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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Food to Try in Abu Dhabi – From the Spiciest to the Sweetest
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Food to Try in Abu Dhabi – From the Spiciest to the Sweetest

The Emirati cuisine is to die for. Here are 5 authentic dishes you must try if you want to taste the best of Abu Dhabi.

1

Harees

This is a traditional Arabian dish made of meat and wheat. The way you cook this is a little peculiar. First, they cook the wheat and then the meat (chicken) is added. When the chicken blends well with the wheat, the cooks take it out of the cooker and put it in a clay pot. This is where it gets interesting. The pot is then buried in a hole where hot coals are at the bottom. This ground cooking method is very popular in Abu Dhabi. There is a unique taste to the dish once it is cooked like that. The chicken is ground cooked for a few hours before it is served.

2

Machboos

This is a very simple dish. It has only one thing in it; meat. What is so special about cooked meat? It is the blend of spices used in this curry that makes it unique and mouthwateringly good. Any kind of meat can be used for this dish. In Abu Dhabi chicken, beef, lamb and even seafood are used. However, you won't be able to find machboos made using pork. The meat is cooked with the paste of spices and then layered on top of rice. This is baked for another 10 mins before serving. The dish is so spicy that even most locals start tearing up while eating.

3

Salona

This is an authentic Arabian meat soup with a lot of vegetables. You can find this dish anywhere in Abu Dhabi, from the shacks on the streets to the best hotels. The meat is stir-fried with onions and then vegetables such as eggplants, tomatoes, bell pepper and okra are added. Milk and tomato paste is added in the end to make the soup creamy and thick. This is a favourite among the locals because it is nutritious as well as tasty.

4

Madrooba

No one cooks seafood better than the Emiratis. Fish of all kinds, shapes, sizes and even colours can be found in the seafood markets of Abu Dhabi. They are cooked in all ways imaginable- sautéed, deep-fried, poached, grilled, simmered, the list goes on. Madrooba is the king of all seafood dishes. Any kind of fish can be used for this. The fish is salt-cured and then cooked with spices. Flour and milk are used to make the curry thicker. After cooking it looks more like a sauce than a curry. This is a delicacy in Abu Dhabi that is served on special occasions.

5

Luquaimat

This is a famous dessert, even outside of the Emirates. Many hotels which are also wedding venues in Abu Dhabi the likes of Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara consider this as the go-to dessert for weddings. These are balls of sweetened dough deep-fried and covered in date syrup. The dough is made using rose water and date syrup. Luquaimat is a very delicate and light. It is an essential item in any fine dining restaurant.