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What We Cook at Home: Our Favourite Dishes For a Syrian Dinner Party

In Syria, food plays an integral role in bringing together friends, family and communities. Dishes are cooked with love and served with smiles, and when we eat together, it’s an opportunity to show our loved ones how much they mean to us. 

We believe that every meal should be filled with laughter and love, and what better way to do this than by hosting a dinner party with friends? Take a little inspiration from Syrian cuisine and celebrate those closest to you with the help of our centuries-old dishes, crafted with rich spices, fresh ingredients and lashings of love. 

This mixture of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free appetizers, mains and desserts are a great way to explore the delicious world of Syrian cuisine - whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying the company of friends and family.

Appetizers

Syria is well known for its healthy and delicious medley of appetizers. Largely vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, Syrian dinner recipes have many health benefits and, for those avoiding eating meat, are a nutritious way to warm up your taste buds ahead of a tasty feast. Here are some Syrian cuisine classics which have become beloved dishes we make at home for the family, as well as staples at dinner parties. 

Falafel

Deep-fried, flavoured with herbs and spices and eaten either on their own or in a pita, falafel is probably one of the most well-known dishes to come out of Middle-Eastern cuisine. The difference with Syrian falafel is that they’re made only from chickpeas.

Fatayer 

These freshly baked savoury pies can be made with vegan, vegetarian or meat ingredients, making them flexible for any and all dietary preferences. At Tayybeh, we fill our fatayer with either our own vegetarian homestyle cheese

and parsley, spinach and pomegranate molasses or olives and a sweet red pepper spread. Fatayer can also be stuffed with beef and parsley, and are all generously portioned triangles baked to perfection.

Yalanji 

Served cold and prepared with aromatic rice, oil, lemon juice, herbs and spices, these rolled grape leaves are a healthy and delicious option for any dinner party. Vegan and gluten-free, stuffed vine leaves have been called the delight of Middle Eastern and Syrian cuisine - and for a good reason. Garnished with our very own signature red pepper sauce, it’s impossible to stop at just one! 

 

Mains

The beauty of Syrian cuisine lies not only in its delicious flavours and ingredients, but also in its flexibility. Dishes can be made to suit vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters by adding or removing certain ingredients without compromising the unique taste and structure of the dish. Here are some of our favourite vegetarian, vegan and meat dishes from Syria. 

Mjaddara 

Vegan and gluten-free, the Mjaddara is a lentil and rice pilaf dish topped with golden caramelized onions. Full and flavoursome, serve it with a side of yogurt or hummus for a comforting dinner main.

Moussaka 

Moussaka may be more traditionally associated with our Greek counterparts, but in Syrian cuisine the moussaka is mostly made with the vegan, gluten-free ingredients of beautifully seasoned eggplant, zucchini and potatoes in a rich tomato sauce. It’s filling while remaining healthy and wholesome. 

Makloubeh 

A truly evocative Middle Eastern dish, different versions of Makloubeh exist. Since Syria is known for its delicious eggplants however, our gluten-free version contains slow-cooked aromatic rice and eggplant, with a topping of lightly seasoned ground beef, almonds and parsley. 

If you love the sound of these dishes but would prefer to enjoy them in a more casual setting, stock up on our frozen meals. They serve two and can be enjoyed whenever you wish!  

Desserts

Traditionally made with nuts and dried fruit, and often bound together with syrup, many Syrian desserts are vegan and make the most delicious full stop at the end of an irresistible meal.

Swaret el Set 

Swaret el Set - or, ‘The Lady’s Bracelet’ - gets its name from its round shape. Made with thin and crispy phyllo dough, the Swaret el Set is rolled and folded into a round pastry treat. A small cavity is left in the middle, which is then filled with ground pistachio and covered with sweet syrup for a delicious vegan sweet. 

Nammoura

This is a staple dessert in Syrian cuisine because of its taste and versatility. A light semolina cake topped with coconut flakes and soaked with syrup, this simple cake can be enjoyed after dinner, or with tea or coffee.

Mhallabeya

Syrian desserts often include delicate, fragrant tastes - and this gluten-free milk pudding is no exception. Made with a hint of rosewater and mastic (an aromatic resin from the Mastic tree), the mixture is then topped with ground pistachio and drizzled with syrup to serve.

Baked desserts are also a classic Syrian sweet treat, and bakeries produce some of the most mouth-watering creations in the Middle East. Our chefs at Tayybeh have brought with them some delectable Syrian recipes such asghraybeh, an arabic butter cookie topped with silver almonds, and Maamoul, a vegan cookie with dates and shredded coconut.

 

Maamoul

Steeped in history and culture, Syrian cuisine tells so many stories through its spices, ingredients and cooking techniques. Made with largely vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free ingredients, many of Tayybeh’s dishes are both healthy and flavoursome. Any Syrian tasting these dishes will be transported to the majestic mountains, the cobbled streets, the narrow alleys, and the sights and sounds of our beautiful country. 

If you want to try some of our favourite Middle Eastern dishes in the comfort of your home, get in touch to find out more about Tayybeh’s catered events, including private dinners. You can also now order a weekof family-cooked vegan and gluten-free Syrian meals to enjoy from Monday through Sunday.   

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