Eastern cuisine offers several different dips and spreads that make excellent and tasty snacks. In Arabic, the term for appetizer is "mezzeh" and means to open the appetite. Believe it or not, in a large family dinner, dozens of dishes can be served in the mezzeh spread and could easily take days to prepare all the different offerings!
I can think of quite a few different dips/spreads that may tempt your tastebuds. Check out these Middle Eastern dips that make great snacks:
Hummus is perhaps the most famous of all Middle Eastern dips. It is made with a few basic ingredients, such as chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and a few other spices. There are dozens of hummus varieties, with a lot of different flavors. From jalepeno pepper hummus to kalamata olive hummus, there is a flavor for everyone. Hummus Recipes
Frummus is a new concept that incorporates hummus with fruit. Fruit plus hummus equals frummus. There are several varieties that you can make. Some of the most popular frummus flavors are strawberry hummus, banana hummus, and blueberry hummus.
Feta is one of the most popular cheeses in the Middle East! The consistency and flavor of feta allows it to mesh well with other strong flavors. Be warned that feta is somewhat of an acquired taste and not all people appreciate its taste.
Muhammara is a spicy, red pepper dip. The great thing about it is that is can be served hot or cold, making it an excellent dish that can easily be transported. If you like it spicy, then muhammara is the dip for you. Serve it with warm pits bread or fresh vegetables, like cucumbers, carrots, and celery. It even is perfect for dipping kebabs, especially chicken kebabs. Muhammara Recipe
Moutabel is a spicier version of baba ghannouj. Made from eggplant, the dip is a blend of smokey and spicy. You have to be a fan of eggplant and spicy foods to like moutabel. it's not for everyone! Makes a great sandwich filling, too! Moutabel Recipe
Labneh is thick, strained yogurt with a consistency similar to cheese. it is often eaten for breakfast and served on breads, toasted pita, and bagels. It makes a great alternative to sour or cream cheese. Labneh Recipe
Cacik is a yogurt and cucumber dip that is versatile! You can eat it with veggies, breads, as a dip for meats, or on foods like doner kebabs or gyros. It is very tasty and please just about every person's palette. Turkish Cacik Recipe
Garlic yogurt sauce is another versatile dip that can be used for breads, meats, and veggies. It is made with garlic and yogurt (obviously!) and is very delicious! Garlic Yogurt Sauce Recipe
What to Serve with Middle Eastern Dips
All of these dips go well with pita bread or other flat breads. Veggies such as cucumber rounds, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, and cherry tomatoes are all perfect for dipping. Some people also like to dip water crackers, tortilla chips, and even saltine crackers in many of the dips listed above. It's all about personal preference, but you really can't go wrong with fresh, warm pita bread. If you are ambitious, you can even make your own pita bread!