DineJanine Maral

Middle East Meets West #Gastropost

DineJanine Maral
Middle East Meets West #Gastropost

So much yum! Recently the National Post contacted me regarding a food mission for food lovers in Toronto. Each week you are presented with a mission that is due the following week and this week's mission was middle eastern. Being middle eastern, I was excited to complete this mission and I wanted to make it the best. So with the help of my mom (the true middle eastern chef), of course a middle eastern grocery store, and a lot of thought, we created this traditional middle eastern dinner: An appetizer, a main, a dessert, and a drink.

I also went out and hunted down some great looking plates that I found at Homesense along with my mom's special cutlery and drinking cup.

The grain and veggies in this meal is the wheat salad mix which includes chickpeas, corn, a type of rice, carrots, peas, parsley, and green beans topped off with lemon, oil and salt. There's also a popular type of bread called "simit" which is essentially regular white bread coated in sesame seeds.

On the plate you'll also notice two oval shaped foods called "kibbe" which is meat covered in fried croquette.


This dish is called Tabbouleh, a type of middle eastern salad and really quite easy to make.


  • Fine Bulgur (a type of middle eastern rice)
  • Parsley
  • Spring Onions
  • Tomatos
  • Lemon
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper (optional)


  1. Mix the fine bulgur with hot water in a bowl and put a tea towel over so the steam can not escape.
  2. While that cools, chop your parsley, spring onions, and tomatoes finely. Put them all in a bowl. When the bulgur is cooled, mix it which the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Put as much lemon juice, olive oil, and salt as you want. This is typically a sour dish so the more lemon, the better!
  4. Serve!

Baklava is a well-known dessert or treat filled with types of nuts like walnuts or pistachios. It's sweet, juicy and sticky. So good.

Hummus is a popular dip not only in the middle eastern culture but world-wide. Instead of going out and buying some, try making it yourself!

Ingredients and Tools:

  • Food processor
  • 2 Medium Sized Cans of Chickpeas
  • 1-2 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Lemon
  • 3 Tablespoon of Tahini
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Cumin (optional)


  1. Drain the chickpeas.
  2. Take all your ingredients and put it in your food processor.
  3. Mix until smooth and give it a taste test to make adjustments.

It's hard to make good a good batch of shawarma meat, which is a popular type of meat in the middle eastern culture. This meat, which I purchased and cooked, was particularly delicious so koodos to whoever made it! You did well.

One of my favourite middle eastern drinks, and drink just in general, is Ayran. It's a yogurt based drink, but I must admit, definitely not for everyone's taste.


  • Regular 1% or 2% greek Yogurt (no flavour)
  • Cold water
  • Salt
  • Ice


  1. Mix the yogurt and water together to create a less thick consistency. Usually, for every cup of yogurt, I will add about 3/4 cup water but it's all up to your taste.
  2. The salt is optional but it tastes much better with it. Add however much you want to your mixture.
  3. Pour in a glass, put ice to keep cool and there it is!

I've always wanted to share a traditional middle eastern dish on my blog and I am so glad that I finally did! There is so much more food to show so if this gets some love (click the like button!), I will be more than happy to create some more dishes with my mom.

You can check my Instagram here to see the photo I used to submit this week's #Gastropost food mission!