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Updated by Joanna James on Oct 26, 2022
Headline for Top 5 Street Food to Try in Abu Dhabi - Discover the flavours of the Middle East
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Street Food to Try in Abu Dhabi - Discover the flavours of the Middle East

The food found in Abu Dhabi is delicious and unique. Rooted in Middle-Eastern influence, it features a range of meats, vegetables and grains deliciously spiced in a plethora of aromatics and seasonings.

1

Harees

This simple dish is made from wheat, chicken and salt. Although the ingredients are minimal, they are simmered for a long time! The dish makes its appearance in traditional festivities such as Ramadan and weddings, while even the best Abu Dhabi restaurant will feature a version of this! Ground-up wheat is added to a large clay pot, along with ground chicken and salt. It is then covered and cooked until the wheat and the chicken meat has merged into one mixture and is eaten hot with a dollop of ghee.

2

Salona

This is a famous dish eaten in the Middle East. It consists of meat and a range of vegetables. The meat is first boiled with onions, and then a medley of vegetables is added to it. The most common vegetables include bell peppers, eggplant, okra, and courgettes. It is further flavoured with tomato paste and spices such as saffron, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, dried lemon, rose water and black pepper.

3

Machboos

This is a simple meat and rice dish. The meat, usually chicken, gets cooked with water and a host of spices, such as cardamom, cinnamon, and carom seeds. The mixture is enhanced with plenty of fried onions and vegetables like potatoes, green peppers, and tomatoes. This concoction is simmered for a long time for the flavours to develop. It is then followed by saffron and a layer of rice. The pot is then covered and placed in the oven for another ten minutes. The likes of Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort can be among the places to stay while in Abu Dhabi.

4

Madrooba

Seafood is one of the staples in the cuisine of the Emirati. Madrooba is a well-loved seafood dish made using salt-cured fish, known as 'maleh', which is a regional delicacy. The fish is first rinsed to remove some of the salt and then cooked in a water and spice blend. Once the flavours have mixed, flour is gradually added to the pot to create a thick sauce. The sauce is very tasty and savoury. The delicious stew is served with a helping of ghee and eaten with a flatbread called 'raqaq'.

5

Luqaimat

Luqaimat is a delicious dessert that is sometimes eaten at various times of the day and is served in street-side bazaars and even coffee shops. It is a fried ball of dough, blended with aromatics such as rose water and saffron. Another variant gets covered in sesame seeds for added texture, before being fried. These soft and spongy balls are submerged right off the hot oil into a thick date syrup. The dough balls act like sponges and draw in the sweet and sticky syrup. Each bite will be infused with delicious spices and caramelly date syrup, the perfect accompaniment for a cup of strong Arabic coffee.

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