If keeping your stomach feeling healthy is one of your goals this year, one of the best ways to improve your gut bacteria is to eat pro- and prebiotics, which multiply the number of good bacteria in our intestines and feed the good bacteria that already exists in our guts. Fortunately, there are a great number of Lebanese takeaways now across the UK – from Leeds to London and Aberdeen to Abingdon – that feature fermented foods that not only help to produce healthy bacteria but are incredibly tasty to boot!
1. Fairuz - Batinjan Kawerma
If you're looking for a delicious starter to get things going, look no further than the soft and flavoursome Batinjan Kawerma. Fairuz restaurant sits in the heart of London's Marylebone and specialises in wholesome Lebanese cuisine that is great to share with friends and loved ones. Their Batinjan Kawerma is a fried aubergine in a cooling yoghurt, mint and garlic sauce that's packed with probiotics and topped with melt-in-the-mouth lamb and pine nuts for that extra texture.
2. Comptoir Libanais - Sea Bass Samke Beiruti
Comptoir Libanais is renowned across the country for its healthy and fresh Lebanese cuisine, providing an authentic yet affordable introduction to Middle Eastern food for those looking to experiment with new flavours too in 2018. With a plethora of exotic tastes and ingredients, it can be difficult to pick just one dish but we've opted for the delicate Sea Bass Samke Beiruti. The protein-packed Sea Bass is one of the house specials and is roasted and topped with a spiced coriander and tomato topping that uses tahini as the base for its sauce. Tahini is a sesame seed paste that is rich in vitamin E, iron, phosphorus and potassium to help protect your heart, liver, bones and central nervous system.
3. Efes Mangal - Efes Mix Platter (for 2-3 people)
Named after the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey, Leicester's Efes Mangal is a family-run Turkish restaurant that concocts grilled and traditional dishes oozing with eastern flavours and spices. It is ideally located for deliveries to students of De Montfort University given its proximity to the student population in and around Narborough Road. The Efes Mix Platter for up to three people is delicious, with grilled and marinated lamb and chicken proving the star of the show here with rice and fresh salad upping the fibre content of the dish. There's not an ounce of saturated fats in sight!
4. Strut and Cluck - Chargrilled Cauliflower
In the heart of trendy Spitalfields sits one of the UK's most health-focused Middle Eastern restaurants. Strut and Cluck doesn't sound like your typical Middle Eastern food joint but what's on offer will more than impress. The owners are passionate about healthy eating, with home-cooked dishes based on roasting and grilling fresh ingredients to heighten flavours and bring out the goodness of fresh meats, fish and vegetables being at the forefront of their mind. One of our favourite sides here is the Charred Cauliflower which is served with lemon-infused Crème Fraiche, pomegranate molasses and seeds for another explosion of sweetness. Pomegranate is one of the most nutritious fruits in the world and two of its compounds – punicalagins and punicic acid – provide antibacterial benefits, making it more effective than green tea and red wine at keeping the gut healthy.
Ready to dive in and sample a meze for dinner? You can find all of Deliveroo's participating Middle Eastern restaurants that deliver fresh, healthy food to your door on our website.