Mains

Rishta bil Adas (Lebanese Pasta & Lentil Soup)

Rishta bil Adas (Lebanese Pasta & Lentil Soup)

Pasta has long been a staple of Levantine cuisine, where it has found its way into rice and lentil dishes, and even desserts. It has the ability to lift a humble meal of lentils into a complete protein, and makes it incredibly fun to eat. Rishta bil Adas is one of these dishes. It’s a comforting lentil soup that gets its rich flavour from carefully caramelised onions, a few spices and fresh coriander. By cooking the lentils together in the same pan, they impart their hearty flavour and turn the liquid into a wholesome broth.

Adas Bil Hamod (Lebanese Lentil & Lemon Soup)

Adas Bil Hamod (Lebanese Lentil & Lemon Soup)

At first glance, the Lebanese Adas Bil Hamod appears to be a simple lentil soup. Already delicious by itself, it is transformed into something miraculous once a hot oil of sautéd garlic and dried mint is stirred through. Add to that the hearty broth in which the lentils were cooked as well as the tangy flavour of lemon juice and you find a healthy dish that’s rich in comfort.

Uttapam (Indian Rice & Lentil Pancakes)

Uttapam (Indian Rice & Lentil Pancakes)

Just like Idli and Dosa, Uttapam is made from a fermented batter of rice and lentils (urad dal). However, rather than steamed in trays or spread out thinly in a pan, it is fried into a thick, fluffy pancake and topped with aromatics like onion, chillis, tomatoes and coriander.

Kuru Fasulye (White Bean Stew)

Kuru Fasulye (White Bean Stew)

Contrary to belief, the national dish of Turkey is not Kebab, Lahmacun or Menemen. Instead, many locals will name Kuru Fasulye, a fiery stew of white beans that have been slow-cooked in a rich tomato, pepper and chilli broth.

Sambar (South Indian Lentil & Veg Stew)

Sambar (South Indian Lentil & Veg Stew)

Sambar is a quintessential South Indian dish that is often served alongside Idli. It’s a tangy and spicy lentil-based stew that is made with a variety of vegetables, tamarind juice, and a blend of aromatic spices that give it a distinct aroma and taste.

Lolli con Fave (Pasta with Fava Beans)

Lolli con Fave (Pasta with Fava Beans)

This is a scrumptious example of the ingenious cooking of Cucina Povera, Italy’s kitchen of the poor. Thanks to a few simple techniques, it turns a humble assortment of veg, beans and freshly made pasta into a hearty and creamy one-pot dish.

Vada Pav

Vada Pav

Fill a table with these and I shall commit gluttony. This popular food from Mumbai is one of my favourite examples of how the simplicity of street food delivers a complex culinary experience through layers of flavours and textures. The three different chutneys balance sweet, sour and spicy flavour notes that beautifully accompany the savoury potato patty, while the chura adds a satisfying crunch amidst the soft bun. It’s a symphony that begs to be repeated again and again.

Pane e Cazzilli

Pane e Cazzilli

Ask locals about traditional Palermo street food and Cazzilli will be high on the list. Also called Crocchè di Patate (potato croquettes), they are made from mashed potatoes, flavoured with pepper and mint and finally fried until golden and crispy.

Pane e Panelle

Pane e Panelle

Ask locals about traditional Palermo street food and Cazzilli will be high on the list. Also called Crocchè di Patate (potato croquettes), they are made from mashed potatoes, flavoured with pepper and mint and finally fried until golden and crispy.

Rummaniyeh

Rummaniyeh

Rummaniyeh is a Palestinian aubergine and lentil stew that originated in Jaffa. When Palestinians fled historical Palestine, they took their culinary traditions with them, which is why Rummaniyeh is now often associated with Gaza.