How to travel as vegetarian in an Arabian country?

Planning an Arabian adventure but worried about finding vegetarian options? Don't fret, fellow veggie friends! This land of aromatic spices and warm hospitality offers a treasure trove of delicious, meat-free delights.

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Embrace the Plant-Powered Powerhouses:

Arabian cuisine is a vegetarian's paradise! Dive into the world of falafel, those crispy chickpea fritters that are like tiny flavour bombs. Slather them in hummus, a creamy chickpea dip, or baba ghanoush, a smoky roasted eggplant dip, and scoop them up with fluffy pita bread. Let's take a look at them one by one!

Falafel:

FalafelThis staple food is made from chickpeas or fava beans that are ground, spiced, and deep-fried. Falafel is typically served in a pita bread with hummus, tahini, and vegetables. You can find falafel at most restaurants in any Arabian country.Lentil Love:

Hummus:

HummusThis creamy dip is made from mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Hummus is a great source of protein and fiber, and it can be enjoyed with pita bread, vegetables, or even as a dip for chips.

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Baba ghanoush:

Baba ghanoushThis smoky-flavored dip is made from roasted eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Baba ghanoush is a delicious appetizer or side dish.

Tabbouleh:

TabboulehThis salad is made with chopped parsley, mint, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, onions, and lemon juice. Tabbouleh is a refreshing and healthy side dish.

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Fattoush:

FattoushThis salad is made with toasted pita bread, chopped vegetables, and a lemon-olive oil dressing. Fattoush is a hearty and flavorful salad that can be served as a main course or a side dish.

Lentil soup:

Lentil soupLentil soup is a hearty and nutritious dish that is popular in many Arabian countries. It is typically made with lentils, vegetables, and spices.

Koshari:

KoshariA national dish of Egypt, koshari is a mixture of lentils, rice, macaroni noodles, fried onions, and a spicy tomato sauce.

Moussaka:

MoussakaA layered casserole made with eggplant, potatoes, ground meat (can be vegetarian), and a creamy béchamel sauce.

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Mutabbal:

MutabbalA roasted eggplant dip similar to baba ghanoush, but also includes yogurt and sometimes other vegetables.

These are just a few of the many vegetarian options available in Arabian cuisine. With so many delicious choices to choose from, you're sure to find something you'll love!

Beyond the Classics:

mashed fava beansmashed fava beans

While these are just a few highlights, the vegetarian options are endless. Explore local specialties like foul medames (mashed fava beans) in Egypt, stuffed vegetables like mahshi (stuffed grape leaves or courgettes), and flatbreads like manakish topped with cheese and vegetables.

Tips for Vegetarian Traveler:

  • Learn a few basic Arabic phrases: Knowing "ana a'toor" (I am vegetarian) and "laham" (meat) can go a long way.

  • Look for restaurants that specialize in vegetarian cuisine. Many cities in Arabian countries have restaurants that cater to vegetarians and vegans.

  • Ask at restaurants if they have vegetarian options. Even if a restaurant doesn't have vegetarian dishes listed on the menu, they may be able to make something special for you.

  • Ask at hotels and other tourist accommodations for recommendations. They may be able to point you in the direction of vegetarian-friendly restaurants.

  • Embrace the grocery stores: Stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dates for quick snacks or picnics.

  • Be open to new experiences: Don't be afraid to try unfamiliar dishes! You might discover your new favourite food.

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Remember:

  • Be patient and polite: Communicating dietary restrictions can take time and effort, especially in areas with limited English. Be patient and polite, and locals will appreciate your efforts.

  • Enjoy the experience: Travelling as a vegetarian in the Middle East can be an enriching experience. Embrace the new flavours, the cultural differences, and the delicious vegetarian delights that await you!

So, pack your bags, fellow vegetarians, and get ready for an unforgettable Arabian adventure! With a little planning and an open mind, you'll be surprised by the vibrant vegetarian scene waiting to be explored.

Bon voyage, and happy travels!

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