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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 12, 2020
Headline for Food to Try in Abu Dhabi – Feast like the Emiratis
Joanna James Joanna James
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Food to Try in Abu Dhabi – Feast like the Emiratis

You can find any kind of international cuisine in Abu Dhabi. Here are some delectable dishes you can try while in Abu Dhabi.


Harees – Traditional dish

A slow-cooked meal worth the wait, harees is concocted out of wheat and chicken. It is a special dish that you can find at any special occasion in Abu Dhabi. Even chefs at many a resort in Abu Dhabi know how to prepare this dish with lots of love and care. As with any slow-cooked food, harees takes a while to come out in all its perfection. They cook ground meat (usually chicken and sometimes other meat) in a pot with a bit of salt. Once the wheat is warm, they add the meat and let it simmer for hours. The wheat cooks, absorbing the nutritious goodness of chicken, wafting the air with good smells. But cooking harees does not stop there. Once the meat dissolves entirely in the wheat, chefs put the mixture in a clay pot and submerge it in the ground packed with hot coals. After a few hours in the ground, they dig up the meaty-wheat goodness and stir it all with a special wooden spoon. Next time you stay at a resort such as the Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort, try harees.


Majboos – Another meat dish with a secret blend

The yummy secret behind this seemingly simple dish's popularity is the spice blend that goes into it. Majboos is made with any kind of meat cooked in water with the spice blend. Then they add fried onions and a medley of vegetables including tomatoes, crunchy green peppers and potatoes. Once the dish simmers slowly for a while, they add saffron to enhance the flavour profile of the dish. Then they layer rice and all the meat and vegetables before putting it all in the oven. Ten minutes afterwards, a steaming, fragrant heap of majboos get plated.


Salona – Wholesome soup

Boiled meat with onions makes the base for salona. Afterwards, they add sweet bell peppers, courgette, okra and aubergines to the soup. Finally, a creamy tomato paste along with a spice blend adds the final, classical touches to the soup. They let the soup simmer for a while before serving.


Madrooba – Made with salt-cured fish

Emiratis love seafood. Maleh (salt-cured) fish is the star ingredient of madrooba. First of all, they wash the salted fish thoroughly get rid of excess saltiness. The fish goes into a pot of water and simmers over a slow cooking fire. They, of course, add the special spice blend to give flavour to the dish. Then the flour is added to the pot bit by bit to thicken the sauce and make a delicately flavoured, thick broth. Then they pour a splash of ghee on to the madrooba. Tuck into this delicacy with flatbread known as 'raqaq'. The fish will melt in your mouth.


Luqaimat – for dessert

These scrumptious balls of fried dough are generously sprinkled with date syrup. Rosewater and saffron add a refined touch to the dessert. Luqaimat is fairly light and delicate, a feast to the senses.