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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Traditional Foods from Qatar – a true taste of tradition
Joanna James Joanna James
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Traditional Foods from Qatar – a true taste of tradition

Food and drink form part of Qatar’s distinct culture continues to be one of its major attractions that draws in visitors from every nook and cranny in the world.



Traditional practices are found throughout Qatar with its culture being one of the most celebrated in all of the Arab world. Therefore, when visitors arrive in the country, it is only a matter of time before they are eager to explore its food scene, which for long years has been influenced by recipes from North Africa, Iran and India. For those wishing to engage themselves in an authentic Qatari experience, then checking out its diverse range of cuisine will certainly be a step in the right direction. Seen as a family as well as a social ritual here, the locals often have a light meal in the morning and come afternoon, the main meals are considered the order of the day. Further, a majority of the meals are similar to the rest of those found in neighbouring Arab nations, and should you be invited to share a family meal during the course of your travels, then you must consider yourself fortunate to have been included in such a ceremony.



Regarded as a staple diet of the Qataris, Machbous lets you enjoy a combination of elements that reflects those very influences that have impacted presentday Qatar. This dish is made with basmati rice, pine nuts raisons, a range of the finest Eastern spices as well as a choice of either chicken, mutton or harmour fish. In households, this dish is served in large communal dishes and one lucky enough to partake in this meal would be able to experience just how mealtimes in this part of the world are celebrated and adored. If searching for places to delight in some Machbous, do take note of the various restaurants in the state’s major cities which are bound to serve this traditional dish. If you are staying at a local hotel or resort such as a Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels or any other, you are likely to find Machbous on the menu. As a side note, before you book your stay in Qatar, make sure to check out the many Doha hotel deals that are on offer at the time, in order to take advantage of the best rates.



Though not appearing as the most appetizing of meals, Mathrooba is a local dish that you do not have to spend too much time trying to locate. Especially in Doha’s Souq Waqif, this delicacy can be easily obtained and enjoyed. A flavoursome representation of a buttery porridge and chicken, Mathrooba is a popular choice amongst the local faithful, particularly during the act of breaking the fast in the period of Ramadan.


Wareq Enab

Almost every traditional dish in Qatar tastes the best when prepared at home though not to be outdone, your local restaurant or market will surely offer its own rendition of this favourite cuisine. Also prepared in Lebanon, the Wareq Enab constitutes a filling of rice, ground lamb and spices that are surrounded by a rolling of grape leaves and served as an appetizer or main course, depending on the quantities of the ingredients used.


Kousa Mahshi

Comprising stuffed courgettes of flavoured mint and garlic, together with a generous portion of lamb, this dish is first baked in the oven before being served hot. Kousa Mahshi is an example of the rich and distinct flavours of the Middle East which have now found its way into Qatar’s culture.

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