahini & Turmeric is a fusion cookbook if ever there was one. Vicky and Ruth grew up in a Barcelona family to Jewish/Lebanese parents, and now live in the US. These recipes marry Middle Eastern flavours with new healthy ingredients. Recipes include Baba Ghanoush and Baklava, plus tips like how to sub spring roll wrappers or pita bread for from-scratch dough., to make it easy to prepare exotic food.
The Magic of Tahini is a book of dreamy vegan recipes, for this nutty sesame paste. Find 65 plant-based recipes featuring protein-rich tahini – from savoury salads, soups and burgers, to sweet energy bars, smoothies and bakes. More than a staple ingredient in hummus, tahini is known as ‘white gold’ in Middle Eastern cuisine and a widely used and treasured ingredients. The creamy texture and high unsaturated fat content are great when mixed with water for dairy-like qualities that are hard to recreate in a plant-based diet.
Learn about the different types of tahini and how to make them from scratched (hulled and unhulled with white or black sesame seeds) and how to choose the right store-bough tahini for your recipe. Then go onto to make:
- Strawberry-Tahini Yoghurt
- Sesame-full Quiche
- Velvety White Soup
- Tahini Millet Scones
- Tahini ‘Cheese’ Nachos
- Tahini & Potato Curry
- Marbelled Muffins
- Coconut & Black Tahini Ice Cream
Hummus is Where The Heart Is is a book by Croatian chef Dunja Gulin. Find 65 inventive recipes for anyone who likes hummus, the humble Eastern Mediterranean dish that stole our hearts. Who’d have thought that a little bowl of smashed up chickpeas could taste so good? Whether served as a dip with breadsticks, slathered on breath to give oomph to kebabs or sandwiches, or offered as part of a main meal, here are tips to make the perfect homemade hummus, to get the flavour balance and texture right each time. Then find recipes for:
- Onion Jam Hummus
- Indonesian-style Hummus
- Baked Aubergine (eggplant) Hummus
- Dippers (chapatis, pitta bread, sesame grissini)
- Plus chapters for hummus meals
- And Hummus desserts (?!)
Mango & Mint is a lovely little book of North African recipes, by a former rock guitarist turned chef. tist turned chef. Nicky Garratt includes recipes that use up fresh ingredients, a section on using up recycled foods, and a sample menu with photos, for plenty of inspiration. Recipes include Baba Ghanoush, Red Pepper Bulgur Salad, Spinach Pies, Harissa (!), and Donuts in Syrup.