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Spicy Ingredients Bridge India With The Middle East

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Indian food is becoming popular all over the world but nothing like Middle Eastern food which has taken Europe, other parts of Asia, and America by storm. Did you know that there are great similarities between Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine?

I did not know that the ingredients used in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean cuisine are similar to the ones used in Indian cuisine until I wanted to try some new recipes.

Middle Eastern food is all about health and preparing it fast. It is rich in legumes, fresh vegetable and fruits. Rice, flour, vegetables, and aromatic spices make both Indian and Middle Eastern food.

The chief ingredients of Middle Eastern food are olive oil, sesame seed and chickpeas. Olive oil is known to be good for the heart and chickpeas are supposed to be high in protein content. And sesame seeds are known for unsaturated fat. The most popular Middle Eastern dishes are: Tabouli, Falafel, Hummus, Pita and Baba Ghanoush.

Ingredients for each dish are mentioned below for your knowledge:

Tabouli – bulgar (cracked wheat), parsley, mint leaves, tomatoes, scallions (spring onions/green onions), lemon juice, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and ground pepper.

Falafel – chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained, shredded carrot, scallions, fresh parsley, fresh cilantro (coriander leaves), minced garlic, lemon juice, ground coriander, ground turmeric, salt, paprika, dash of cayenne pepper (capsicum), gluten free all purpose flour and olive oil.

Hummus – chick pea puree, tahini (sesame seed paste and olive oil, lemon) juice, water, garlic and sea salt

Pita – whole wheat flour, salt, sugar or honey, yeast, water, and olive oil.

Baba Ghanoush – small brinjals (eggplant, aubergines), garlic, tahini, ground almonds, lemon, cumin powder, fresh mint leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

From the above list we can see that we share so much in common with Middle Eastern food therefore we can close our eyes and say borders are more in the mind than in reality.

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