When most people visit a Lebanese or Arabic restaurant, they select popular menu items like kafta, lahem mishwee and shish tawook. However, Lebanese vegetarian dishes are extremely delicious as well. Discover dishes beyond popular Lebanese and Arabic favourites like tabbouleh, falafel and hummus. Instead, try one of the unfamiliar and lesser-known but, equally delicious vegetarian dishes that Zahli has to offer.
Many Lebanese and Arabic dishes are centred around grains, rice and vegetables, making it unsurprising that they have a healthy amount of not only vegetarian but vegan dishes as well. With hardly any use of cream or butter, except for in desserts, these dishes are also lighter and healthier.
The next time you’re out with friends or family and tasked with finding a suitable restaurant, choose Lebanese or Arabic. They are guaranteed to have options for the meat-lover, vegetarian and vegan in your group. When you’re there, try these unique and flavourful dishes.
Try these vegetarian dishes from a Lebanese or Arabic restaurant in Sydney
1 – Foul
Foul or foul maddamas is a stew of fava beans, tomato, garlic, onion, olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Fava or broad beans are a lean and nutritious form of protein that’s packed with vitamins. The dish is popular throughout the entire Middle-East, with each country having their own take on it. In Lebanon, it’s served for breakfast with manakeesh however, it can be eaten as a hot mezza with other meals.
2 – Loubieh
Loubieh or loubieh bi ziet literally translates to green beans in oil. It is another stew but this time, made with green beans that are sauteed in onions and simmered in tomato salsa. It’s a fabulous dish to have in the summer when green beans are in season and is usually served cold with pita bread.
3 – Kibbeh Lakteen
This dish is the vegetarian version of kibbeh which is usually made with lamb. Kibbeh lakteen consists of a base shell that’s made of pumpkin and ground wheat. Inside, it is filled with spinach, onions and chickpeas and seasoned with the popular Middle-Eastern spice, sumac. The combination of these ingredients creates a hot mezza that is filling, expertly seasoned and texturally perfect. You may have your friends opting for kibbeh lakteen instead of the traditional lamb kibbeh!
4 – Mutabal
Mutabal is a fresh eggplant that has been chargrilled and mixed with onion, tomato, capsicum, garlic, parsley and lemon juice and then topped with pomegranate arils. The spicier, less-popular cousin to baba ghanouj deserves its own stage. With a punch of fresh ingredients, smokiness from the chargrilled eggplant and zingy acidity, mutabal is the perfect cold mezza to enjoy over drinks or to wet your appetite for the entree.
5 – Mouhamara
This dish is a hot pepper dip that’s made with earthy walnuts, garlic, lemon, red capsicum, breadcrumbs and pomegranate molasses. While complex in flavour, the dip is beautifully rounded out by tangy pomegranate molasses. It can be eaten as a dip with pita bread or with kebabs, grilled meat and fish. This makes it a great dish to order for a large and diverse group as it contains no meat and thus, is perfect for vegans and vegetarians but can accompany meats and be enjoyed by the rest of the group.
6 – Mjadra
Mjadra is a rice pilaf made with lentils and topped with crispy fried onions. The combination of the earthy rice and lentils and sweet but crunchy onions makes the dish not only delicious but incredibly moreish. Traditionally, it accompanies yogurt and vegetables and can be served either hot or cold. Mjadra is another versatile dish that can be ordered for a group. It’s perfect for vegetarians as it usually is served with non-meat sides but will also pair beautifully with lamb, beef or chicken.
Vegetarian dishes are no stranger in Arabic and Lebanese cuisine but they are often overlooked. At Zahli Modern Middle Eastern Restaurant, our meat and seafood dishes are not the only stars on our menu. We take pride in providing fresh, healthy and deliciously authentic vegetarian and vegan dishes. It’s a little bit of something for everyone–the perfect restaurant for groups!
Taste beyond what you thought Lebanese food had to offer and indulge in exceptional Lebanese flavours. Zahli, Modern Middle Eastern restaurant is here to provide you with a culinary experience like no other.
Call us on (02) 9318 2228 to reserve a table.