Lebanese Vs. Indian Food: What Are The Differences And Similarities?

Indian food and Lebanese food are two diverse cuisines with many different characteristics.

We all know that it is hard to pick a winner, but we can get a taste from them to understand what makes each kind of food so special.

Let’s take a look at Indian cuisine and Lebanese cuisine to see how they differ from each other.

What is special about Indian food?

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Indian food is a culinary tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation.

It draws influences from various cultures like Persian, Arabs, Mughals, or British, making it one of the most diverse cuisines in the world.

You can’t resist the smell of curry and cumin, the taste of tamarind and ginger, or the texture of Basmati rice.

It is a completely different cuisine from what we get used to in America.

Indian food is reputed for being spicy due to its use of various spices like chili pepper, cumin, coriander, fennel, garam masala, cardamom, or curry powder.

Chicken tikka masala is one of the national dishes that consist of grilled cubes of chicken marinated with yogurt, garlic, ginger, and other spices.

The chicken is cooked in a tandoori clay oven, which is traditional cooking equipment in India.

Indians also use a lot of other dairy products like butter and ghee as cooking fat to fry foods or to add texture to creamy dishes like butter chicken, along with coconut milk.

Lamb and chicken are the primal choices for meat as pork and beef are rarely consumed in this region due to their religious diet restriction.

Their food is typically served with rice or naan bread throughout the country.

What is special about Lebanese food?

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Lebanese food is an interesting cuisine that is a mixture of diverse culinary influences.

It is flavorful, healthy, and quick to make.

It is not only about hummus and pita bread, but there is a lot for you to explore about this Middle Eastern cuisine.

One of the most popular dishes among Lebanese villages is kibbeh, which is meat-stuffed vegetables that can be fried or baked.

Kibbeh is made from ground lean meat like lamb or goat mixed with beans and other spices and stuffed in a nut-based crust, therefore, it is considered a very healthy and nutritious dish.

Lebanese even serve kibbeh raw.

They tend to eat more poultry and goat or lamb instead of regular red meat like pork or beef because of their health awareness rather than the traditional diet restriction like in India.

They also have a lot of seafood options, especially fish or shrimp, which are often grilled and eaten with rice.

What are the differences between Lebanese food and Indian food?

There are some special features that set Lebanese food apart from Indian food.

Here are the differences between these two cuisines:

Indian food is spicier than Lebanese food

Indian food is generally spicier than Lebanese food because Indians tend to use a lot more hot spices like chili pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, turmeric, or curry powder.

These spices make their dishes have a typical yellow or right color that looks vibrant besides adding a spicy kick.

Lebanese food, on the other hand, is also flavorful but less spicy.

Indians use butter or ghee, while Lebanese use olive oil or other vegetable oil

Another difference between Indian cuisine and Lebanese cuisine is that one tends to use more butter while the other uses cooking oil.

Indians use butter or clarified butter (ghee) as a cooking fat or to add texture to their creamy and saucy dishes.

Meanwhile, olives are an abundant plant in the Middle East so olive oil is widely used in these countries, including Lebanon.

Indian cuisine features legume vegetables, while Lebanese cuisine include tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and bell pepper

Their vegetables are also different from each other.

While Indians use spinach leaves and legumes vegetables like beans and chickpeas in their stew recipes, Lebanese tend to use raw “fruit” vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber, onions, or bell pepper in their salads.

Lebanese cuisine has more whole grain and nuts than Indian cuisine

In general, it can be true to say that Lebanese cuisine is healthier than Indian cuisine because it includes more whole grains and nuts, which have long been known as ideal for our health.

Walnut, almond, or pine nuts are what are popular in Lebanese cuisine, while in India, you are not likely to find these nuts or whole grains in their daily cooking.

What are the similarities between Lebanese food and Indian food?

Despite numerous differences between Lebanese food and Indian food, there are also several similarities between them:

Poultry, goat, and lamb are the main meat sources in India and Lebanon

Both cuisines tend to consume poultry more than red meat.

In the case of eating red meat, it will be goat or lamb instead of beef or pork.

In India, pork and beef are forbidden due to Muslim and Hindu communities, while Lebanese find these kinds of meat less healthy so they opt for other healthier meat substitutes.

They both use yogurt in their cooking

Another similarity between Indian food and Lebanese food is that yogurt is widely used in their cooking.

Indians use yogurt to marinate their meat, like chicken, to tenderize the meat as well as add a fragrant flavor.

Meanwhile, Lebanese often use yogurt as a side dish or add it directly to raw dishes like salads.

Rice and flatbread play an important role in both cuisines

Rice and flatbread are two affordable and common dishes in Indian cuisine and Lebanese cuisine.

In India, their flatbread is called naan, while Lebanese call it pita bread.

Rice is often cooked alone or with broth and vegetables to enhance the flavor.

Which one is better?

Julie Taboulie's Lebanese Kitchen: Authentic Recipes for Fresh and...Made in India: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen
Julie Taboulie's Lebanese Kitchen: Authentic Recipes for Fresh and...Made in India: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen
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Indian cuisine and Lebanese cuisine are both delicious and healthy.

They vary from their ingredients to their dishes’ flavor profiles, but there are also numerous similarities too.

Regardless if you are looking for spicy foods or lighter dishes, either country offers a variety of delicious options for you to choose from.

We hope you enjoyed reading and have had some insights about Indian food and Lebanese food.

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