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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 26, 2020
Headline for Must-Try Arabic Dishes in Doha – 5 Star Foods in Qatar!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Must-Try Arabic Dishes in Doha – 5 Star Foods in Qatar!

Qatar is a great place to try your way around Arabian dishes that have flavours gathered from all over the Middle East and inspired by the traditional cuisine of the Bedouin. The dishes that are famous in the country have a proud and prominent history which you can learn as you taste them.



Machboos is a dish that is also known Kabsa which is a mixed rice platter that is served with meat and vegetables. It is considered a national dish and there are many variations, but the rice remains brightly yellow and thick with sauce, made colourful by the vegetables and meat.



The Fatayer is a meat pastry that is well known in Arabian cuisine. It is either stuffed with a local cheese like Feta and called jibnah or stuffed with spinach and called sabanekh. Fatayer is not just native to Qatar and found in many Doha restaurants but also across countries such as Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Iraq.



You have heard of Falafel before as it is one of the Middle Eastern cuisines that has successfully made the crossover into basic western everyday meals. Falafel is a patty that is usually made of ground fava beans or chickpeas and served with pita bread and a Tahina dip. They are considered replacements for meat in many vegetarian dishes and have evolved into a permanent space in fusion cooking.



Probably the most popular dish of Arabian and Middle Eastern cuisine that you could find anywhere in the world, the shawarma originates from the Turkish word for "turning." The meat is slowly grilled on a rolling spit with a sword run through it. Pieces of meat are shaved off and stuffed with pickled vegetables and other sauces into a well-grilled wrap often made of pita bread. You can get shawarma almost anywhere you go, but be sure to especially try the ones at hotels the likes of Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara or even a street food stand in the city for a taste that will remain with you for a long time.



A popular Arabian vegetarian dish is Tabbouleh. It is often considered a salad and is made fresh with chopped parsley, tomatoes, bulgur, mint and onion, seasoned with salt, olive oil and lemon juice. Some variations serve it with garlic and some with lettuce. You can usually find this alongside very fatty meat dishes as a palate cleanser but thanks to its simplicity and ease with which it is prepared, it is also very well known among the vegetarian circles outside of the Middle East.



Ghusl is whole roast lamb served atop a massive bed of vegetables and rice and topped with nuts. This is a famous dish especially during weddings where the whole family congregates over massive dishes that are eaten in a communal setting. It is also an extremely flavourful dish that you should try at least once when in Qatar.