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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Top Omani Foods that you must try - Understanding culture through food that is close to heart
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Omani Foods that you must try - Understanding culture through food that is close to heart

Oman is a country that gives you mesmerizing deserts as well as mouth-watering desserts. With a great cuisine to indulge in, here are five things you must not miss when in Oman.


Kahwa with dates and halwa

The traditional method of starting a meal on Oman is with kahwa, a cardamom drink that has a slight bitterness to it. Due to its place in the culture of the country, you will find this at all restaurants in Oman. The kahwa is accompanied by a few dates, a succulent fruit that is sweet and contains a lot of fibre, and halwa. Halwa is a sticky sweet that is usually flavoured with rose water, nuts, or chocolate. The bitterness of kahwa is subtly countered with the freshness of the dates and the sweetness of halwa to strike a beautiful balance.



Shuwa is the national dish of Oman, and as is the right of something that deserves such high accreditation, is rather difficult to make. The preparation time for a dish of shuwa can vary between 24 hours to 48 hours, thus making it available only on special occasions. However, if you do want to try this dish out – and you should – you can ask the kitchen of your resort at the beginning of the stay. Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, for instance, has customized private dining that will allow you to try Shuwa.



Although you might not expect it from a Middle Eastern country, seafood is a staple in Omani meals. The proximity to the ocean and the power that Sultans wielded over the waters have ensured that fishing industry is a key component in providing meals for the populace. Out of many fish dishes that the Omani whip up, Mashuai is one you must try. It is a dish made of kingfish, roasted to perfection, which is served alongside a healthy portion of lemon rice.



Maqboos heroes meat in its presentation, the same way that Mashuai heroes the kingfish. This, too, is a rice dish, thus popular among the locals. The rice is cooked with saffron to give it both colour and fragrance, while the meat goes through an extended process. The meat may be white meat or red meat and is marinated with several concoctions and local spices. This provides the meat with a deep, satisfying taste that perfectly complements the light saffron rice.



Little balls impregnated with a flavour that just pops open in your mouth as you take the first bite, Lokhemat is also a sweet that is presented alongside the bitter coffee, kawah. Flour is mixed with a generous dose of cardamom, made into balls using egg and other wet ingredients, and then are deep-fried until the casing is crisp and golden. When prepared just right, the outer surface of lokhemat is crisp and crunchy, while the inside is soft and gooey, creating an explosion of sweetness with every bite.