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Updated by Joanna James on Jan 26, 2021
Headline for Top 5 dishes to try in Abu Dhabi – The rarely tried, but tasty dishes
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 dishes to try in Abu Dhabi – The rarely tried, but tasty dishes

Abu Dhabi is not just a place with a fantastic coast and a thriving city life but, it is also a place that offers some of the finest local cuisines for the tasting! Here are a few dishes that you simply have to try when you are visiting this part of the UAE.

1

Harees

This is one of the most scrumptious meals you will ever have in Abu Dhabi and it is mostly served just for special occasions like weddings. It takes its own sweet time to cook, but the taste is totally worth the wait! The dish is prepared with ground wheat which is boiled in a pot along with chicken seasoned with salt. The mix is left to boil until the meat completely breaks down and almost becomes one with the wheat. It is then put into a clay pot and baked in clay oven. Oh, what deliciousness awaits!

2

Machboos

Ah... the aroma of cooked rice and the richness of that meat mix...it's bound to take your taste-buds on a roller-coaster ride! This is a common dish in the Middle East and is a combination of rice and meat. The rice is cooked, and meat boiled and fried. Into the mix goes vegetables like tomato, green peppers and potato all this season with a magical blend of spices. The rice and meat are then packed in layers and baked. Voila! It's ready for the plate. The meat used for this dish can be chicken, lamb, beef, goat or even shrimp.

3

Salona

So, this is a meat soup. Feeling like it's not such a big deal? Just meat soup? No, this isn't just a meat soup! It's an extraordinary one where the meat is boiled with onions. Throw in a few vegetables like courgettes, bell peppers, okra and eggplant. But the best part about all this is once again the blend of spices used to spruce up the dish. The soup looks as delicious as it tastes.

4

Madrooba

Did you know that certain seafood dishes in the Middle East are authentic and quite popular too? So, the truth is you walk into the fish market in Abu Dhabi and you'll find some of the freshest fish ingredients to choose from. Madrooba is a seafood dish prepared with salt-cured fish and no it's not as salty as you think it is. The fish is normally washed well before boiling and while it boils, flour is gradually added to this with a special mix of spices. The outcome? A nice thick fish sauce that goes perfect with some Arabic flatbread.

5

Luqaimat

Looking for the sweeter side of Abu Dhabi? Best restaurants in the city usually serve up luqaimat, why not give it a try! These are little balls of fried dough that are served with a delicious date sauce. So, you think they are similar to a doughnut? Well, they might be except for the saffron and rose water used to make the dough and of course the thick, delicious date syrup! This is a bit of a luxury food as well and can be found on the dessert menus of local hotels like Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.