berry of a West Indian tree, used whole or ground.
The flavor of allspice resembles a combination of
cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add to meat
loaf and sauces for ham. Use in relishes, sweet
potatoes, squash, spice cake, cookies and apple pie.
whole grain that is often used to thicken soups
with the thin brown skin removed, available in the
baking section of most grocery stores
cubes that can be used to make beef, chicken, fish,
or vegetable stock
of wheat that have been steamed, dried, and crushed.
Bulgur is a staple food in the Middle East. Cracked
wheat may be used as a substitute for bulgur.
spice of the ginger family, used in whole seeds or
ground, that has a rich aroma and gives food a
sweet, cool taste
Dried red chilies (hot peppers) ground to a powder
that are yellow in color and slightly larger than
green peas. Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
have a firm texture and mild, nutlike flavor.
ground seeds from the cilantro plant, used as
kernels that have been broken into smaller pieces.
Cracked wheat can be replaced with bulgur.
crushed red pepper—The
dried crushed seeds and skin of a hot red pepper,
used to season foods
seeds of an herb used whole or ground to give food a
pungent, slightly hot flavor
seedless raisins used in Mediterranean cooking
brown fruits of the tropical palm tree with sweet,
tender flesh. They are often dried for eating and
vegetable with shiny, purple-black skin and
light-colored flesh that is very popular in Middle
soft, crumbly white cheese that is commonly made
with goat’s or sheep’s milk. Feta has a distinctive,
sweet, dried fruit with many tiny seeds. Figs may be
eaten plain or used to flavor desserts.
bulbous herb with a distinctive flavor used in many
dishes. Each bulb can be broken can be broken into
small sections called cloves. Before chopping a
clove of garlic, remove its papery skin.
thick dip made of ground chickpeas, spices, and a
sesame seed paste called tahini
flat, edible seeds of the lentil plant
black, aromatic seed sprinkled on bread and
pastries. Nigella seeds (sometimes called black
cumin seeds) are available at Middle Eastern grocery
stores. If you cannot find them, you can substitute
oil, made from pressed olives, that is used in
cooking and for salad dressing
ground sweet red peppers used to flavor or color
dough used in many Middle Eastern recipes
flaky pastry rolled into paper-thin sheets that are
almost transparent. Phyllo dough can be made from
scratch or purchased from the frozen foods section
of most grocery stores. Allow the dough to thaw in
the refrigerator for at least 8 hours before using.
rich, edible seed that grows on some pine trees
flavorful, light-green nut used to flavor many
Middle Eastern desserts. The already-cracked shells
of this nut are easy to remove, but look for
pre-shelled varieties to save time.
round loaves of unleavened bread. When baked, a
puffed pocket of air forms in the center of the
orange-red legumes used to make soups and spreads in
flour made from ground rice and commonly used in
crackers, made from rice flour, that are used in
Middle Eastern desserts. Look for them in Middle
liquid distilled from rose petals that is used to
flavor many Middle Eastern desserts. Look for rose
water at your local grocery store or in
made from the gritty, grainlike portions of hard
variety of rice with thicker grains that cook to a
sticky consistency. Short-grain rice is available at
your local grocery store or Middle Eastern market.
spice made from the ground berries of a bush native
to the Middle East. Sumac has a sharp, fruity taste
and is available at most grocery stores and Middle
paste made from ground sesame seeds
fragrant herb commonly used to flavor chicken dishes
ground spice made from the root of the turmeric
plant. It turns food a brilliant yellow color and
has a slightly bitter flavor.
ingredient used in baking that causes dough to rise.
Yeast is available in either small, white cakes
called compressed yeast or in granular form called
common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine. To
achieve the flavor and thicker consistency of Middle
Eastern yogurts, strain plain, nonfat, or low-fat
yogurt through cheesecloth to remove extra water.