Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Arab Meze: Khubuz, Hummus, Labni and Mint Pesto

L to R: Big bowl of Hummus, Sliced Totapuri Mango, Labni, Mint Pesto and Khubuz

The Middle Eastern culture has a wonderful social leveler in its eating habits. It is probably that brotherhood that has made Islam so popular in that world. In theory it is the culture of eating from a common platter that unites men from different walks of life. This is reflected in the way food is served in the Middle Eastern countries of Turkey, Cyprus, Balkans, Greece etc and most countries under the Osmani Empire. It is common to serve bowls of varieties of relishes, starters, breads and fruits mostly melons, in a single meal. It could be a breakfast, lunch or dinner. This layout of a variety of foods in small bowls and platters is called a Meze. Turkish in origin but included in English now. I am thinking the Hindi word "Maza" which means "to relish" would have been derived from it. Even if it were not. Meze is maza, it is fun to relish different dips in a single meal. It appeals a lot to Indians for we have our own Thali.  Will write on the traditions of a thali and the cultures associated with it in a separate post.

Coming back to Meze, specifically this Arab Meze. I made it mid week when time was lacking. It is very easy to put together with advance prep. I realized this was a balanced meal and so healthy where you can control the amount of oil going into the food and it still tastes awesome. It even includes a fruit that is supposed to be eaten as a dessert but I would recommend beginning the meal with it.

Like you see in the picture I made a big bowl of Hummus, Labni, Mint Pesto, Khubuz and sliced some Totapuri Mango though a Musk melon would have been more authentic when I did have the option. Following this post you will find a series of each of these recipes labelled as Arab Meze.

Will leave you on it, Enjoy the Arab Meze... maza lo Arab Meze ka...

4 comments:

Indian Bazaars said...

Anjali, just loved this post! the first thought that came was, I actually know the person who posted this?! the second thought was, wish you hadn't moved to Bombay (although heart of hearts, I wish I could move there myself!) As always, you make it seem so easy to do. Really liked reading the background explanation you give about the Arab Meze.

Anjali said...

Kiran is that an appreciation by an academic? :) Thrilled to know you liked it. Yes move to Mumbai, I'll be so glad if you do.

indiamap said...

Oh Anjali, the food is calling me to taste it. Loved it!

Anjali said...

You are most welcome here! Thank you.

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