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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Five Traditional Cuisines you Need to Try in Qatar
Joanna James Joanna James
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Five Traditional Cuisines you Need to Try in Qatar

Qatar; one of the most exciting countries in the Middle East is famed for its proliferating culinary scene. But with so many things to try, it can leave a newcomer confused on what to choose.



Thareed is a traditional dish which has a history dating back to the era of the Prophets. It is very popular during the months of fasting and is usually consumed for Iftar. Commonly referred to as stew in the Western world and sometimes referred to Qatari Lasagna, this dish includes the likes of potatoes, carrots, and beans. When it comes to meat, either chicken or lamb is used. The meat is generally blended with tomatoes and different types of spices. Pieces of bread which are soaked in the stew are included in the dish. This dish can be found in many -restaurants in Doha as well as hotels such as the Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara.



The national dish of Bahrain, Machboos is very similar to Biriyani and Kabsa. When stripped down to the bone, they are all meat and rice dishes. The differences between Machboos and the rest is the cooking techniques used and the different spices that are used. The meat used in the dish ranges from seafood like shrimp to lamb and mutton. Rose water and lemon juice are generally sprinkled over the final dish to deliver an appetizing aroma and a unique twist in the flavor.



A wheat dish that's akin to porridge, it consists of boiled or coarsely grounded wheat that is blended with meat. The meat used is usually chicken. Harees is a dish that has been around in the Middle East since the 10th century and once you dig into it, you'll understand why this dish has been popular for centuries. It is very popular during the month of Ramadan as it is easy to eat and quite fulfilling. It is sometimes eaten as the main dish and sometimes served as a side dish to other meals. The dish is also referred to as Jareesh or Hareesa.



Balaleet is one of the most versatile dishes on this list. It is most commonly served for breakfast but on certain occasions used as a dish for dessert. You also have the option of serving this dish hot or cold. Heavily influenced by Indian cuisine, the sweet pasta offers the perfect combination of sweetness and crunchiness (due to the nuts) with a hint of spice. It is often served with saffron omelets.



A famed dessert in the country, Mehalabiyya is a custard made using rice milk. It is sometimes made in the form of a pudding too. The flavors vary and as do the toppings for the pudding. As with most of the dishes in Qatar, the final dish of Mehalabiyya is sprinkled with rose water for that extra flavor and aroma. In some cases, orange blossom is used as a substitute. This dish is an excellent dessert for a dinner as it is light and smooth.