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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
Headline for Best Traditional Qatari Cuisines
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Best Traditional Qatari Cuisines

Qatar's unique cuisine is simplistic and indulgent. Encapsulating a variety of influences from across the Middle-East and beyond, Qatari cuisine is unique.

1

Thareed

Thareed

Affectionately referred to by some as Qatari Lasagne, this dish consists of either lamb or chicken cooked with a variety of vegetables such as carrots, onions and beans along with a variety of spices. At its core the Thareed is similar to a stew, but is commonly compared to Italian Lasagne due to it being served on bread that has been softened by being soaked in stew. This authentic staple of Qatari cuisine is available in all Doha restaurants, and even in some hotels such as Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara.

2

Machboos/Kabsa-Rice

Machboos/Kabsa-Rice

Probably the singular most popular item when it comes to Qatar cuisine, the Machboos is essentially a Middle-Eastern Biriyani. The rice, usually long-grain, is cooked utilising a variety of spices that give the Machboos it's unique flavour. The rice eventually serves as a bed for the meat, which can be anything ranging from chicken to camel. The meat, which is most commonly Chicken, is originally cooked utilising an ancient Yemeni technique known as Mandi, where the meat is cooked in a deep pit which covered to contain the heat. Nowadays, cooks can also utilise one of two methods such known as Mathbi which is basically a BBQ, or Madghut which involves cooking the meat in a pressure cooker.

3

Harees

Harees

One of the more unique of Qatari dishes. Commonly served as a form of porridge, Harees can also appear as a form of dumpling. Its preparation involves wheat that has been soaked overnight, then simmered in water along with meat and butter. After the water has been drained, the remaining components are beaten to form a pulpy porridge-like mixture. Harees is especially popular during the Ramadan season since it's a fairly light and nutritious dish, and is traditional served at Arab weddings as well.

4

Balateet

Balateet

Inspired by Indian cuisine, this dish is incredibly versatile, and can be eaten hot or cold, and can be prepared as both a savoury meal or a dessert. People attempting it for the first time are usually awed by the myriad of flavours that grace their palette, encompassing both sweet and savoury, with some even containing a welcome crunch due to the presence of nuts. Often consumed with a side of omelette, this unique dish is a must-try as far as Qatari cuisine is concerned.

5

Mahalabia

Mahalabia

This is the go-to choice when it comes to Qatari desserts, and is known to be as delicious as it is simple to make. Essentially, it is a milk-pudding, bearing a strong resemblance to the French dessert known as Blanc-Mange. Popular for its custard-like taste, the milky concoction is often flavoured with Rose-water or Orange-blossom and served with a sprinkling of almonds, pistachios or in some cases, select fruits.
The above are but a select few of the many wonderful dishes contained within Qatari cuisine, so if you happen to find yourself in Qatar, be sure to obtain the best is there is regarding all things Qatari cuisine.

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