27 February, 2023
How can you learn about Middle Eastern food in Sydney?

Are you interested in Middle-Eastern food? Do you want to experience more than just eating it? Middle-Eastern food is rooted in history, culture and tradition. The diverse cuisine involves a variety of ingredients, flavours and techniques. Whether you grew up with Middle Eastern food or, are just interested in it, it’s undeniable that to eat and enjoy it is to understand the food. Over the years, there has been an increased interest in this cuisine, partly because of the rise in modern Middle Eastern restaurants and notable chefs. So, it’s unsurprising that many want to learn more about Middle Eastern food. But, why is it beneficial to understand the cuisine?

Why is it valuable to learn about Middle Eastern recipes cuisine?

Regardless of the cuisine, it’s important to understand the history and stories behind the dishes. For Middle Eastern cuisine, there is no shortage of history. Here are some of the reasons why it is valuable for you to learn about Middle Eastern cuisine.

  • Understand the unconventional pairing of ingredients
  • Appreciate traditional dishes
  • Learn the value of specific Middle Eastern ingredients
  • Become familiar with different eating traditions
  • Preserve the history behind the food
  • Understand the journey from farm to table

With Sydney being home to a diverse and multicultural society, where do you begin to learn about Middle Eastern cuisine? Here are four of our tips.

Discover food at top Middle Eastern restaurants in Sydney

There’s nothing easier or better to do that discover food by indulging in it. To get familiar with the ingredients, traditional way of eating and Middle Eastern dishes, visit a Middle Eastern restaurant in Sydney like Zahli. Nothing beats understanding the flavours of cuisine like actually eating it. At Zahli, we pride ourselves in offering traditional Middle Eastern dishes with modern twists. You’ll find all the flavours of the Middle East like refreshing mint, floral orange blossom and rose water, aromatic sumac and earthy lamb. Our top dishes to try are:

  • Foul
  • Mutabal
  • Sambousik meat
  • Lahem mishwee

Each dish represents the beauty of Middle Eastern cuisine and the traditional pairing of flavours and textures. 

Try your hand at a few Middle Eastern recipes

Learning the techniques associated with Middle Eastern cuisine is one of the best ways to intimately understand the food. Middle Eastern cookery incorporates special methods and elements that make its dishes incredibly unique and delicious. Try attempting a mix of popular and lesser-known dishes, in order to get a well-rounded understanding of the recipes. We recommend attempting to make your own hommos or tabbouleh–two incredibly easy and rewarding recipes. When you feel more confident, graduate to mutabal, sambousik meat and kibbeh lakteen recipes. You’ll find that you begin to learn various traditional Middle Eastern cooking techniques and the art of blending a variety of spices and flavours. Here are some of our favourite lessons to learn from Middle Eastern cooking:

  • Learning to pickle
  • Blooming spices
  • Understanding how to utilise sour ingredients like pomegranate molasses
  • Using tahini for more than hommos
  • Using herbs as the main ingredient 
  • Understanding the art of vertical roasting for dishes like shawarma
Read top Middle Eastern cookbooks

Middle Eastern cookbooks have risen in number and popularity over the past few years. Chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi, Greg Malouf and Sami Tamimi have pushed both the histories as well as the beauty of Middle Eastern cuisine into the mainstream. For your own personal education, get familiar with Middle Eastern cookbooks from different countries. Lebanon, Israel and Iran have similar but different cuisines, all with varying histories. Familiarise yourself with the ingredients, origins and common flavour combinations of dishes across the Middle East. Chefs don’t only write recipes, you’ll often find that they detail techniques, write about their own childhood affiliation with the dish and explain the history behind dishes. Instead of recipe books serving the sole purpose of instructional cooking, they should also be regarded as a valuable piece of learning material.

It’s clear that Middle Eastern cuisine has a lot more to offer than just delicious dishes. With deep-rooted history and transformational cooking techniques, there are many things to be appreciative about this cuisine. 

If you are interested in indulging in authentic Middle-Eastern food then Zahli, Modern Middle Eastern restaurant can gladly provide a memorable meal.  Zahli is here to provide you with a culinary experience like no other. Call us on (02) 9318 2228 to reserve a table.