Vegan Recipes from the Middle East

Many cultures blend together to make up the melting pot that represents the food of the Middle East. Generations of  Iranian, Israeli, Armenian, Kurdish, Greek, Cypriot, Azerbaijani and Turkish cooks, as well as other nations, join together as the foundation of this varied and vibrant cuisine.

One constant among these people are the reverence and respect they have toward cooking with food that comes from the earth.

In Vegan Recipes from the Middle East by Parvin Razavi, vegan cooking blends natural culinary delights from various cultures with a contemporary approach to deliver dishes that will please the modern cook. Here are warm and spicy stuffed vegetables, cool and fragrant soups, delicate preserves, pilafs, breads, pickles, relishes and pastries with beautiful photographs to boot.

The dishes of the following countries: Iran; Armenia; Syria, Lebanon, Jordan; Egypt; Morocco and Turkey are the focus of Parvin's recipes. The book is organized in chapters for each country with a focus on the mezze style of cooking and serving. It is not unusual for up to ten dishes to be prepared for one meal in the Middle East and they are all served together. There is no designation of courses - everything is brought to the table to enjoy. I love this type of celebration that sets out myriad dishes so that guests can explore and share. 

The Crispy saffron rice and Orange and coriander relish were two dishes I tried several months ago and they were perfect, especially the relish.  I love the sweet and sour combination that added a bright note to our chicken dish (of course, this relish would be good with any number of vegan dishes such as rice or lentils).

Special thanks to the publisher for sharing the recipe below for Stuffed aubergines with walnut and pomegranate with our members today as well as providing five copies of this book in our contest for members worlwide. Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter.

Stuffed aubergines with walnut and pomegranate
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Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • A little oil
  • 500 g ground walnuts
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate syrup
  • 250 ml water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100 g approx. Pomegranate seeds
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • A little parsley, for garnishing

1. Halve the aubergines, place in a generous amount of salted water and steep for half an hour.

2. Sweat the onions in a pan with some oil until transparent and add the garlic.

3.  Add the walnuts and pomegranate syrup to the saucepan and slowly bring to the boil with the water.

4.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer on a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring regularly.

5. Add the pomegranate seeds and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring constantly.

6. Remove the aubergines from the water and wipe well with a clean cloth.

7. Cut into each aubergine flesh twice lengthways and saute in a heated frying pan for 2-3 minutes on each side.

8. Add the lemon juice to the pomegranate and walnut mixture, and spread on the aubergines. Serve with pomegranate seeds and a little parsley as a garnish.

Tip: The nut and pomegranate filling can also be supplemented with 150-200 g strips of seitan and served with rice.

 

The publisher is offering five copies of this book to EYB Members worldwide. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on January 21, 2017.

114 Comments

  • Angryyew  on  12/13/2017 at 10:21 PM

    I would try the crispy saffron rice first.

  • Megoola  on  12/13/2017 at 10:58 PM

    I'd make Thick pearl barley soup.

  • katehenderson  on  12/13/2017 at 11:08 PM

    Lebanese Bread Salad!

  • allthatsleftarethecrumbs  on  12/13/2017 at 11:49 PM

    Wow, so many great recipes. The baker in me wants to try the Middle Eastern rice pudding, but the Butternut squash tagine with coriander and date couscous sounds too good to pass up.

  • JJWong  on  12/13/2017 at 11:52 PM

    I'd love to try the thick pearl barley soup. I used to use pearl barley in soup, but haven't in a while.

  • AnnaZed  on  12/14/2017 at 1:25 AM

    Broad bean stew with dill sauce (Baghali ghatogh)

  • GillB  on  12/14/2017 at 1:44 AM

    Lentil dissolves with fried tomatoes

  • Foodycat  on  12/14/2017 at 4:33 AM

    I love that so much Middle Eastern food is accidentally vegan. Fattoush is one of my favourite salads, so I would probably try that first.

