10 must-see vegan foods in the Middle East


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More and more people are adopting a vegan diet around the world. Whether for ethical reasons or environmental concerns and climate change, veganism is growing in popularity on all continents.

Vegan restaurants are also becoming some of the most famous places to eat in the capitals. When thinking about Middle Eastern cuisine, most people can think of rice and meat dishes. However, there are now many popular foods from the Middle East that are not only vegetarian, but also vegan. Continue reading for 10 must-see vegan dishes in the Middle East.

chickpea nuggets

These crispy fried balls are another ode to vegan chickpeas. The chickpeas are mashed with herbs, spices and sometimes onion. It is often transformed into a ball shape, but you can also find larger, flatter versions. It is thought to originate in Egypt, but is widely available in the uprising countries and also in the Gulf. In many places, falafel is transformed into a vegan pita sandwich with salad and hummus.


Manakeesh or Mana & # 39; eesh Za & # 39; tying

Za & # 39; tying or thyme, usually mixed with sesame seeds and sumac, is a popular condiment throughout the Levant. It is usually eaten with fresh bread and olive oil. It can also be turned into a pizza-like dish for easy eating. A soft dough is rolled out and covered with spices and olive oil before baking. It is widely available in bakeries or at home. Manakeesh can be eaten for breakfast or, when served with fresh mint tea, it also offers a wonderful lunch or snack.


Zaatar manakeesh with olives and olive oil


Although this green leaf soup is often made with chicken or beef stock, it is possible to find a vegetarian version made simply with aromatic spices. It is often referred to as the food of the pharaohs. In English, these delicious green leaves are known as Nalta jute, jute tossa or mauve of the Jews. Sometimes the texture divides people, as it can be smooth, but also heavy in the mouth. However, served with steamed white rice, it is the perfect healthy meal on a winter day. Although it may have originated in Egypt, it is also widely produced and consumed in the Levant.

Molokhia soup


While millennials are often described as lovers of avocado toast, the love for hummus is certainly the runner-up today. If you don't know this vegan dish or sauce, hummus is made from chickpeas mixed with lemon juice, tahini and garlic. It is also often drizzled with olive oil. Garlic and lemon are essential for the tasty and spicy flavor for which hummus is known. It is popular throughout the Middle East. Served with hot bread or pita, it is delicious to enjoy as part of any meal of the day.

Humus and Arabic Bread




This humble and filling dish is essentially a complete vegan protein. This is because it is made up of rice and lentils. The crispy fried onions that are usually placed on top give the perfect textural contrast. Hot, sticky and crunchy at the same time. It is popular in Lebanon and Syria.


Ful Medames

This is another vegan delight that originated in Egypt, but it is popular throughout the Middle East. It is a stew of fava beans. The beans can be left whole or mashed, and the main ingredients are onion, garlic and lemon juice. Other herbs like parsley and spices like cumin are also commonly added. This dish is often served alongside hummus. Stuffed with hot pita, it can be enjoyed for breakfast or any meal of the day. Especially in Egypt, it is considered a basic dish.

Ful medames - Egyptian dish

Lentil soup

Lentil soup is particularly popular in Turkey and Lebanon. It is also considered a basic beginner in many other countries. When it comes to Yemeni cuisine, for example, lentil soup usually starts the meal before the rice dish is served. It is full of flavor, largely due to the generous amounts of cumin, garlic and lemon.

Lentil soup with curry

Spinach fatayer

Fatayer breads are packed with anything from za & # 39; tying and cheese to ground beef and salami. However, the traditional spinach fatayer is also delicious and ideal for vegans. The layers of spinach in the bread are seasoned with pepper and lemon. This breaded delight is popular throughout the Levant, especially in Jordan and Lebanon. They can be made into long slabs, cut into slices or smaller pieces of snacks. The pasta is often drizzled with olive oil, making it nutritious and tasty.

Spinach fatayer


Koshari is a traditional Egyptian dish that is really considered the country's national dish. It consists of lentils, pasta with noodles and rice, which is topped with spicy tomato sauce, fried onions and chickpeas. Lemon and garlic oil is also usually available. While it may not be a low carb or keto-friendly carbohydrate, you can choose to abandon any diet plan to try this unique blend that makes koshari so loved in Egypt and beyond. Street vendors sell this comforting dish for almost nothing, which means that everyone can afford it. It can be found outside of Egypt in specialty restaurants, but it is not as popular as in your home country.

Koshari Service

Dolma vine leaf

The term "Dolma" comes from Turkish and means "to fill". These are stuffed or rolled vine leaves. Some recipes contain ground beef, however, the dolma that is served cold with a salad is traditionally stuffed only with white rice, red currant, mint, parsley and allspice. They are popular throughout the Middle East, especially in uprising countries. Dolma are usually made to honor a guest, as they take time to prepare. They are refreshing and easy to eat anywhere.





There may be many reasons to compel you to follow a vegan diet, but that does not mean that you should neglect your taste buds while traveling through the Middle East. The region is full of recipes and flavors that bring together the best of plant-based diets. From comforting food like mejadra, to a light and healthy breakfast, consisting of ful and hummus, the vegan cuisine available in the Middle East will be your own gastronomic adventure when exploring this spectacular region.

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Faz Bux

Professional writer

Faz is a mother and writer who loves to travel and has spent time in various countries around the world. She is an enthusiast of all cultural and linguistic things and also works as a translator.[Read full bio]

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