11 Eastern Culinary Secrets That Can Add Spice To Your Cooking

Written by Indrani Karmakar  • 

The world is a platter of various cuisines, and Middle Eastern cuisine outranks most of them with its exotic flavor and colorful meals. In addition to this they are also well-known for their unconventional cooking techniques, which are simple enough even for novice cooks to pick up without adding any unusual ingredients or spices. So, let’s look at some of the tricks used in Middle Eastern cooking to add vibrancy to our food.

1. They Salt Lemons

They Salt Lemons
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Typically, the only way we enjoy lemons is in a cup of tea. However, there are numerous additional ways this fruit may be used, as suggested by Middle Eastern culinary traditions. Meat, soup, and appetizers benefit from fresh lemon juice’s tangy flavor. Pickled lemons are very commonly used, particularly in Moroccan & Persian cooking. Lemons may be preserved for up to a month when packed with salt and lemon juice.

2. Salad Is Added To Soup

Salad Is Added To Soup
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While Westerners often top their soups with croutons or herbs, Middle Eastern chefs advise against such bland additions. Instead, olives, lettuce, and fried noodles are optional additions. Also, remember that this tip works best with pureed soups.

3. Coffee Is Brewed Twice

Coffee Is Brewed Twice
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The Middle East has its unique way of brewing coffee that would wow even the most discerning sultan. First, the water is heated, then chilled, and finally reheated with fine coffee beans and spices. Keeping the heating temperature low enough is essential. That’s why traditional methods of preparing Turkish coffee involve using sand or embers.

4. Rice Is Soaked Before Cooking

Rice Is Soaked Before Cooking
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Some Middle Eastern recipes include rinsing and soaking rice in milk before cooking to increase fluffiness. It’s optional for most forms of long-grain rice, but it does help with Basmati. Rice is soaked in cold water for two hours, becomes less sticky, and takes on a more savory flavor.

5. They Cook Perfect Eggs

They Cook Perfect Eggs
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Typical components of a Turkish breakfast include a variety of cold appetizers and fried eggs. The eggs are cooked in a specialty copper frying pan. Copper’s excellent heat conductivity justifies this practice. When searing meat, a pan with a thicker wall is preferable, whereas eggs cook more evenly and quickly in a pan with a thinner wall.

6. Seasoning Is Done With Oregano, Basil, And Marjoram

Seasoning Is Done With Oregano, Basil, And Marjoram
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Main dishes, including meat, often have aromatic herbs that are more commonly associated with calming tea in the Middle East. Herb za’atar, used in the ancient spice blend of the same name, is related to oregano, thyme, and marjoram.

7. Cinnamon Is Added To Every Dish

Cinnamon Is Added To Every Dish
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Among all spices, cinnamon has an extensive global following. With its sugary scent, it complements a wide variety of sweets. So, naturally, this seasoning is also fundamental to dishes from the Middle East. However, it is commonly found in local breakfast cereals and meat meals. In addition, you may find cinnamon & tomato sauce in the traditional Syrian spaghetti dish.

8. Meat Is Cooked In Clay Pots

Meat Is Cooked In Clay Pots
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Cappadocia, a region in Turkey, has long been renowned for its ceramics; ceramic kebab is a popular meat dish there. Kebabs from lamb, pork, or chicken with veggies are baked in a clay oven. The meat is enclosed within the saucepan and lets it stew in its juices for several hours. A crock pot effect is created by puncturing the cover during cooking. The food is served in a hot pot, cracked with a special hammer.

9. They Drink Pistachio Coffee

They Drink Pistachio Coffee
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Pistachio coffee, called menengiç coffee in Turkish, is made by brewing the roasted fruits of a turpentine tree. Like the pistachio, the turpentine tree may be found in some regions of Turkey. Like Turkish coffee, Menengiç is served in tiny glasses. Due to the absence of caffeine, the beverage can be drunk anytime, including right before bed.

10. They Don’t Add Salt To Beans Before Cooking It

They Don't Add Salt To Beans Before Cooking It
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Fava bean stew is a typical breakfast dish in Egypt, Lebanon, Syrian, Jordan, and other Middle Eastern nations since legumes are widely used in regional cooking. No surprise they have so many bean-related cooking idioms. Beans, for instance, can be soaked in a solution of baking soda and water, then rinsed. However, the beans may develop a foamy texture and a soapy flavor if baking soda is added while cooking.

11. They Make Beverages From Turnips

They Make Beverages From Turnips
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Not all visitors enjoy the lactic acid fermentation of radishes, black carrots, and barley into a fiery, salty beverage. Others find this beverage repulsive. Locals, however, claim it tastes like hot pickle juice and adore it. The drink, known as Salgam, is frequently served with çi köfte at local cafés.

So now that you know the secrets used by eastern chefs to make the food appetizing, nothing can stop you from becoming the master chef of your country. So, which of these cooking techniques will you try first? Let us know in the comments section!

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