Cuisine of UAE

Today’s cuisine of UAE is a blend of many Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. But the modern diet of the UAE is cosmopolitan in nature. It features dishes from across the world. Generally, lots of people confuse Levantine food as being Emirati. Dishes like Shawarma, Hummous, Tabbouleh and mixed grill are all recent additions and do not do justice to the “soul food” that makes up the Emirati menu.

History of UAE Cuisine
The Middle East has always been served as crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa; hence traditionally it has been a hub of food and recipe exchange for ages. During the Persian Empire the foundation was laid for Middle Eastern food when rice, poultry and fruits were incorporated into their diets. Figs, dates and nuts were brought by Arabian warriors to conquered lands. During Turkey's Ottoman Empire the sweet pastries of paper thin phyllo dough and the dense, sweet coffee was brought to the area; coffee is now consumed throughout the Middle East. It is also influenced by yogurt from Russia; dumplings from Mongol invaders; turmeric, cumin, garlic and other spices from India; cloves, peppercorns and all spice from the Spice Islands; okra from Africa; and tomatoes from the New World, via the Moors of Spain. Religion has also changed the cuisine as neither Jews nor Muslims eat pork, making lamb the primary meat. In addition, the Quran forbids alcohol, so consequently the region is not generally noted for its wines.

as everything is cooked in a single pot. the traditional food of the United Arab Emirates uses a lot of meat. cardamom and clarified butter. Breakfast in the UAE usually features breads like ragag. The dishes are usually like stews. Sweet options include luqeymat. Harees. Traditional dishes include Ma'louba. Balaleat is another dish. served with cheese. a semolina blended with crushed dates. Other desserts include khabeesa. Arsee'ah. which aids the digestion. Seafood has been the mainstay of the Emarati diet for centuries. Fireed. which are offered on arrival and are kept available through the guests visit. Saffron.New Change Due to harsh desert conditions. At the close of the meal it is usual to be served with a red tea infused with mint. Other traditions to the meal include a welcome with dates and ghawah (Arabic coffee). which is flour bread crumbs blended with sugar. cereals and dairy. who introduced pasta. such as Houbara bustards. khameer and chebab. cardamom. Vegetables are difficult to grow and are not strongly featured in the diet. the eating of camel meat is normally reserved for special occasions. The United Arab Emirates cuisine is a reflection of a great Arabian heritage and vast exposure to civilizations over time. a deep fried ball of pancake batter that is rolled in sesame seed and then drizzled with date syrup. Margooga. date syrup. As camels are highly prized for their milk and transporting ability. cardamom and saffron or bethitha. but its advent again with the traders. Jisheid and Mishwy. resembling a stone. The introduction of rice to the diet came when the traders moved to the region. Machbous. and goats. These were made over a curved hot plate. Meats traditionally used were chicken or small fowl. or eggs. which would have been used by the Bedouins. Muslims are . turmeric and thyme are the core flavors used in Emirati cookery.

or mint to give it a distinct flavor. fish. Meat. Lamb and mutton are the more favored meats. saffron. then goat and finally beef. Popular beverages are coffee and tea which can be supplemented with cardamom.prohibited from eating pork so it is not included in Arab menus. Dishes forming part of the Emarati cuisine:          Kabsa Yeast Bread Falafel Shawarma Kebab Sheep Al Majboos Camel Milk Masgouf          Harees Al Salona Al Madrooba Fish Camel Meat Al Khabeesah Al Khanfaroosh Raqaq (flat) Al Jabab Bread . and rice are the staple foods for the Emirian cuisine.

Kabsa .

There are many kinds of Kabsa and each kind has its uniqueness. The spices used in Kabsa are largely responsible for its taste. A third technique. black lime. whereby meat is barbecued in a deep hole in the ground that is covered while the meat cooks. a whole chicken is used. cinnamon. onions and raisins. Bahrain and Kuwait the dish is popularly known as Majboos ) or Machboos (‫ . meat and vegetables. the UAE. With the change in technology and fast moving space today we get pre-mixed Kabsa spices are available under several brand names. involves cooking the meat in a Pressure cooker. such as chicken. goat. and shrimp. where seasoned meat is grilled on flat stones that are placed on top of burning embers. rice and meat may be augmented with almonds. or sometimes beef. camel. Kabsa. Madghoot. is believed to be indigenous toYemen. which has replaced the olden methods of cooking in fast moving jet world. These dishes are mainly made from a mixture of spices. The spices. Meat for Kabsa can be cooked in various ways. fish.Kabsa (‫ )ك ب سة‬is a family of rice dishes that are served mostly in Saudi Arabia — where it is commonly regarded as a national dish — and the other Arab states of the Persian Gulf.)م ك بوس‬but is served mostly in the same way. these are generally black pepper. cloves. lamb. In places like Qatar. though. Another way of preparing and serving meat for Kabsa is Mathbi. bay leaves and nutmeg. cardamom. saffron. The dish can be garnished with hashu ( sauce. The main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat. This is an ancient technique. These reduce preparation time but may have a flavour distinct from traditional Kabsa. ) and served hot with dakkous ( ) — home-made tomato . rice (usually long-grain basmati). pine nuts. In chicken machboos. A popular way of preparing meat is called Mandi.

