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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for Top 07 Most Popular Foods in Saudi Arabia- Contemporary Takes on Timeless Tastes
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Top 07 Most Popular Foods in Saudi Arabia- Contemporary Takes on Timeless Tastes

Whether it's cable-car flights over bejewelled mountain settlements, exhilarating dune bashing expeditions, or ambient Bedouin-style desert campouts, Saudi is full of atmospheric enchantments, including a spectacular foodie scene. Here are some must-try Arabian dishes.


Bukhari Rice: A Festival of Flavours

While Kabsa is a celebrated national dish for good reason, it never hurts to diversify your palate, and you won't regret sampling this enticing feast of roast chicken accompanied by punchy tomato sauce and fragrantly spiced rice decked with fried onions, raisins, pine nuts, fried potato cubes, and crisp salad.


Harees: Well Spiced Soul Food

All Saudi's well-loved staples, from herb-and-spice-rich fava bean dip or ful, scooped up with warm tameez flatbread to velvety olive-oil toned and meat garnished hummus adorning freshly baked khubz, have a dreamy effect of lulling your senses into blissful satisfaction. However, if you're craving a dish wholly synonymous with rustic comfort eating, the old-time savoury wheat porridge concoction of Harees, enriched by butter, meat, fried onions, and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and clove, is the way to go.


Muttabaq: A Snackable Sensation

Arab cuisine is iconic for addictively munchable eats, from heart-warming ferek, concocted from blitzed bread, spices, sugar, and caramelised onions to deep-fried kibbeh meat and wheat balls consisting of toasted spices and pine nuts. However, nothing compares to Muttabaq; crispy folds of shallow-fried bread filled to bursting with scallions, peppers, eggs, onions, and minced meat.


Saleeg: For Textured Indulgence

From roaming vibrant souqs and seeking the most Instagrammable backdrops of ancient enclaves to scaling dramatic clifftops and whizzing around cosmopolitan hubs chasing thrills, there's plenty to do in Saudi Arabia which requires a hearty eating pattern. The irresistibly silky Saudi milk rice dish imbued with the piquancy of garlic, paprika, cumin, and red chilli and crowned with a herb-patted whole chicken will be the highlight of your most eventful days.


Haneeth: For Filling Decadence

From artisan villages and mud-walled mountain castles to majestic palace theme parks and jewel-toned heritage markets, the tradition-rich Aseer region hosts a myriad of charms, the least of which is by no means its phenomenal food culture. Haneeth, in particular, is a labour of love that will tantalise your taste buds like nothing else, consisting of charcoal-cooked mutton or lamb simmered for three hours in layers of Marakh leaves after a dusting of spices and laid succulently over a bed of garnished rice and nuts. If you're looking for sophisticated Abha accommodation proffering prime access to the best regional food hubs, venture no further than Citadines Abha.


Areeka: A Bougie Breakfast

If your sweet tooth yearnings kick in as soon as you wake up, but you also want a wholesome and strengthening start to your day, this luxuriant Yemeni breakfast dessert is composed of mashed dates, honey, condensed milk, crumbled bread, aromatic spices, and slivered almonds.


Kunafah: Elevated Pastries

For a toothsome delicacy to enjoy with your steaming cup of strong, spiced-infused Arabic coffee, you can't go wrong with the delicate kunafah spun pastry, drenched in sugar syrup and stuffed with cream or cheese and ample nuts. If one decadent sweet isn't enough for your tea table, the ancient, crumbly, and subtly delicious maamoul cookies are a surefire crowd pleaser.

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