The best way to understand a culture is through its food. And when you are in Dubai, there’s no better way to soak the Emirati culture than through the delectable Emirati cuisine. Traditional Emirati cuisine is mainly meat-based as their ancestors were Bedouins who mostly depended on a protein-based diet. If you are keen to explore the local culture, try these local foods:
This is the most popular Emirati dish and is mostly served on weddings and other important occasions. Wheat is cooked together with meat for preparing this dish. It’s cooked until the meat melts and blends with the wheat. This meal is prepared in a clay pot that’s placed in a clay oven that’s filled with burning coal.
If you are looking for some comfort food, then this comforting stew is a must try. Thereed is very similar to the Moroccan dish called Tagine. Thereed is a combination of a succulent piece of meat along with a selection of veggies that are slow roasted (mostly, potato, pumpkin, marrow, and tomato is used). It’s mainly consumed with a thin Emirati bread called Rigag. While serving, the bread is served at the bottom of the dish and then the stew is poured over it.
This is very similar to Biryani and is a dish made of rice and meat. But what sets it apart is the distinct aroma and flavour that’s a combination of a variety of spices such as cardamom, saffron, turmeric, and cumin. And the secret ingredient that’s responsible for its unique flavour is dried lemon (locally known as Loomy). This special ingredient adds zest to it.
This traditional roasted lamb dish is the yummiest food you will have in Dubai. The lamb is clubbed with crushed nuts, rice, and lots of veggies and is very popular among localites.
Emirati Shawarmas are different than those you have probably tried in your country. From lamb to chicken, these shawarmas are prepared using a variety of meat combined with veggies and sauce wrapped in Arabic rotis.
No meal is complete without dessert and Dubai has an assortment of sweet dishes to satiate your taste buds.
This is the most popular Emirati dessert and you will find it everywhere in Dubai. These small deep fried doughballs are soaked in sweet and sticky date syrup (similar to the Indian Gulabjamun) that gives it a heavenly taste.
Vermicelli noodles and eggs (for fluffiness) are used to prepare this dessert. Often, onion is also added to it. This mixture is cooked in sugar and spices. A bit of salty and sweet with an added crunchiness and a texture that feels soft and fluffy – Balaleet is a must-try dessert in Dubai.
This sweet dish is prepared with cheese, kunafeh dough, sugar syrup, and oil. The cheese gives it a smooth and creamy texture and we bet, you’ll enjoy each bite of it.
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