Falafel Falafel balls Falafel sandwich .

These days falafel-inspired burgers made of chickpea are eaten as a kind of veggie Burger. History The origin of falafel is unknown and controversial. The dish later migrated northwards to the Levant. The falafel balls are topped with salads. and drizzled with tahini-based sauce. Falafel is usually served in a pita. the meal that breaks the daily fast after sunset. It is popular among vegetarians. where chickpeas replaced the fava. Falafel became so popular that McDonald’s began to serve a "McFalafel" in some countries. and is enjoyed by all sectors of society. In Israel. Some authors even claim it dates to the pharaonic period. Israeli entrepreneurs brought falafel to Europe and the United States sometime in the 1970s." in which falafel. Lebanon and Israel have been engaged in an escalating gastronomic battle often described as a "food fight. or wrapped in flat bread known as lafa. Commercialization & Globalization Falafel grew to become a common form of street food or fast food in the Middle East. . and prepackaged mixes are sold in health-food and grocery stores. Today. This has led to resentment by Palestinians and assertions of copyright infringement by the Lebanese Industrialists' Association. Alexandria being a port city made it possible to export the dish and name to other areas in the Middle East. pickled vegetables and hot sauce.Falafel ( ) is a ball or patty made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans. hummus and tabbouleh are used as ammunition. falafel balls are sometimes eaten as part of the iftar. A common theory is that the dish originates in Egypt. the falafel debates have sometimes devolved into political discussions about the relationship between Arabs and Israelis. It has been theorized to a lesser extent that falafel has origins in the Indian subcontinent where it and other chickpea-based dishes are also popular. During Ramadan. falafel is eaten all over the world. which acts as a pocket. falafel crosses ethnic and religious bounds. Falafel is now an iconic part of Israeli cuisine and often referred to as a national dish. In recent years. possibly eaten by Copts as a replacement for meat during Lent. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a mezze. The custom of eating falafel in a pita stuffed with salads began in Israel.

Salad .Tabbouleh .

where the dish was introduced by the Lebanese. pita and other elements of Arab Cuisine. it is usually served as part of the mezze. edible herbs known as qaḍb. the wheat variety salamouni cultivated in the region around Hawran and in Mount Lebanan. tomato and spring onion. In Cyprus. Originally from the mountains of Syria and Lebanon. tabbouleh has become one of the most popular salads in the Middle East. The Lebanese use more parsley than bulgur wheat in their dish. seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil. Bekaa Valley and Baalbek was considered (in the mid-19th century) as particularly well suited for making bulgur. To the Arabs. In Lebanon.Tabbouleh ( . a basic ingredient of tabbouleh. and dishes like tabbouleh attest to their continued popularity in Middle Eastern Cuisine today. tabbouleh has become a popular "American ethnic food. also tabouleh or tab(b)ouli) is a Levantine salad made of bulgur. formed an essential part of their diet in the Middle Ages. finely chopped parsley and mint. baba ghanouj. Likehummus." . A Turkish variation of the dish is known as kusur. while a similar Armenian dish is known as eetch. and is served with romaine lettuce. it is known as tambouli. In the Arab world but particularly the Greater Syrian region.

Kebabs Iranian Kebab Chenjeh Kebab Doner Kebab invented in Busara Turkey .

