One of the oldest and most authentic cuisines in the world is Syrian food.
Due to the various civilizations that thrived in the area, it is distinguished by its diversity; the capital city, Damascus, is the largest and most continuously populated city on the planet.
Since Syria once fell under the power of the esteemed Ottoman Empire as well as a French Mandate, there is little doubt that the cuisine of Syria was affected by both regional and worldwide cuisines.
From the coastal cities to Aleppo, Damascus, Horan, and Al-Badia, each region of Syria has its own distinctive and well-known cuisine.
The Syrian cuisine benefits from this variety, which Syrian chefs have taken advantage of and enhanced with their outstanding palates and creative touches.
Numerous additional recipes that ultimately came to be known as oriental meals were gradually introduced to the menu.
You will learn about the best appetizers, entrées, main dishes, and desserts from Syria in this post.
Among the most widely consumed street dishes throughout the Middle East is shawarma.
The origins of this delectable cuisine may be traced to the Levant and also the Ottoman Empire, where Sadeeq Khabaz established the first shawarma restaurant in Damascus in 1906 after quitting his position as a restaurant manager in Bursa.
By modifying the recipe, Khabaz added the distinctive flavor of Syrian shawarma.
Special seasonings and chicken breast makeup shawarma. A vertical grill rotates as the meat is mounted on a metal skewer.
Using a long, sword-like knife, tiny slices are sliced from the skewer as the meat cooks. Then, homemade bread is topped with pickled cucumber, a unique garlic cream, and chicken slices.
For their family’s daily bread, mothers formerly made the manakish dough in the morning. Similar to a pizza, the round bread is cooked smeared with cheese, meats, zaatar, or tomato sauce.
It is wonderful when paired with a hot beverage and has become one of the most well-known Syrian dishes in the world.
Falafel is incredibly well-known in Syria, and you may find specialty falafel businesses in each town, city, or village. Instead of making falafel at home, Syrians frequently purchase it already prepared.
However, the dish is straightforward and only needs to be prepared in 30 minutes.
Alternatively, you can purchase the components already combined for cooking in oil. Falafel is delicious served warm and crunchy either by itself or in a tortilla.
Typical Syrian Main Dishes
The Syrian yabrak dish has been around since the Ottoman era. Turkish for “leaves of the vine,” yabrak is the name of the plant. The Levant developed a taste for yabrak as a starter or a major dish.
As a main course, steaming yabrak leaves loaded with meat and rice are served. In contrast, yalanji are leaves that have been filled with vegetables and grains cooked in a flavorful sauce using olive oil, and then eaten cold as an entrée.
Ground beef, poultry, yogurt, and zucchini are the major components of Sheikh Al-Mahshi. It has a distinctive flavor but is labor-intensive to make because the zucchini must first be scraped out before the meats and pine nuts are added.
Although it takes some time, the taste is worth the wait! You can always find it on the menu because it is everyone’s favorite meal, especially during the sacred month of Ramadan.
It is typically served with a variety of sides, including eggplant dip and sour pickles.
The tastiest grilled meat is thought to be Syrian kebab. A lamb kebab seasoned with garlic and herbs is a favorite during the summer.
There are over 20 different kabab recipes, but this straightforward, flavorful one with a smokey flavor is the most popular. Typically, it is served with salad, grilled veggies, and hummus.
There are numerous varieties of mansaf, but al-Melehi is among the most well-known and excellent. This dish originates in southern Syria’s Horan region.
At weddings, festivals, and other special occasions, it is pressure-cooked and served on enormous specialty platters. Bulgur wheat drenched in ghee, lamb, and yogurt make up this dish. It is made fresh with veggies and fried kibbeh.
Maqlouba has long been a favorite in Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan. Due to the primary component, eggplant, it is occasionally referred to as Albathengania.
There are several ways to prepare the Syrian Maqlouba. To chicken or lamb cooked on the bottom of a large saucepan, you may add potatoes or eggplant.
When everything is finished, it is flipped over onto a large platter with rice layered on top of meat. It looks really wonderful with the meat and vegetables on top. With Arabic salads, cucumber yogurt side dishes, or Ayran yogurt, you can enjoy this tasty dish.
9. Shish Barak
This meal is originally from Uzbekistan but has been altered to include Syrian ingredients. In Saudi Arabia, Levant, and the Hijaz, Shish Barak is well-known.
It is made of dough that has been baked with yogurt and filled with lamb mince and almonds. Due to its appearance and hue, it is also known as Athan Alshaeb, meaning “the ear of the old man.”
In Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq, Mujadara is incredibly well-known. It is made from brown lentils that have been cooked with bulgur wheat or rice and roasted onions. It is a typical light lunch in Arabic culture.
The name Al-Mujadara has no definite origin, however some people believe it derives from the Arabic term mqdara, which signifies an authentic meal. The Bedouin dialect of Mqdara became Mujadara.
11. Grilled Kibbeh
There are numerous recipes for Aleppo kibbeh, including ones for grilled kibbeh, in the city’s delectable cuisine.
Aleppo grilled kibbeh is a bit challenging to cook, therefore some people choose to eat it out or buy it already prepared, while others choose to spend many hours making it for their family.
