Maral Cavner – Key Ingredients in Middle Eastern Cuisine

An enthusiastic member of both her school and local community, Maral Cavner recently graduated with a B.A. in sociology from Atlanta’s Emory University. In addition to being named to the dean’s list for four consecutive years, Maral Cavner volunteered for several community organizations, including Emory Reads and PAWSitive Outreach. In her spare time, Ms. Cavner enjoys traveling and sampling the cuisine of different regions, citing Middle Eastern as her favorite.

Many Middle Eastern foods contain the following ingredients.

Bulgur wheat – Bulgur wheat is popularly used in dishes such as tabbouleh and kibbeh, a dish comprised of lamb or beef seasoned with spices and cooked with bulgur wheat. In contrast to cracked wheat, bulgur wheat is parbroiled, or pre-cooked, prior to being dried, which gives the cooked wheat just the right consistency.

Freekeh – Rich in fiber and protein, freekeh is a popular wheat product that is used in pilaf, salads, and soups. As the wheat is roasted, it retains much of its nutritional value and taste.

Zaatar – Used in many Middle Eastern dishes, zaatar is comprised of several different spices, including dried oregano, marjoram, salt, sesame seeds, sumac, and thyme. Zaatar is most often found in flat bread and salads, although it can also be applied to chicken or meat to enhance the flavor.