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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for 5 Must-Try Omani Foods
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Must-Try Omani Foods

The best cuisines have gone through generations of innovation and adaption. Omani cuisine is no different. Over the years, influences from India, North Africa, Persia as well as the Mediterranean has permeated into this cuisine to elevate it into delectable blasts of herbs and spices.


Dive into some Majboos

While you are most likely going to stumble upon this dish at an Omani wedding, there are plenty of restaurants in Oman serving this decadent dish to their hungry patrons. Also referred to as Kabsa, this dish is a combination of rice cooked in saffron mixed with either chicken or red meat.
Juicy, tender, savoury and hearty are just some of the words that come to mind describing this dish and is the perfect centrepiece for a special occasion!


What is special about Shuwa?

While we are on the topic of special occasions, it would be remiss to not mention the deeply marinated and oven-baked meat dish that is Shuwa. Typically served for holidays such as Eid, this traditional dish is marinated, wrapped up in banana leaves and prepared in an underground oven, creating the most tender and succulent morsels of meat.
'Low and slow' is a great philosophy when it comes to the preparation of meat dishes and the Shuwa which is cooked in an oven for up to two days is a glowing example on its virtues. Some of the preferred meats for this dish are either lamb, goat or camel!


In the mood for Mushaltat

No meal is ever complete without a hearty piece of bread in Omani cuisine. The Mushaltat is a variation of a flatbread that is elevated to a godly position by the insertion of honey, meat, spinach or cheese making each warm flaky bite unbelievably delectable.
It is also quite commonplace in many hotels across the country, from locations such as the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort to small restaurants.


Don't forget the shawarma

Shawarma has taken a life of its own. It hit the waves of globalization and through a series of migratory movements, this dish has spread from the Middle East to all corners of the world. It could be considered an elite meat delivery mechanism, with a soft pita bread stuffed with succulent marinated meat, a little bit of sauce and vegetables making each bite juicy and hearty.
There is no better feeling than stopping by a shawarma stall on the way home from work, standing by your car and munching on your sandwich after a long day!


What's for dessert?

The best indicator of a beloved cuisine is how well its desserts compliment the rest of the dishes that get consumed at every meal. Many desserts can be heavy and intense or light and fragrant, but they will always act in harmony to complement the main dishes.
The Halwa is no different. With many Omani dishes comprising of a large percentage of meat, rice and bread, desserts such as the Halwa exist to give diners a quick burst of sweetness without being too heavy. Generally comprised of brown sugar, eggs, spices and honey, this dish can take a variety of other ingredients based on the preference or recipe of the chef!