Meze (middle easteren starters)

These are popular middle eastern starters served before a meal or a a light meal. Hummus (chickpea dip),Baba Ganoush (aubergine dip),ful imdemmes (bigilla ,fava dip),feta cheese & olives,tabbouleh (bulgar wheat or couscous salad),pitta bread and many more other are all meze dishes.


  • 1 can or 2 cups chickpeas
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves (more or less according to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • seasoning
  • optional 1 tablespoon ground toasted sesame seeds


  • Blend the chickpeas ,garlic ,lemon juice ,and oil.
  • Then add the cumin,ground sesame seeds if using and the tahini .
  • Blend until creamy,taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Spread in a serving plate and before serving drizzle some olive oil . Serve with pitta bread wedges,coctail crackers,bread sticks or galletti.

Baba Ganoush

  1. 1 big aubergine
  2. olive oil
  3. juice of 1 lemon
  4. 3 garlic cloves crushed (less or more according to taste)
  5. 3 tablesppons thick greek yogurt
  6. 2-3 tablesppons tahini
  7. seasoning.


  1. Prick the aubergine all over with a fork or knife and put on a baking sheet and roast until it is soft.
  2. Let it cool a bit then peel the skin and put the flesh in the blender with the garlic,olive oil,lemon juice and yogurt and blend until smooth.
  3. Then add the tahini and blend again ,taste and season.
  4. Spread in a serving dish and chill until ready to serve.

Ful imdemmes :

  • 1 can fava beans or 1 container bigilla dip
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  • 1 tablesppon tahini
  • Chili powder,cayenne or harisa ,tobasco- optional


  • If using canned fava beans mash them  or blend them according the texture you want.
  • Heat some olive oil in a small saucepan and fry the garlic lightly and add the fava beans or bigilla.
  • Mix in the cumin,lemon juice and tahini.
  • Taste and season and if you wish add the chili .
  • Spread in a serving plate or bowl ,you can garnish with finely chopped parsley ,finely chopped tomatoes or fried thinly sliced onion .





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