Arab Food? Got Your Back During the Lent/Siam
By Randa Necola/ Arab America Contributor Writer
Arabs are very religious and care about following their religions’ rules and traditions. Arab Christians in the Arab world, in the United States, and the whole world, make sure that they fast or follow the lent (Siam). The Christian lent requires Christians to be vegetarian for a month or more to eliminate the desire for meat, chicken and dairy products. It is hard to find a good lent/siam diet or food to eat during lent because the choices are limited. However, Arabs are not stopped by the limited food choices at lent and they have figured out many delicious Arab dishes to eat at lent. This article will give you some ideas so you don’t starve or get bored at lent!
Falafel is one of the most famous Arab foods that even people in the United States and all the world eat. It is a dough that is made of chickpeas, fava beans, parsley leaves, and delicious spices! It can be eaten in many styles because some people eat it in wraps with Tahini and salad or eat it by itself. Also, some serve it with salad bowls as a supplement of meat or chicken.
Baba Ghanouj is one of the most loved for dipping or as a salad for Arabs and Arab Americans. This healthy dish is mainly made from mashed cooked eggplant mixed with tahini, garlic, seasonings, and olive oil. This dish can be used as an entry, main dish or salad.
Tahini is a paste made of ground sesame that has a magical taste no one can resist. It is served as a dip or major component. Tahini is a win-win dish that everyone loves to eat and it can be a delicious side, dip or entry. Tahini is a major component in many Arab dishes similar to Baba Ghanouj and it is a friend of Falafel in warps like peanut butter and jelly!
Do we need to tell you what hummus is? Of course not! Hummus is an Arab dish that is known all over the world. It is served in the United States as one of the best dipping pastes. Hummus is mainly a Levantine dish that is made of mashed chickpeas, olive oil, salt, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. It is a very healthy dip that can be eaten with bread, vegetables, or chips. Arab Americans and some Americans love it and sometimes they make Hummus themselves.
Koshari is one of the main dishes in Egypt and a common one in the Arab world. It is a dish that is made of rice, pasta, lentils, tomato sauce, and garlic vinegar. In addition, fried onions are added on top of the plate for a good decoration and a nice taste. The plate is very famous for conquering hunger and being a good source of energy. It is delicious!
Fava beans are a common type of beans that Arabs and Arab Americans cook and eat. The methods in which each Arab country cooks and prepares beans vary. Most Arabs add olive oil, salt, cinnamon, and other spices. Fava beans are a cheap and healthy source of vitamins and keep you full for a long time.
Mahshi (stuffed vegetables)
Many people are familiar with Mahshi–mainly vegetables stuffed with seasoned rice and meat. However, the lent Mahshi has only stuffed vegetables with seasoned rice. People like to have tahini or baba ghanouj next to it. The most famous Mahshi vegetables are grape leaves, cabbage, eggplant, squash, pepper, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Mesa’a’a (Stewed Eggplant)
Again, the Mesa’a’a is a known Arab dish made of eggplant, salsa, pepper, seasoning, and meat. So, again the lent Mesa’a’a is without the meat and it is as delicious as the regular one.
Mekhalel (Pickled vegetables)
One of the most important sides that Arab and Arab Americans eat is Mekhalel, pickled vegetables with spices. Arabs eat it as appetizer or side because it somehow replaces meat or chicken during Lent. Arabs pickle all kinds of vegetables and the most common ones are carrots, onions, cucumber, eggplant, and lemons.
We bet this list starved you! It’s ok! Make your Siam recipes and enjoy this time of Lent.