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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 18, 2019
Headline for Best Cuisines of Oman – The ultimate blend of good food!
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Best Cuisines of Oman – The ultimate blend of good food!

A middle eastern land that has ties to many cultures across the globe, because of its location in the Indian Ocean region, Oman has a unique style of cuisine that is a blend of Mediterranean, African, Indian and Persian. Meats and Rice are staples here while there are some surprising dishes like Shark meat – a delicacy in Oman.

1

Mashuai

This dish is an entire grilled Kingfish, served with savoury lemon rice. The difficulty in finding Kingfish outside the Indian Ocean means that this dish is only found in Oman and cannot be replicated either. Cooked with ghee and olive oil, the fish is crusted with spices after a fine scoring on the sides and grilled. The rice is cooked separately in ghee and served first before the grilled fish is laid on top.

2

Majboos/Kabsa

A celebratory dish that is prepared, especially during weddings and engagements and other functions ad festivals like Eid, the name of the dish literally means 'be engaged'. A staple dish at any Omani function, this dish features two predominant ingredients – Saffron and Cardamom. Meat, usually chicken or lamb is cooked first, and the spices added in later. The rice is added in the end, also cooked separately and it is served, as a large dish, piled with a steaming bed of rice with plenty of dried raisins and cashews mixed with the well-seasoned meat on top.

3

Shuwa

Another celebratory dish that takes two days to cook properly requires a lot of patience. Shuwa is essentially a way to cook meat, where the chosen meat – lamb, goat or camel is marinated on the first day with spices, wrapped in a banana leaf and buried under a sand oven to slow roast the meat. The meat is cooked to perfection only on the second day when it is unearthed and served with rice on the side. The method of cooking ensures that the top layer crusts perfectly with the spices while the insides remain tender and moist.

4

Shawarma

Popular around the globe even before the Avengers sat eating them in post-Loki-invasion New York, Shawarma is perhaps the best-known dish from Oman even if most do not know its origins. A sandwich made of pita bread and a spicy meat filling, consumed with garlic paste and the ubiquitous fries, this delectable street food is one of Oman's best.

5

Mushaltat

Mushaltat is more a snack than it is a full meal, but a delicacy nonetheless. A soft flatbread made of wheat flour that has been kneaded into thin cakes that are then stuffed with a meat and cheese filling before it is baked. Kind of like a refined and much more enjoyable hot pocket.

6

Mishkak

Shawarma might be the better-known street food, but Mishkak is street food in Oman at its finest. Grilled meats, ranging from chicken to mutton to beef, served on skewers, served with tangy tamarind chutney and fresh bread, Mishkak is a delight on the senses.

7

Halwa

Not to be confused with the Indians' 'Gajar ka halwa', but still a dessert nevertheless, ita sweet pudding made of brown sugar, honey, sprinkled with cashews and drenched in spices like nutmeg and cardamom that give it that edge in flavour. Some Halwa recipes use dates instead of honey or brown sugar as well. A dish that takes patience and a stirring arm that can go on for a few hours non-stop, this dish can last a quarter of a year without losing its flavour.

8

Kahwa

The ultimate sign that an Omani likes you is if you're offered Kahwa and perhaps a bit of Halwa as well when you meet them. The welcome sign of hospitality for the Omanis is this very bitter, very strong coffee that is spiced with their nation's favourite spice – Cardamom. Made from freshly ground coffee and served in tiny cups, most hotels in Oman like the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort sometimes serves Kahwa as their welcome drink. Any decent restaurants in Oman would also serve Kahwa around the clock as there simply isn't a wrong time for Coffee!