Five traditional Qatari dishes you need to try in Qatar
Did you know Qatari cuisine is largely influenced by Iranian and Indian cuisines?
Spices like cardamom and saffron are essential spices in delicacies like Machboos or Kabsa, a meal consisting of rice, meat, and vegetables, which is considered to be the national dish in Qatar.
If you're in Qatar, as a resident or tourist, your cultural experience will not be complete unless you try the authentic Qatari cuisines.
Expatriates and tourists in Qatar often mistake other Arab cuisines like Hummus, Tabouleh or kebabs to be authentic Qatari dishes but they are Levantine cuisines that are very popular here.
We decided to list at least five Qatari dishes you all should try if you're in the country.
This dish can be identified as what we call a pot of stew. In the blend, you will find vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, beans, and others. It is usually made with either chicken or lamb mixed with tomato sauce and spices.
At the very bottom of the dish, you will find pieces of bread soaked in the stew to be softened. Unofficially, some may refer to it as the Qatari lasagna.
2. Machboos or Kabsa
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The Qatari Machboos will look similar to a Biriyani. It is a deliciously spiced rice dish that can be cooked with practically any type of meat you might like, to name a few: chicken, lamb, goat, beef, camel, shrimp and fish. This is one of the most popular dishes in any Qatari home.
Finishing touches include sprinkling rose water and lemon juice over it, which guarantees amazing aroma. The “pang of flavor” will leave you wanting more (which may explain the large portions it comes in).
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Harees is a very popular Qatari dish that consists of boiled, cracked, or coarsely-ground wheat, mixed with meat or chicken (or both). Its consistency is usually that of porridge. Harees is a very popular dish known in the GCC, especially in the month of Ramadan and other festive occasions.
Balaleet is a dish known to be eaten for breakfast in Qatar but is occasionally served as a dessert course. It is a dish that can be eaten cold or hot, depending on your preference. The array of flavors that come with this Indian inspired dish is often very appreciated by people trying it for the first time – it isn’t just sweet and savory, but can also be crunchy due to the nuts. Often you’d also eat it with a side of the omelette.
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Mahalabiya is kind of a custard/pudding dessert dish made from ground rice milk. In a non-traditional approach, the pudding can be made from many other flavors and added with the suitable toppings. Like much of the Qatari cuisine, Mahalabiya is also infused with rose water for added taste, an alternative is an orange blossom.
This dessert is very smooth and easy to eat - light and delightful. Mahalabiya is good option to end a night with, especially with Qatari cuisine. You start with a bang and you end with one as well!
Have you tried any of these cuisines before? Which one was your favorite?
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