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10 Middle Eastern-inspired main course recipes

by Lottie Huckle

published on 11 May 2017

If you love to cook with Middle Eastern flavours, you’re not alone; over the past decade, ingredients like tahini, harissa, and pomegranate molasses have become commonplace on British supermarket shelves, attesting to the ever-increasing popularity of this richly varied cuisine. Here, we’ve gathered ten of our favourite Middle Eastern-inspired main dishes to inspire your next dinner party or sharing feast. From familiar favourites like falafel and moussaka, all the way through to kibbeh and koshari, these dishes will revamp your repertoire.  

Moussaka with Tahini (Moussaka bil Tahina)

Moussaka with Tahini (Moussaka bil Tahina)

A Levantine-style moussaka, this meat-free bake is topped with a dollop of tahini yoghurt and a generous sprinkling of za’atar.

Open Kibbeh

Open Kibbeh

by Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi

Ottolenghi’s riff on the classic kibbeh is much like a layered, savoury cake, packed with bulgur, minced meat, spices, and pine nuts.

The Ful Egyptian

The Ful Egyptian

by Sophie Missing, Caroline Craig

This colourful mix of spiced fava beans, chopped salad, flatbread, and eggs, makes for a refreshingly different brunch.

Fragrant Palestinian Couscous – Maftoul

Fragrant Palestinian Couscous – Maftoul

by Sami Tamimi, Tara Wigley

An impressive dinner party centrepiece, this maftoul is an aromatic medley of spice-marinated chicken, tender vegetables, and Palestinian couscous.

From the book

Sami Tamimi, Tara Wigley

Pomegranate Glazed Kebabs with Spiced Pomegranate Chutney

Pomegranate Glazed Kebabs with Spiced Pomegranate Chutney

by Silvena Rowe

Rich lamb pieces are offset beautifully by a tangy pomegranate glaze in this recipe from Silvena Rowe.

Beetroot and Feta Galette with Za’atar and Honey

Beetroot and Feta Galette with Za’atar and Honey

by Sami Tamimi, Tara Wigley

This beetroot and feta galette from Falastin: A Cookbook is encased in a buttery pastry crust, and topped with za’atar and honey for an evocatively Palestinian flavour.

Coriander Falafel, Green Chilli Zhoug, Tahini, Greek Yoghurt

Coriander Falafel, Green Chilli Zhoug, Tahini, Greek Yoghurt

by Miles Kirby, Laura Harper-Hinton, Chris Ammermann
from Caravan

Packed with fresh green herbs, these falafel are served with a punchy chilli zhoug and a creamy tahini and yoghurt dip.

Syrian Fattoush

Syrian Fattoush

With subtle sweet-and-sour notes, this fattoush is packed with torn crispbread and topped with a vibrant mix of mint, parsley, and pomegranate.

Slow-cooked Leg of Lamb with Harissa, Roasted Aubergines & Tomatoes

Slow-cooked Leg of Lamb with Harissa, Roasted Aubergines & Tomatoes

Perfect for feeding a crowd, this easy, one-tin lamb recipe packs a fiery punch thanks to a generous helping of harissa.

Comptoir Lasagne

Comptoir Lasagne

by Dan Lepard

A Lebanese-inspired twist on the classic Italian dish of lasagne, this recipe replaces Parmesan and béchamel with feta, tahini, and yoghurt, and swaps mince meat for fresh vegetables.

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