Dates are special fruits because they can be consumed throughout threestages of ripeness. Dates are traditionally found in Middle Eastern dishesbecause the fruit is native to the area more specifically north Africa, Indiaand Pakistan. The fruit was traditionally planted next to homes to provideshade from the sun. The Middle Eastern climateis ideal for the growth of a date plant so much so that they are onlycommercially produced in Spain and California. There are several date varietieswhich can be used in different ways. The caryotae or “stupid head” is used inmaking wine and most Ethiopians dates are so dry that they are grounded intoflour to make bread.
There still several places in the Middle East experimentingwith date trees to help add to thousands of varieties that are alreadyavailable. Out of all the varieties, Iraq has the most sought after varietiesdue to their high sugar content. The most popular variety is called the Zahdiis also cheap and used to make a popular distilled alcoholic beverage calledarak.Thefruit also makes appearances in traditional Iranian carpet next to twigs.
Inaddition to being featured in household items, dates are also found in manymythologies the more well-known being Egyptian mythologies.7-Spice is also very popular andfrequently used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s a spice blend with cumin,ground coriander, paprika, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamon. It really gives thatmiddle eastern flare to the dishes. Persian style red lentil soup also called”Adasi” in Persia is a Middle Eastern soup, usually using turmeric, cinnamonand seven spices as the seasoning spice.
It is a very common and popular soupin Iran because, the ingredients are expensive, and the cooking method is verysimple. Basically, everything is placed inside a pot, cover and cook untiltender. In addition to being simple, the Persian style lentil soup alwayscontains other grains inside such as rice or bulgur so, many people eat thissoup as a main starch source. On theother hand, most of the Persia are Islam which includes a vegan or vegetariandiet. So Persian style of red lentil soup is usually a vegan soup that usewater as the cooking liquid instead of chicken stock. Those are the reason whylentil soup is so popular in Iran.
The traditional topping of this soup iscaramelized onions which is call “Piaz dagh” in Iran.