Keeping warm during the winter months – especially when living in a cold climate – is essential both for your health and your comfort. While experiencing warm weather is a rarity during winter, there are ways in which you can warm yourself up and feel cosy, even if it’s snowing outside.
The Middle East is a great place to draw inspiration from when it comes to staying warm. If you aren’t planning on jetting off on holiday to a sun-filled retreat this winter, why not bring the Middle East into your home instead?
With delicious, warm, hearty meals which are sure to not only fill you up, but keep you warm during even the coldest of weather, here are some of our favourite Middle-Eastern inspired dishes for you to try!
Nothing beats a warm drink on a cold day, and sahlab is a delicious choice. It is made from a flour which is created using the tubers of an orchid and is a creamy, milky drink which is often served as a pudding.
Although often traditionally made with hot water, it is not uncommon to see sahlab made with hot milk instead, and is incredibly popular in many Middle-Eastern countries during winter.
To create Sahlab, you will need:
- 4 cups of milk
- 1 tbsp sahlab/ 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 tbsp rosewater
- A sprinkle of cinnamon to taste on top.
Mix the sahlab with the sugar and stir into the milk which should be in a saucepan. Simmer the mixture and keep stirring until it thickens. Add the rosewater in and continue to let the mixture thicken on the heat. When thick enough for your liking, pour the mixture into cups and sprinkle as much cinnamon as desired on top.
Soup is probably one of the most common foods during winter, and lentil soup is a firm favourite in the Middle-East for being wholesome and warming during the wintertime.
To make a delicious lentil soup, you will need the following:
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 cup of red lentils (make sure these are washed well)
- 2 vegetable stock cubes
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 lemon (squeezed)
Firstly, make sure that you have washed your lentils. Sauté the onions in the olive oil until they are slightly brown and turning transparent. Add the lentils into the pan and toss around for a minute or two.
Add the stock to 6 cups of water and pour the mixture into the pan. Cover the pan over and leave to thicken on a medium-low heat for about an hour, checking on the consistency of the soup every so often; you will want the lentils to be tender.
Add the turmeric, cumin, lemon juice from half a lemon and salt to taste and blend the mixture in a blender to create a delicious lentil soup that is the perfect choice for any meal.
If we’ve encouraged you to visit – or even revisit – the Middle East to sample some of the delicious foods and wondrous sights that are on offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today; we’ll be more than happy to help you!