Enjoying the spice and heat of Edinburgh's Middle Eastern restaurants is a great way to complement the classic coolness of the city. The capital has long looked abroad for inspiration and in its Middle Eastern restaurants, Edinburgh has found it in spades. The locals have certainly taken to the variety and flavours available in these exciting eateries. That variety is one of the key reasons for the success of these establishments, offering something for everyone and for every dining occasion. Don't worry if this cuisine is new to you, we'll have a look at some of the most popular dishes below.
Hummus is everywhere in Middle Eastern cooking and Edinburgh restaurants focused on the region are no different. This enticing chickpea dip is often served as a starter with pitta bread. Tahini is another classic and can be used in recipes or as a spread with flat breads. Chickpeas are also a key ingredient in Falafel, fried in balls with onions and spices and often wrapped in pitta bread with roasted vegetables. Tabouleh is another popular dish that you will find in many Middle Eastern restaurants in Edinburgh. This is a zingy and refreshing salad of mint and parsley in cracked wheat.
These light bites are joined on the menus of Edinburgh's Middle Eastern restaurants by some satisfying main courses. Chicken and lamb kebabs are a succulent staple, cooked on the skewer with some mouthwatering spices. Vegetarians are well looked after too, with Foul Mudammes, a spicy dish of beans and various dolma, which is stuffed vegetables, often peppers. Fattoush, meanwhile, is another tasty salad, made with fried pitta, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, garlic and mint.
So what if you have a sweeter palate? There's lots of Middle Eastern treats in Edinburgh restaurants. How about a classic Turkish delight, or a tempting baklava with delicate filo pastry and sweet honey? For a pudding with a difference you could always try the less well known Umm Ali, which is an Egyptian bread pudding flavoured with raisins, pistachios, condensed milk and vanilla. You can then finish off a wonderful meal with a Turkish coffee and a glass of raki.