Remember in school when they taught you that Arabic breakfast was the most important part of your day? Back then breakfast was usually a bowl of cereal and milk. Now, it’s coffee and a donut and we usually reserve our big, “well-balanced” breakfast for the weekend. Seems most of us didn’t take that “most important part your day” lesson too seriously.
Arabs, on the other hand, are very serious when it comes to Arabic breakfast. In fact, unlike America where supper is the biggest meal, breakfast and lunch reign supreme in the Arab world. For them, it’s a time when everyone in the family gathers around to share a meal, talk and laugh.
For breakfast in the Middle East, you won’t find a big heaping plate of pancakes, eggs, and toast in front of you. Rather, you’ll typically see a variety of small dishes including eggs, cheese, hummus, labneh, and the like on the table. Everyone just gathers around, takes a piece of bread, and scoops up all of that delicious goodness. (Think of it as a sort of breakfast buffet.)
So, what Arabic breakfast dishes can you find on this Arabic breakfast buffet menu? Well, here are just a few tasty dishes you can find at an Arabic breakfast restaurant. (You can also make them yourself by googling a few Saudi breakfast recipes as well). Anyway, we’re getting hungry so let’s start, shall we?
Crunchy and crispy on the outside and smooth and buttery soft on the inside, falafel are little chickpea fritters. Arabs eat them alone or with hummus on Arab flatbread for a tasty, on-the-go sandwich.
Oh hummus, that creamy, garlicky, lemony, deliciously protein-packed dip! This delightful dish consists of mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic and a few drops of lemon juice. It is most divine when eaten with fresh pita bread still warm from the oven!
Ful mudammas is often described as “the rich man’s breakfast, the shopkeeper’s lunch and the poor man’s supper”. Pronounced fool mu-dah-mahs this is a popular Arab breakfast dish made from fava beans. Like most of the breakfast items on this list, it is best eaten with warm Arab flatbread.
Fun to say and even more fun to eat, shakshuka, meaning “all mixed up” in English. When it comes to Arabic breakfast, egg makes this a hearty option. Featuring poached eggs in a spicy tomato and pepper sauce, Arab’s often top it with tangy feta cheese and parsley.
Za’atar is a spice blend made of dried herbs like oregano, sumac, and thyme. Added to that are spices like cumin and coriander, then sesame seeds and salt. All of this together gives za’atar its deliciously savory taste. Mix it with the green-hued, slightly peppery olive oil known as zeit and you’ve got zeit wa za’atar. Dip some warm flat bread into the mixture and then you’ve got breakfast.
We can’t talk about breakfast food without talking about Arabic bread. Made in brick ovens and served at every meal, Arabs use it for dipping, making delicious sandwiches – and breakfast!
Unlike the U.S., coffee isn’t commonly part of breakfast because Turkish coffee is simply too strong for a breakfast coffee. It’s more common to sip tea, especially sweet hot mint tea, along with an Arabic breakfast.
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