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24 September 2018 04:15 pm

Ten Arabic dishes to try when you visit Qatar

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
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Due to a huge size of expat community, Doha is filled with restaurants that offer cuisines from all over the world to make sure they cater to every taste bud. However, Arabic cuisine is an integral part of the culture here and some of those are worth a try! The food here is largely influenced by Iranian and Indian cuisines. So, whether you are planning to visit Qatar anytime soon or have been living in Qatar for quite a while, trying out Arabic cuisine is not an experience that you should miss. Here are some of the most popular dishes that you must try at least once in order to complete your experience of Qatar.

1. Machboos

Machboos
(Traditional Arabic Machboos - iStock image)

Machboos is a very famous rice based dish that is prepared with a variety of marinated meats or seafood of your choice. It may have rose water or lemon juice sprinkled before serving to add an extra flavour. If all the spices in this delicious dish are not enough for you, you can ask for a spicy salsa dip that the restaurant will be happy to serve to you to go along.

2. Kabab

Kabab

Kebab remains as one of the most popular and versatile foods in Qatar. Many restaurants in Doha serve excellent grilled meat along with a variety of bread. Kebab King, situated in Bin Omran area, serves one of the best Kebab grilled meat in Doha, prices are reasonable too. 

A street in Old Al Ghanim, houses some excellent eateries, which specialises in grills/kebabs. Lamzani Grill and Khosh Kebab are popular destinations for Kababs lovers in Doha who have been dishing out excellent kebabs and attract a sizable crowd on weekends that finding a place is very difficult during the weekend.

3. Harees 

Harees is made with boiled or ground wheat and meat. The consistency is similar to that of porridge and is one of the most popular dishes during the month of Ramadan, Eid and festive occasions. Cinnamon and cardamom are one of the most used flavours added. You can find this dish at Afghan Brothers Restaurant, Muglat Harees Al Waldah restaurant. 

4. Falafel

Falafel

A deep fried ball or a patty made from ground chickpeas and fava beans is a popular Qatari dish, served with a dip called Tahini or Tahini. It is a traditional Middle Eastern dish which is known in most parts of the world. Falafel is usually served sandwiched in a pita bread. Many restaurants in Doha offer falafel including Al Rabwah Restaurant.

5. Shawarma

Apparatus for cooking shawarma, meat layers strung on a skewer, chopped meat is on grill surface, tongs and knife,
Apparatus for cooking shawarma, meat layers strung on a skewer, chopped meat is on grill surface, tongs and knife

Who is not aware of Shawarma? In fact it is a favourite food of many foodies all across the world. The name is said to be originated from a Turkish world meaning ‘turning’. To prepare the shawarma, a rotating spit is used where the block of meat has been placed. The meat is heated and small pieces are shaved off and flavoured to fill in a wrap along with sauces and pickled vegetables. The price of Shawarma is  reasonably priced ranging from QR 5 - QR 10. Some of Doha’s top shawarma spots include Mashawi Al-Arabi - Al Nasr, Al Rayyan, Turkey Central - Al Nasr, Petra - Al Nasr, Bin Omran and Hala Istanbul - Al Gharafa.

6.  Luqaimat

 Luqaimat

Luqaimat is a perfect and extremely popular dessert that is soft from inside and crunchy on outside. The word Luqaimat is derived from an Arabic origin which means bite sized and hence it’s a popular Arab dish. The dish is happily served in the holy month of Ramadan. While there are different ways to prepare the dish, the people in Qatar like to prepare it the traditional way with butter, milk, flour, sugar, saffron and cardamom. It is a deep fried dough dipped in a sweet syrup or honey.

You can find them at any Arabic sweet restaurant in Doha, for example, Al Aker sweets, Al Arab Bakery & sweet and Churro Mia. 

7. Thareed 

Thareed
Image credit: Shutterstock

This dish is like a pot of stew. A fine blend of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beans and some meat, either chicken or lamb is the base of this popular Qatari dish. The dish is served by placing a bread socked in stew at the bottom of the dish which makes the bread full of flavours and soft. The dish can be compared to a lasagne prepared in a Qatari way.

8. Umm Ali

Umm Ali
Image credit: wikipedia

An extremely popular Egyptian dessert, Umm Ali is similar to bread pudding which many people in North America and Europe are aware of. It is considered as a popular Arabic dessert which is made of puff pastry sheets and milk, served with a topping of nuts as well as raisins. You can try Umm Ali at Al Mourjan restaurant located at Al Corniche Street. 

9. Fatayer

Fatayer

Fatayer are triangular pasties made of bread dough and filled with delicious ingredients like, Spinach, cheese, or meat. These are easy to pick up, perfect for parties and picnics. Soft bread dough is used rather than pastry, to enclose the filling. 

10.  Salonah

It's a spiced broth prepared with either meat or vegetables or both. The dish contains a lot of tomatoes, aubergine, potatoes, carrots and many other vegetables. The dish can be eaten by itself or with rice.


How many of them have you tried? Let us know in the comments section, and don't forget to like and share this article - it keeps us going!