The Rise of Plant-Based Alternatives in Middle Eastern Cuisine

(Audio blog reading by The Sultan)

When it comes to food, the Middle East is known for its rich and flavorful dishes that often feature meat as a main ingredient. However, with more and more people turning to plant-based diets, there has been a rise in plant-based alternatives in Middle Eastern cuisine.

For many, the idea of a vegan or plant-based diet may seem incompatible with traditional Middle Eastern dishes like kebabs, falafel, and shawarma. But with a bit of creativity and know-how, it’s possible to veganize these classic dishes and enjoy the flavors you love without the meat.

One popular alternative to meat in Middle Eastern cuisine is the use of lentils. They can be used to make meatless versions of traditional dishes like kofta and kibbeh. Chickpeas, another staple in the Middle Eastern diet, can also be used to make vegan versions of dishes like falafel and hummus.

Another alternative is to use plant-based proteins like tofu and tempeh, which can be marinated and seasoned to mimic the flavors of traditional meats. In addition to these, there are also a variety of meat alternatives on the market, such as seitan, jackfruit, and mushrooms, which can be used to create delicious meatless versions of your favorite Middle Eastern dishes.

But it’s not only about replacing meat, but also about using traditional middle eastern spices and herbs, like cumin, coriander, mint, parsley, and sumac, that will make your vegan dishes taste like the traditional ones.

In addition to being a healthier option, plant-based alternatives in Middle Eastern cuisine also offer a way for people of all dietary preferences to enjoy the flavors and culture of the region. So next time you’re craving a traditional Middle Eastern dish, consider going meatless and experimenting with plant-based alternatives.

By breaking the stereotypes that traditional Middle Eastern dishes can’t be vegan, and showing that you can make delicious plant-based version of them, we can promote cultural understanding and acceptance in a fun and tasty way. This can be a great way to introduce young people to Middle Eastern culture and open them up to new and exciting flavors.