One of my readers asked me to blog about a vegetarian Middle-Eastern meal. Although the majority of Arabic food involves some type of meat, there are various vegetarian starters/appetizers such as hummus, baba ghanoush, fatoush and taboola. There are also some main vegetarian Arabic dishes that are cooked by Middle East families when they are sick of eating meat. Personally, I love meat so I rarely get tired of eating maklooba, mansaf or kabsa but there are occasions where my family and I cook a simple vegeterian meal to relieve our bodies from the meat fumes.
A good and simple veggie meal is boiled cauliflower or otherwise known as Imsha’at. The main ingredients of this meal are cauliflower, of course, flour and eggs. First, the eggs along with the flour are mixed into a large bowl. Water is added to the bowl along with salt, cumin and a ground-spice mixture (this mixture of spices typically includes allspice, black pepper, cumin and cinnamon) and parsley. In the meantime, cut the cauliflower into several pieces and boil the cauliflower pieces with water until the cauliflower becomes moderately tender. Once the cauliflower pieces are ready, dip the cauliflower pieces (one at a time) into the mixture and fry the cauliflower in a deepy frying pan with corn (Mazola) oil. This meal is very simple to prepare and can be eaten by itself or you can make a cauliflower sandwich with pita bread. I personally like eating it with pita bread.
Serving Suggestions: Boiled cauliflower can be served with olives, pickles, and green onions. Arabic salad can also be served with this meal. The beverage of choice for this meal is a nice glass of hot tea.
Country of Specialty:
Boiled cauliflower is very popular in Palestine and Jordan. Syrians and Lebanese are familiar with this meal but it is rarely cooked by them.