The region of Qatar has an interesting food culture and dishes that are unique due to its location. Qatari food has influences that are both Arabian, and Asian.
Whether you’re in Qatar for a few days or a few weeks, it’s important to try some of the amazing Qatari foods that the country has to offer. From traditional Arabic dishes to international favorites, there’s something for everyone.
Here are 10 delicious Qatari foods that you definitely don’t want to miss!
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10 Must-Try Qatari Dishes
Machboos is a tasty variety of the popular Arabian dish Kabsah. The concept is the same: just combine all your ingredients and serve them on a platter.
Some of the special aspects of Machboos are the Qatari spices, Some say that Machboos is the national dish of Qatar. One thing is certain, this really is Kabsah with a kick. This dish can include meat, chicken, or seafood.
Harees is a unique Arabian dish that is made from ground wheat, meat, and some spices. This porridge-like meat dish also includes tomatoes, peppers, and spices like cardamom and is drizzled with parsley over the top.
Some say that Harees is prepared during the month of Ramadan and shared with those who are less fortunate.
This delightful dish is a vegetable and meat stew that is served on top of a freshly made slice of Arabic flatbread. The bread soaks all the flavors from the food, making for an added treat. The finishing touch is adding tomato sauce and Qatari spices over the top.
Do you sometimes have trouble deciding whether you would like something sweet or savory for breakfast? Well, then Balaleet is the perfect breakfast dish for you, by combining both sweet and salty to give the perfect tasty breakfast blend.
This unconventional breakfast dish consists of sweetened vermicelli and a spicey omelet. This interesting dish is popular all over the region. In Qatar, the vermicelli is spiced with rose water and cardamom. It is best served with chai: milk tea.
A savory rice pudding that is made from chicken, milk, cardamom, and butter. This might resemble a porridge but sometimes includes herbs and spices that make it taste more like a soup. This delightful snack is enjoyed at all times of the day.
This looks like a small round ball of a donut that is dipped in syrup. It is deep-fried balls of dough that are crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside. They look and taste very similar to the Turkish dish ‘Lokma’, which even has a similar name.
Luqaimat, which literally means “bites” is a tasty sweet snack that is popular during the month of Ramadan.
Not uncommon in the Middle-east, Qatari Kousa Mahshi is a filled courgette. The filling is made from mince-meat, and spices.
It also contains mint and parsley. This veggie surprise can also be made without meat. It is unique and tasty and is a familiar taste for those who are accustomed to Qatar’s refined Arabian cuisine.
Saloona is a thick and wholesome Arabic stew that can include whatever you have on hand, meat, and veggies. It typically includes regular vegetables like potatoes and carrots with meat or chicken.
The flavors come from the onions, ginger, garlic, and peppers. This delightful meal can be consumed anywhere, and for any occasion, or none at all. It is a daily meal that is made and loved by all.
This dish is unique because it has a special ingredient, bread dough. The dish is a regular mix of meat and vegetables cooked in a tomato sauce. However, when you cook the raw bread dough, it takes on a whole new texture. This special dish is unique to the Gulf and should not be missed.
There is a difference of opinion about what Khanfaroush actually is. However, that it is absolutely delicious is unanimous. Some say that it is a cross between a cake and a cookie. Others say that it is really an Arabic doughnut.
Well, we know that it is made from a batter spiced with saffron, cardamom, and even Tumeric. This spiced batter is deep-fried in hot oil and then served in a rose sugar syrup. Try it for yourself and then tell us how you would classify this sweet treat.
The traditional flatbread of Qatar is called ‘Khubz’. It is baked in a special oven called taboon. It is usually prepared with white flour, or sometimes half wheat and half white.
Qatari National Food
The national dish of Qatar is a lamb and dates stew usually served with rice or unleavened pan-fried bread known as Lahm.
The dish has a rich, lightly spiced sauce with tender meat and dates. Lamb is the traditional meat used to prepare this dish but it can be made with beef or goat.
This dish is often served to guests in Qatar.
Qatari Food Ingredients
Qatari cuisine is a blend of traditional Arab, Persian and Indian cuisines.
Rice and flatbread are significant staples in most Qatari meals. Various spices such as cumin, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon are used to flavor many dishes.
Although seafood has played an essential role in Qatar’s culinary heritage since the inhabitants of this Persian Gulf country have engaged in fishing on its coasts for centuries, meat dishes are usually preferred nowadays.
Qatari Food Cookbooks
- The New Book of Middle Eastern Food
- The Complete Middle East Cookbook
- Feast In The Middle East
- Vegan Recipes from the Middle East
Food in Qatar has been spiced up over the years by influences from across the Middle-east and Asia. This makes Qatar a great place to sample the best authentic and derived Arabian treats.
This list is just a few of the many delectable dishes that are available in the tiny nation of Qatar. Do you have any favorites?