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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Emirati Cuisine to Try while on Holiday – The Flavours of the Emirates
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Emirati Cuisine to Try while on Holiday – The Flavours of the Emirates

The countries in the Gulf have been nourished by the Indian subcontinent and the Mediterranean since time immemorial but the locals have maintained their identity through rites, rituals and cuisine.

1

Balaleet

As much as you would find bacon and eggs served for breakfast while staying at Abu Dhabi luxury hotels, you would also find a dish of noodles with a fluffy egg on top. This variation of noodles is like no other; it is both sweet and spicy, the noodle itself is crispy and slightly oily. The oil rends the noodles its colour of a slight yellow and helps it to gain a delightful taste. Try it out at any time of the day to get your dose of protein.

2

Harees

This traditional dish includes a combination of meat and wheat cooked over a low fire for a long time such that the meat immerses itself in the wheat mix to form a porridge-like consistency. This is slated to perfection and makes people want more and more. It has been served during celebrations and religious events for years on end and today tasteful hotels such as the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villas may be found serving it as a part of their buffet.

3

Machboos

Those who crave starchy rice would be thrilled to know that even in the Emirates that a local variant of rice is available. Machboos possesses many similarities to the saffron rice served in Sri Lanka and the biriyani which is an Indian favourite. The significant ingredient that goes into Machboos that is not included in rice usually is a piece of lime. Once mixed with the other condiments, juicy pieces of chicken or fish and the fragrant coriander leaves, the taste of lime evolves from sour to flavourful. This is an easy meal to have even while on the go as the nutrients and flavour are packed into the main dish itself. It also qualifies as a great main dish for buffets.

4

Riga

Every Emirati kitchen knows the secret of mixing whole wheat flour with water and salt, rolling it into a paper-thin flatbread and toasting it until crisp on a hot pan and every visitor to the Emirates should try this flatbread known as rigag. It is often eaten during the month of Ramadan just before fasting begins, though it is equally common during other times of the year as well. A fish paste, mixed vegetables, local honey, a dab of ghee or some cheese are the toppings that go well with the rigag. There are many derivations of the rigag that are now prepared by restaurants as well as homes as people understand how versatile flatbreads are.

5

Luqaimat

This sweet is quite similar to Gulab Jamun but the locals think that Luqaimat is more addictive. A mixture of flour is formed into the shape of a ball and fried until golden brown. It is then dipped into a date syrup and since the Emiratis have access to really fresh dates, the end result is dashingly authentic and mouth-watering.