  • mpdeb98  on  12/14/2017 at 6:43 AM

    Jewelled rice with barberries, almonds and pistachios

  • MelMM  on  12/14/2017 at 9:49 AM

    I would make one of the vegetable tagines.

  • lgroom  on  12/14/2017 at 10:12 AM

    Potato kibbeh.

  • contest718  on  12/14/2017 at 10:17 AM

    Thick pearl barley soup

  • kmn4  on  12/14/2017 at 11:23 AM

    Persian saffron rice pudding (Shole zard)

  • lauriesk  on  12/14/2017 at 11:29 AM

    The first recipe I would try is braised artichokes.

  • eveaway  on  12/14/2017 at 12:00 PM

    Stuffed vine leaves!

  • laffersk  on  12/14/2017 at 12:33 PM

    Stuffed vine leaves

  • sipa  on  12/14/2017 at 1:34 PM

    You had me at stuffed aubergines with walnut and pomegranate, OMG.

  • lselke  on  12/14/2017 at 2:16 PM

    Tabbouli with pomegranate seeds and apples.

  • Dannausc  on  12/14/2017 at 4:24 PM

    Pickled cauliflower

  • AndieG52  on  12/14/2017 at 4:58 PM

    Lebanese bread salad (fattoush)

  • lydiag12  on  12/14/2017 at 6:18 PM

    I would try the Baklava first!

  • sarahawker  on  12/15/2017 at 8:44 AM

    Aubergine mousse with tahini (Baba ghanoush)

  • daniellespinato1  on  12/15/2017 at 11:31 AM

    Lentil rissoles with fried tomatoes

  • kitchenclimbers  on  12/15/2017 at 2:56 PM

    baklava

  • maggie_moo  on  12/15/2017 at 4:09 PM

    Tabouleh with pomegranate seeds and apple

  • t.t  on  12/16/2017 at 12:45 AM

    Citrus salad with sumac dressing, barberries and pistachios

  • Livia  on  12/16/2017 at 2:45 AM

    It has got to be the Persian New Year soup

  • tarae1204  on  12/16/2017 at 8:50 AM

    These stuffed eggplants with walnuts and pomegranates look delicious.

  • sgump  on  12/16/2017 at 3:41 PM

    I recently bought some ground sumac, so I'd have to try the Citrus salad with sumac dressing, barberries and pistachios (though I'll have to hunt down the barberries first!).

  • obigi  on  12/17/2017 at 3:25 AM

    I would like to try the aubergine mousse.

  • RSW  on  12/17/2017 at 10:49 AM

    Stuffed aubergines with walnut and pomegranate

  • tennyogirl  on  12/17/2017 at 9:38 PM

    crispy saffron rice

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  12/18/2017 at 2:15 AM

    I would want to make the tomato and coriander salad.

  • Siegal  on  12/18/2017 at 12:25 PM

    Figs in syrup sounds great

  • LaurenE  on  12/18/2017 at 2:37 PM

    Jewelled rice with barberries, almonds and pistachios

  • vinochic  on  12/18/2017 at 6:08 PM

    This is my kind of food! I would try Baked aubergines with sumac and parsley, served with lentil tabouleh first.

  • lovelily1001  on  12/18/2017 at 9:09 PM

    Honestly, I thought this would not be of interest to me. And then I saw the recipe for Aubergine with walnut and pomegranate--- sign me up!

  • ptkcollins  on  12/19/2017 at 9:10 AM

    lentil stew with Swiss chard

  • wjsisung  on  12/19/2017 at 11:57 AM

    Picked carrots

  • GregH  on  12/19/2017 at 3:50 PM

    Thick pearl barley soup (Ashee joo)

  • v.t  on  12/19/2017 at 4:58 PM

    Thick pearl barley soup

  • Katiefayhutson  on  12/19/2017 at 10:03 PM

    Crispy saffron rice

  • ChefTamiMitchell  on  12/21/2017 at 5:13 PM

    Persian Bean Stew

  • chasteph  on  12/22/2017 at 12:51 AM

    Stuffed aubergines look wonderful

  • MaineDruid  on  12/22/2017 at 7:12 AM

    On this frosty first day of winter, I'm leaning towards Caramelised Baked Vegetables.