A common dish in Syrian cooking, grilled kibbeh is typically eaten with pickles or pomegranate molasses.
Common Syrian Appetizers
The Arabic salad known as tabouli was first popularized in Lebanon and Syria before spreading throughout the globe. Without a question, the most well-liked Levantine appetizer is tabouli.
For instance, you will inevitably discover a tabouli dish on the dining room table in any home you enter in Syria or Lebanon, especially during the fasting month of Ramadan.
Tabouli is also known as Tipili in the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Argentina, as a result of Syrian as well as Lebanese migrants who went to Latin America.
Tomatoes, parsley, onions, and soaked bulgur wheat are the main ingredients in tabouli. After being finely chopped, these vegetables are combined with salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Cucumber is sometimes included in the mixture.
13. Al-Jaz Maz
Along the seashore, this tangy Syrian dish is especially well-known. The ingredients include tomatoes and onions that have been finely minced, which are then fried in ghee or oil.
When you crack a few eggs into the cooked vegetables and season with salt and pepper, something magical happens. The most ideal option for a healthy and energizing vegetarian meal is this magnificent platter.
It is typically consumed with bread for dunking and a green onion garnish. El-Jaz Maz is a Turkish name that originated in Iskenderun, although it has since spread throughout practically all of Syria.
14. Kibbeh Kzabah
Kibbeh Kezabah is slang for “lying Kibbeh” Given that it doesn’t contain any meat, it was given this moniker with the suggestion that individuals who consume it are duped by its superb flavor.
Kibbeh Kezabah is among the most well-liked dishes in the Middle East and was adapted from Turkish cuisine. It can be put within a steamed vine leaf or served with salad, lemon, or both.
15. Harak Osbao
A Levantine dish known for its delectable flavor and high nutritional value is harak osbao. It is the ideal dish to add to any vegetarian diet because it is packed in protein.
Given that it is eaten hot and warms the body, it is typically offered throughout the winter. Furthermore, it is a simple and quick dinner to prepare and is among the oldest and most important Syrian dishes.
Among the most popular dishes throughout Hama as well as the central region in general is Baterish Hamawi. Lemon juice, salt, and grilled eggplant are the main ingredients.
It is topped with a coating of tomato sauce-topped beef mince, crisp walnuts, and parsley.
One of the best delicacies from Syria is Syrian Fatteh. In the sacred month of Ramadan, it is very prevalent on Syrian tables, and it is frequently served at gatherings of large families following Friday prayers.
There are various varieties of Fatteh, so consumers can pick from a wide variety of delectable and filling meals. It is typically made with yogurt, tahini, garlic, and chickpeas, all of which contribute to its high nutritious content.
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Tasty Syrian Sweets And Desserts
18. Halawat Al-Jeben
This well-known Syrian dessert has its roots in the central city of Hama, from where it spread to several other cities. Halawat El-Jeben is also well known in Homs, but Hama continues to be the origin of this delectable treat.
Cheese, sugar, semolina, and blossom water are used in its preparation. It is presented in tender slices that can either be simple or loaded with cheese. This dessert goes well together with ice cream and a garnish of pistachio nuts.
19. Balah Al-Sham
Balah al-Sham is originally from Syria. Stories about the origin of its name, however, differ. Some claim that the name Balah, which means dates in Arabic, was chosen because the plant resembles dates.
Others claim that the name comes from the tale of a Levantine person who worked hard all winter long, leaving him hungry and exhausted.
He therefore began searching around for dates to satisfy his appetite and give him the energy necessary to continue working.
When he couldn’t locate any dates, he considered producing a snack that was similar to dates but required more sugar, leading to the creation of Balah al-Sham.
This dish has a silky texture and a delectable flavor. It’s popular all year round and frequently has honey, almonds, or powdered sugar added.
Making Balah al-Sham at home is easy. Simply bring water, butter, sugar, and oil to a boil, add flour, and stir to form a smooth dough. Let it cool before adding eggs and frying it in oil.
When it’s prepared, you may use as much of the sugar syrup as you like. Good appetite!
This delectable dish is a simple dessert that can be created at home with ingredients that are affordable and easy to get. Roz Bhaleeb calls for rice, milk, and flavorings such as blossom water, as the name suggests.
It is well-known throughout Lebanon and Syria and therefore is regarded as a healthy snack for kids. It may be garnished with cinnamon, crushed coconut, and pistachio nuts on different occasions.
Lebanese cuisine comes to mind when we encounter the names of delicacies like fattoush or hummus. These meals are, nevertheless, also a part of Syrian cuisine.
This is primarily due to the fact that Syria’s traditional meals have roots in many different parts of the world, particularly following the Islamic era.
The local cuisine in Syria is comparable to other cuisines including the Levant, Lebanese, and middle-eastern cuisines due to the numerous invasions by the Arabs, Persians, and Ottoman Turks.
Similar to this cultural richness, Syrian food is a fusion of many cooking techniques. Some of these foods are flavorful and vibrant, while others aren’t as much.
All of these recipes have an excellent flavor that will have you craving more. We really hope you have enjoyed reading about the best traditional Syrian foods.