What’s Cooking? Using Food to Learn Arabic
You know one of the great things about learning Arabic is you get to learn about Arabic culture. And you know one of the great things that comes along with learning about Arab culture? That’s right! It’s all that delicious Arab cooking. And what’s the greatest thing about learning about all this delicious food? You get to TASTE all of that delicious Arabic food. Seriously, from falafel to fatoush, and from mansaf to magloubah, traditional Arabic foods are some of the best cuisine in the world.
The Heart of Arab Culture
When you’re invited to share food with an Arab, the first things you’ll notice is their hospitality and generosity. Arabs feel that the best way to honor a guest in their home is through food – and lots of it! And that also works vice versa. Many of you remember that old saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Well, it got its start in the Arab world. So, if you want to win the heart of your Arab friends, invite them over to your place for a feast that features plenty of food on hand.
By the way, for those looking for “no meat” Middle Eastern recipes, vegetarians can rejoice! You see, vegetables and grains are the heart of every Arabic dish. Thus, there are many delicious dishes that contain absolutely no meat at all on the Arab menu. We’re talking mouthwatering plates full of koshary, hummus, mujaddara, fatoush and oh so many others. Oh, and you’re host will rarely serve a dish without heaping piles of bread.
Food! Glorious Food!
No matter their language, people from all over the world love to talk about the food of their homeland. And Arabs are right up there among them. In fact, the best way to start a conversation with an Arab is to talk about food. Ask a Jordanian about mansaf or an Iraqi about masgoof. Better yet, ask a Palestinian about kunafa! Not only are you likely to gain a new conversation partner, but you might just get an invite to try some homemade local cuisine.
Learn to Cook the Arab Way
What’s a better way to get more Arabic vocabulary and learn more about Arab cuisine than to learn to cook some of that deliciousness yourself? And who better to teach you than a native Arabian chef? (Hint: Nearly all Arab mothers are master chefs and all Arab fathers are kings of the barbecue.) Not only will you get tips on how to make your own Middle Eastern cuisine, but you’ll also learn some Arabic grammar like imperatives which recipes often use. What’s more, you’ll likely get a history lesson on the food you’re learning to prepare. This is especially true if you’re making Arabic food recipes for Ramadan.
Must See TV
From Cairo to Kuwait, you’ll find there’s no shortage of cooking programs on Arabic TV. That also means there’s no shortage of Arabic dialects you’ll be able to choose from as well. Thus, if you want to learn the Egyptian dialect, for example, find a program where the host chef speaks in that dialect and start cooking. The more you watch, the more you’ll learn until cooking in Arabic becomes almost second nature.
Shop Locally, Speak Locally
Fresh meat and vegetables are the secret behind all Arabic food recipes, main dishes especially. The local market is chock full of fresh fruits and vegetables and most Arab neighborhoods even have their own butcher shops. Plus, they’re a great place to practice your Arabic. This is especially true of local souqs (markets) where vendors compete with each other by shouting out their wares and their prices. As a result, you also get the bonus of learning about numbers, weight and local currency.
Waiter, What’s This in My Soup?
If you want to learn some amazing Middle Eastern food recipes, appetizers at your local restaurant at are a good start (no pun intended). Seriously, when you go to a local Arab restaurant, the menu becomes your textbook. What spices do they use to make their shawarma so delicious? What their secret behind the best hummus you’ve ever tasted? How do they get their arayes so toasty? Take a few minutes to ask your waiter (in Arabic, of course). First, they’ll love that you’re trying to speak to them in their language. Second, as we mentioned before, Arabs love talking about food as much as anyone else in the world. Just don’t do take them away from other customers too long.
All of this talk of food is making us hungry. How about you?
Well, if you’re hungry for more Arabic, let the Kaleela Arabic Learning App help satisfy your appetite. Whether you want to learn Modern Standard Arabic or a local Arabic dialect has the perfect menu for you that will have you coming back for more and more. Check it now to learn more about you can start learning Arabic today!
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