  • patioweather  on  12/22/2017 at 10:49 AM

    Khoubiz

  • JulieG1002  on  12/22/2017 at 3:16 PM

    Imam bayildi

  • Ingridemery  on  12/23/2017 at 1:55 PM

    Tabbouleh with pomegranate seeds and apple looks fabulous

  • monasli  on  12/24/2017 at 7:36 AM

    Crispy saffron rice.

  • stitchan  on  12/24/2017 at 8:31 AM

    Almond and rose cake

  • annieski  on  12/26/2017 at 5:10 AM

    Lentil rissoles crispy saffron rice...

  • Astrid5555  on  12/26/2017 at 2:12 PM

    citrus salad with sumac dressing

  • LMS209  on  12/27/2017 at 5:02 PM

    Persian new years soup!

  • Uhmandanicole  on  12/28/2017 at 1:38 AM

    Tomato and coriander salad

  • motherofpearl81  on  12/28/2017 at 7:15 AM

    Stuffed vine leaves

  • love2laf  on  12/28/2017 at 8:26 AM

    Stuffed aubergines with walnut and pomegranate

  • cambridgecook  on  12/28/2017 at 3:50 PM

    citrus salad with sumac dressing

  • robynsanyal  on  12/28/2017 at 6:43 PM

    Crispy saffron rice

  • Laura1  on  12/28/2017 at 7:19 PM

    Lentil stew with swiss chard

  • verorenee  on  12/28/2017 at 9:42 PM

    Jewelled rice with barberries, almonds and pistachios

  • PennyG  on  12/29/2017 at 3:49 PM

    Chickpeas in an earthenware pot!

  • lhudson  on  12/30/2017 at 9:23 AM

    Lentil soup

  • Julia77  on  12/30/2017 at 3:46 PM

    Braised leeks with saffron

  • shaz4  on  12/30/2017 at 8:08 PM

    The stuffed vine leaves are first on my list, transporting me to a whole different world...

  • sweetmarah  on  12/30/2017 at 8:18 PM

    The orange and coriander relish sounds just right. I would try it first.

  • ckbkcollector  on  12/30/2017 at 8:33 PM

    Hummus

  • creeker  on  12/30/2017 at 8:36 PM

    I would try the orange and coriander relish first

  • etesla  on  12/30/2017 at 11:22 PM

    I'd do Stuffed aubergines with walnut and pomegranate - I love pomegranate with bitter and smoky flavors, so that sounds like a winner. :)

  • FawcettSA  on  12/31/2017 at 12:51 AM

    I adore Baklava and I've always wanted to try to make it, so I think this would be the first recipe I'd have a go at

  • Eydie  on  12/31/2017 at 1:46 AM

    Aubergine mousse! Sounds amazing

  • biro  on  12/31/2017 at 4:53 AM

    Filo Pastry

  • Glahe  on  12/31/2017 at 5:46 AM

    I'don't try Lentil stew with Swiss chard

  • PennyB2309  on  12/31/2017 at 5:58 AM

    Persian herb stew with beans!

  • Lem9579  on  12/31/2017 at 6:05 AM

    Peppers stuffed with couscous

  • PeavineBlues  on  12/31/2017 at 7:33 AM

    Tabouleh with Pomegranate Seeds and Apple

  • Whyvette  on  12/31/2017 at 8:30 AM

    I would try the pickled carrots first.

  • Abal  on  12/31/2017 at 8:51 AM

    the Persian New years soup

  • RickPearson54  on  12/31/2017 at 8:51 AM

    Pickled carrots

  • luccio  on  12/31/2017 at 8:59 AM

    Persian stew with split peas (Khoreshte gheyme)

  • pclisa40  on  12/31/2017 at 9:52 AM

    Stuffed Aubergines with Walnut and Pomegranate

  • nadiam1000  on  12/31/2017 at 11:51 AM

    thick pearl barley soup[

  • Nancith  on  12/31/2017 at 12:31 PM

    I would like to try Tabouleh with pomegranate seeds and apple.