fish and seafood. it may now be beef. kebab is defined to be synonymous with tabahajah. The traditional meat for kebab is lamb. or in bowls. The phrase is essentially Persian in origin and Arabic tradition has it that the dish was invented by medieval Iranian soldiers who used their swords to grill meat over open-field fires. and now found worldwide. kabob. kibob. The Persian word was considered more high-toned in the medeival period. and stewed dishes of large or small cuts of meat. Ibn Battuta records that kebab was served in the royal houses of India since at least the Sultanate period. Xenophon and Aristotle and there are also claims citing pictures of Byzantine creek preparing shish kebabs. it may be served on plates. kebab halla is an Egyptian dish of stewed beef and onions. the kebab has become part of everyday cuisine in multicultural countries around the globe. kebab with no qualification generally refers more specifically to shish kebab served on the skewer or doner kebab served wrapped in bread with a salad and a dressing. goat. chicken. kebhav. In the modern period. kabab. In the 14th century. Αn early variant of kebab "obeliskos") is mentioned in Ancient Greece as early as 8th century BCE (archaic period) in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and in classical Greece. In Iran (Persia). char".ك اب‬also kebap. However. however. qabab) is a wide variety of meat dishes originating in Persia. but depending on local tastes and taboos. kebab includes grilled.Kebab ( ‫ . Similarly. Kebab was used frequently in Persian books of that time to refer to meatballs made of ground or pounded chicken or lamb. and even commoners would enjoy it for breakfast with naan. kebab gained its current meaning of shish kebab. Like other ethnic foods brought by travellers. In English.taem dellirg rof drow cibarA eht neeb dah ‫ ش اء‬Kebab still retains its original meaning in the names for stew-like dishes such as tas kebab (bowl kebab). . History The origin of kebab may lie in the short supply of cooking fuel in the Near East. pork. amongst others in the works of Aristophanes. while urban economies made it easy to obtain small cuts of meat at a butcher's shop. or even ground meat. which probably has its origins in Akkadian kabābu meaning "to burn. in sandwiches. whereas earlier shiwa` . The Arabic word possibly derives from Aramaic‫ אבבכ‬kabbābā. a Persian word for a dish of fried meat pieces. which made the cooking of large foods difficult. others have claimed the dish has been native to the Near East and East Mediterranean since ancient times. kebob. kephav. roasted. or even vegetarian foods like falafel or tofu.

Al harees is one of the most savoured dishes in the UAE kitchen and it involves a lengthy preparation. to which the meat is then added. and water. which is made mainly from meat and wheat." The final product is then topped with local ghee and placed onto flat plates. . Al harees. This dish is eaten at any time but particularly during the Holy Month of Ramdan. The mixture is then poured into a clay pot and placed in a clay oven or inside a specially prepared hole on the ground that is filled with burning coal. wheat. The pot is then completely covered with the coal and left for several hours after which the thick mixture is removed and thoroughly stirred with a special piece of wood called "midrib. Eid and Weddings. Al harees is made by cooking ground wheat in a pot with a pinch of salt. The mixture is then left for long hours until it is fully cooked and the meat is completely dissolved into the wheat.Al Harees Al Harees is a very ancient dish that consists of small pieces of meat. is quite prominent one during special occasions such as Ramadan. Eid and weddings.

salt and dried lemon called Loomy. It consists of rice. . Then the meat is returned again to the pot where it is cooked for another one to two hours. dried lemon. and seasonings in boiling water until they are very tender.Al Majboos Al Machboos is a very popular dish cooked in a large pot. This dish is prepared by cooking meat. The meat is taken out and the rice is added to the rest of the ingredients and cooked together. spices. Al Machboos is well known and is a favorite throughout the Gulf area. seasoned with spices. onions and meat.

Spices and tomato paste are also added and the mixture is left to simmer for 10 minutes until ready. tomato and some okra). eggplant.Al Salona The dish is prepared by boiling meat with onions and then adding a variety of vegetables (zucchini. . pepper. onions.

flour is added to the fish until the sauce thickens. Al Madrooba is then topped with ghee before serving.Al Madrooba This consists of salt-cured fish known locally as “maleh” or salty) and flour. While cooking. . The fish is washed in running water and then cooked in a pot along with spices.

Some dried fish are also being ground ("sahnah"). fried or cooked with rice in paella style.Fish Fish is used heavily in emirati cuisine and is prepared in a variety of recipes: grilled. they are either salt cured called “maleh”) or sun-dried known as “Al kaseef”). Old techniques to preserve fish are still used. .

Al Jabab Bread A soft dough is poured into a "tabi" oven. When the bread is ready.Emirati Bread Raqaq (flat) Bread The "raqaq" bread is made from soft unleavened dough that is flattened and baked on a hot iron plate. it is eaten with ghee and sugar. a variety of toppings such as ghee. or in a non-stick pan. butter and sugar. cheese or meat gravy (thareed) is spread onto it. cheese or any other desirable topping. honey. The dough is flattened into the pan and is cooked like a pancake on both sides. When the bread is ready. .

sugar.Desserts Al Khabeesah This dessert is made from flour which is heated on a stovetop and as its colour turns brown. The mixture is then left on medium heat until ready. . ghee and cardamom are added. rose water.

. after which it is divided into pieces and fried in ghee. sugar. egg.Al Khanfaroosh Al Khanfaroosh is prepared from a mixture of flour. The mixture is then left to rest. where the rice is washed and then left in the sun to dry after which it is finely ground before use. saffron and rose water. The flour is sometimes replaced with rice. cardamom. yeast.

saffron and rose water.Al Khanfaroosh is prepared from a mixture of flour. after which it is divided into pieces and fried in ghee. . egg. cardamom. yeast. The mixture is then left to rest. The flour is sometimes replaced with rice. sugar. where the rice is washed and then left in the sun to dry after which it is finely ground before use.

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