Middle Eastern food is no doubt one of the most popular food to many of the foodies around the world. With the vibrant color, fragrant flavors, and unique textures, the cuisine has been said as the identity of the region and the strength of its people. Middle Eastern cuisine has the essentials of sharing food, and moments with your loved ones.

In this case, here are the six key ingredients of Middle Eastern cooking that you should have to start make a feast! Definitely will helps you with the quarantine craved, eh?

1. Flatbreads
Flatbreads can be combined with the most simple or complex flavors. The simple way to enjoy flatbreads is by dipping them in olive oil or your favorite hummus. A source also stated that in the Middle East, flatbreads even replaced the need for cutlery! The fun thing is, you will need only three ingredients to make a delicious flatbread – flour, water, and salt. They can be baked in an oven, fried, or grilled over hot coals or a pan!

2. Tahini
Also known as tahina, tahini is made from toasted ground hulled sesame. It is the most popular condiments for Middle Eastern cooking. It is usually served by itself, or as a major ingredient in hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva. You can also use tahini for a nutty, rich, and smooth dressing for your homemade salad!

3. Chickpeas
Chickpeas are famous as the main ingredient of hummus. Once they’re combined with tahini, some garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, you will get nothing but a delicious bowl of creamy hummus to enjoy with a selection of veggies or crackers! Chickpeas are also commonly found in curries or any vegetarian food in the Indian subcontinent.

4. Baharat
Baharat is the Arabic language that translated to spices. It is a popular spice blend made from ground allspice, black peppercorns, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cloves, nutmeg, and paprika. To make Baharat, you can simply purchase the individual spices and grind them down with a pestle and mortar. Using just a pinch of it adds depth and flavor to sauces, soups, grains, vegetables, stews, and meat.

5. Pomegranate Molasses
Molasses is basically a juice reduction that usually tasted sweet, with a syrup kind of texture that adds complexity to every dish. The pomegranate molasses is actually quite easy to make, by boiling down the pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice for about an hour until its thickened. You can use the pomegranate molasses as your salad dressing or a sweet, tangy glaze for your lamb.

6. Saffron
Saffron is best known for cooking spices or coloring ingredients to the Middle East cuisine. Saffron is often used in Biryani rice. Aside from the aromatic rice, it is also used in making Middle Eastern desserts and sweets. Fun fact, Saffron is also high in antioxidants. It has been linked to health benefits mood, libido, and sexual function, as well as reduced PMS symptoms and enhanced weight loss.