  • mrscahughes  on  12/31/2017 at 3:10 PM

    I would love to try the eggplant dishes.

  • eggplantolive  on  1/1/2018 at 9:20 AM

    Caramelized fennel with fennel seeds and barberries

  • kerrin1976  on  1/1/2018 at 3:24 PM

    Coriander and date cous cous

  • Karla123  on  1/1/2018 at 7:24 PM

    Stuffed vine leaves are a favorite of mine, and this version is sure to be a heavenly addition to any meze platter.

  • SamanthaV  on  1/1/2018 at 9:22 PM

    I would love to try the Khoubiz with za'atar, it sounds amazing.

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  1/2/2018 at 4:51 PM

    the pickled cauliflower found on page 34 sounds like an interesting recipe to start with

  • BMeyer  on  1/2/2018 at 4:59 PM

    peppers stuffed with couscous

  • tararr  on  1/3/2018 at 1:24 PM

    Persian saffron rice pudding

  • janv  on  1/4/2018 at 5:58 PM

    crispy saffron rice

  • Julia  on  1/6/2018 at 3:15 PM

    Crispy saffron rice.

  • Scotsman61  on  1/6/2018 at 8:48 PM

    Middle Eastern rice pudding

  • VeryVigario  on  1/7/2018 at 8:13 PM

    White bean stew

  • jd5761  on  1/9/2018 at 2:33 PM

    Stuffed vine leaves for me

  • percussion03  on  1/9/2018 at 8:59 PM

    Potato kibbe

  • thewoobdog  on  1/10/2018 at 8:32 AM

    I'd have to do the Turkish or Arabic Coffee first - love Turkish coffee!

  • fionajk42  on  1/10/2018 at 10:37 AM

    I'd try the Baked aubergines with sumac and parsley, served with lentil tabbouleh

  • KarenDel  on  1/10/2018 at 12:02 PM

    I'd like to make Persian herb stew with beans (Ghorme sabzi)

  • ChefYvonne  on  1/11/2018 at 7:09 PM

    Always thankful for a new Vegan cookbook

  • kitchen_chick  on  1/12/2018 at 7:42 PM

    I love barberries, so: Citrus salad with sumac dressing, barberries and pistachios

  • EmilyR  on  1/13/2018 at 11:49 PM

    Citrus salad with sumac dressing, barberries and pistachios - all of the ingredients are great!

  • SnarkyLarane  on  1/14/2018 at 6:12 PM

    Preserved lemons are on my list to make very soon.

  • hirsheys  on  1/18/2018 at 7:23 PM

    falafel!

  • cookingalice  on  1/19/2018 at 2:38 AM

    Butternut squash tagine with coriander and date couscous

  • Teruska  on  1/19/2018 at 4:44 PM

    I am a canner so the Pickled Gherkins, Pickled Cauliflower, and Pickled Carrots immediately caught my attention. Next up would be almost any of the soups, especially on this cold, snowy day.

  • jmay42066  on  1/19/2018 at 9:28 PM

    Potato kibbeh.

  • Elena Rose  on  1/19/2018 at 9:49 PM

    Persian saffron rice pudding

  • lindyjane  on  1/20/2018 at 8:39 AM

    I would like to try the rice pudding.

  • littleminxgirl  on  1/21/2018 at 7:50 PM

    I love good middle eastern food.. I would love to try to make baklava

  • rchesser  on  1/21/2018 at 10:05 PM

    Persian saffron rice pudding (Shole zard)

  • trudys_person  on  1/21/2018 at 11:22 PM

    Turkish Semolina Cake - I usually start with dessert! Thank you!

  • AlisonL  on  1/23/2018 at 10:11 AM

    Vegetable stew with white beans sounds good about now!

  • monasli  on  1/23/2018 at 10:35 AM

    Peppers stuffed with couscous.

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