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Updated by Joanna James on May 21, 2020
Headline for Traditional Qatari Dishes You Must Try – Immerse in a Tantalising Ocean of Tastes
Joanna James Joanna James
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Traditional Qatari Dishes You Must Try – Immerse in a Tantalising Ocean of Tastes

Bordering the Gulf coastline is Qatar, a country that ensures its rich heritage seeps into whatever futuristic project on which they embark. From modern architecture inspired by Qatari culture to dishes that hint at tradition and modernity, Qatar succeeds in balancing both worlds.



Machboos is one of the most sought-after dishes in Qatar. It is a dish that has rice as its base ingredient. For a spicy tang that would excite the taste buds, the rice is mixed with a preferred type of seafood or meat that is marinated using a variety of ingredients such as onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno pepper. In some instances, dried Omani limes called loomi is added to the simmering pot along with a stick of cinnamon and other spices to give this dish its unique flavour of the orient. For an extra zing, some sprinkle rose water over the finished meal before serving.



Tharid or thareed is a popular dish that is usually eaten during iftar or rather, the breaking of the fast during Ramadan. It is a light meal made of bread and vegetable mix ingredients. The crispy flatbread is loaded with soupy stew making the bread soft and flavoursome. The stew can be made out of lamb, chicken, and vegetables. For vegetarians, it is possible to enjoy this dish without meat. Tharid is reminiscent of the western lasagna, but with a Qatari makeover.



With contrasting flavours of salty and sweet, Balaleet is an incredibly delicious dish that is usually eaten for breakfast. The dish of fried vermicelli noodles is given its unique taste with an infusion of spices such as cinnamon, saffron, and cardamom, along with a bit of sugar. Balaleet is traditionally served during the Eid holidays with a mixture of Garbanzo beans and black-eyed peas that are boiled to the point of emitting a satisfying flavour that would surely tantalise one's taste buds. The prepared dish is served with an omelette on the top. Balaleet can also be garnished with a choice of nuts just before eating.



A staple food among the Islamic households during the Ramadan season, Harees is a dish that is quite filling and rather easy on the stomach. It can be eaten during Suhoor or Iftar, which refers to breaking the fast and the meal before the morning prayers, respectively. This simple yet delicious dish can be spotted at almost all Islamic celebrations such as engagements and Eid. Harees is typically made of ground wheat combined with meat and butter. It is garnished with a choice of spices, which usually ends up being cinnamon and cardamom.



Luqaimat is an all-time favourite dish of the Qatari people. This scrumptious dessert is made of deep-fried dough that is dipped in honey for a mouthwatering effect. A rough English translation of luqaimat would be "bite-sized," which indeed resonates with its delectable size and shape. Typically served during Ramadan, this tasty dessert can be enjoyed at many restaurants in Wakra including the in-house restaurants of hotels such as Souq Al Wakra Hotel Qatar by Tivoli.

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