Mizrahi Heritage Month ended in November, but it is not over in our hearts. According to The New York Times and other sources, Mizrahi is “an umbrella term for Jews from North Africa and the Middle East.” Mizrahi Jewry contains a wealth of delicious foods, whether they be from Iraqi Jewry, Ethiopian Jewry, Moroccan Jewry, or anything in between. With holiday dinners and time off in December, we can use this time to celebrate Mizrahi heritage with food. Below are 18 foods you can use to create a full-course Mizrahi meal.
- Gondi: These are delicious chicken and chickpea dumplings that can be eaten in soup or on their own in bread. They’re a highly versatile dish that works with any entree. A simple, easy recipe for it can be found here.
- Cucumber, Mint, Tomato and Sumac salad: This is an easy and healthy recipe to enjoy year round. Just throw in some chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, mint, dried sumac, a few spices and extra virgin olive oil into a bowl. For more specific measurements, look here.
- Red Cabbage, Date and Beet Salad: This is a sweet and spicy dish you can get creative with, and includes a culinary touchstone of Mizrahi dishes: dates. The mainstays of the dish are beets and red cabbage, which will add some color to any table. Try this easy recipe!
- Fried Eggplant with Vinaigrette: Fried eggplant is a hearty and healthy appetizer which can be accessorized in a multitude of ways. Some people add a mint vinaigrette, others opt for more spices. This recipe shows how you can add pomegranate to this classic dish.
- Marak Kubbeh Adom or Red Kubbeh: This is an Iraqi and Kurdish Jewish dish with a colorful twist. Kubbeh are dumplings stuffed with meat and other things, such as beets with Red Kubbeh. The crimson color of this dish comes from the broth made from beets and other root vegetables. Enjoy this recipe.
- Tahdig: Tahdig is a delicious Persian crispy rice recipe. In addition to Basmati rice, you’ll only need a few other ingredients and some skills with your pan to make this versatile side dish.
- Ghormeh Sabzi: This is a delicious classic in Persian cuisine. A stew of lamb, herbs, and beans, it makes for a filling and healthy dish that pairs well with Tahdig. Well-known Persian American chef Samin Nosrat offers her recipe here for The New York Times.
- Chicken kabob: You can serve these with skewers for a fun twist on any dinner or lunch meal. Add some grilled tomatoes and onion for a complete meal with this recipe.
- Khoresh Sib: This is a sweet lamb stew many eat on Rosh Hashanah, however it can be prepared sweet or not year round. Adding fruit with this recipe makes it sweet, however it can be made more savory by adding rice instead.
- Khoresht Fesenjan: If you don’t like lamb, this chicken stew will be perfect for your dinner’s main dish. With pomegranate, walnuts, and sugar, it adds a sweet twist on a classic dish. For a more savory version, check out this recipe.
- Chraime: For your pescatarian or fish-loving guests, you can cook this North African dish. Use any fatty white fish like Halibut to make this spicy, melt-in-your mouth recipe.
- Abgoosht: Abgoosht is a beef dish that can be made in one pot if you’re not looking for a huge clean up after dinner. Throw some beef short ribs, potatoes, tomatoes, and several spices into a pot with this recipe and you’ll have something everyone will enjoy.
- Doro Wat: This is an easy Ethiopian Jewish chicken stew recipe that can feed a lot of people at once, or just a few people for an entire week if you make enough! Check out this easy recipe.
- Falafel: With some salad and hummus, falafel is a healthy, versatile, and vegetarian main dish you can prepare quickly. Check out this quick recipe here.
15. Malabi: Malabi is a rose water pudding that makes for a cool, sweet ending to any meal. Rose water is a staple in a lot of Mizrahi cooking, so don’t miss out on this recipe, which hails originally from Turkey.
16. Ma’amoul: These cookies are found in many Jewish cuisines ranging from Syrian to Lebanese to Egyptian heritages. You can get creative with the fillings and shape of them, but start with this easy recipe!
17. Faloodeh: This is a cooling and fresh dessert made with rosewater, a classic flavor in Persian cuisine. Use this recipe for a sweet treat.
18. Sadaf tea: You aren’t at a Persian Shabbat lunch or dinner without a hot glass of Sadaf tea after. You can get this delicious tea at any of the Persian markets in Westwood. While you’re there, feel free to grab some sugar cubes, which many like to add to their tea.