Magnificent mezze you need to try

Nine classic dishes you need to get to know


1 Moutabel
A mixture of smoky eggplant, tahini, garlic and lemon juice, often also mixed with yoghurt for creaminess and tang.

2 Green Beans in Olive Oil
Or, loubieh bel zeit. Fine green beans are cooked through with garlic, tomato and oil, then cooled before serving.

3 Fattoush
A popular salad of roughly chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and mint leaves, tossed in a dressing containing ground sumac and pomegranate molasses, all topped with fried squares of Arabic bread.

4 Hummus
A mezze staple, this popular dish forms the basis for many others topped with everything from toasted pine nuts to grilled camel. Cooked chickpeas are blended with tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil to create a smooth, creamy dip.

5 Stuffed Vine Leaves
Or “warak enab” as you’ll often find them listed on restaurant menus, these are grape vine leaves stuffed with a mixture of rice, vegetables and spices, and sometimes minced meat.

6 Baba Ganoush
Cooked and cooled aubergine is finely chopped before being mixed with olive oil, garlic, parsley and fresh pomegranate seeds.

7 Tabbouleh
A heart-healthy salad of finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, onion, olive oil and lemon juice, often mixed with cracked bulgur wheat (or, more popularly in Dubai’s health-conscious eateries quinoa).

8 Muhammara
A spicy dip typically made from roasted Aleppo peppers blended with breadcrumbs and walnuts, as well as spices such as cumin.

9 Beetroot Moutabel
Steamed or boiled beetroot is left to cool, then blended with garlic, tahini, salt and lemon to create a vibrant, tangy dip.

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