The culture of Qatar’s people can be found in their traditions, and one of the most cherished traditions is their food. Here you can find the best local Qatari cuisine worth trying in Doha.
Qatar’s local foods are mostly influenced by Iranian and Indian dishes. Food knit the people of a nation together, and its variety and creativity make up the heart and soul of each country.
The capital of Qatar has an unbelievable diverse of international foods that it is quite hard to find local Qatari dishes. But it is worth some effort to hunt the traditional restaurants to taste the amazing flavor of local foods.
Here’s a list of the most popular savory Qatari dishes:
Machboos, a traditional Qatari dish
One of the first and foremost known national foods of Qatar is machboos or majboos. This is a bowl of spiced rice mixed with any kind of marinated meat like beef, lamb, chicken, or fish.
The Qatari Machboos look like a Biriyani of Iran. Some people serve it with lemon juice and rose water to make a delicious flavor. If you want it spicier, sometimes a spicy salsa dip is served next to the dish.
Try it once and after that, you cannot leave Qatar without having this famous dish again.
Harees, a traditional Qatari food
Harees is made up of meat, butter, and boiled or ground wheat. It is similar to porridge and use regularly during the Holy Month of Ramadan, festive, and Eid. Because it has nutrient content, considered a perfect way to break the fast at Iftar.
Sometimes to enhance the flavor, cinnamon, sugar, and cardamom are added. It also is a well-known dish in the GCC. You can find it in local souqs which have all sorts of different stalls of foods, except if you get invited to a local’s home for a meal.
Kunafa, a traditional Qatari cuisine
Kunafa is traditionally an iftar treat but at any time of the year is enjoyable either. It is a very sweet dessert and comes in two kinds of versions, the soft one which is known as Kunafa Naa’ma, and the harder one which is known as Kunafa Kheshna. Both are popular across the Middle East and are absolute heaven.
The Qatari people seldom have an event or meeting without serving Kunafa. Kunafa finds its way to some European tables with some differences in its recipe. One of the best spots in Doha to try Kunafa is Al Aker Sweets, situated in the middle of Souq Waqif.
Umm Ali, a traditional Qatari desert
Umm Ali is originally an Egyptian dessert, but Qatar has its own version. It has made with sweetened milk, chopped nuts, and raisins and filled with dried fruits, and offers a great mixture of spices when tasted. It is like a bread pudding and is one of the sweetest desserts that one can taste in Qatar.
Umm Ali is a traditional Doha food that is mostly known as a classic Middle Eastern food.
Luqaimat, a traditional Qatari sweet dish
Luqaimat is one of Doha’s desserts that is famous among travelers and is a traditional Qatari cuisine that can be found at most bakeries in Doha. What largely increases its heavenly taste is being crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and also flavored with cardamom and saffron.
Luqaimat is sweet dumplings that look like deep-fried doughnuts and are often sesame seeds sprinkled to add even more richness to the flavor. It pairs well with a cup of Arabic coffee. This dessert is made during Ramadan and is a blend of butter, milk, flour, sugar, saffron, and cardamom.
Thareed, a traditional Qatari food
Thareed is a traditional Arab and Turkish meal and is quite popular in Arabia. It is often called the Arab lasagna and is another Ramadan special food that consists of vegetables same as carrots, beans, onions, and potatoes which are mixed with chicken or lamb, tomato sauce, and spices.
Stew juices make the bread which is placed on the bottom of the plate, soft and flavorful. Thareed can be easily considered the most popular Qatari dish.
Balaleet, a traditional Qatari cuisine
Another traditional Qatari food that has Indian roots is Balaleet which consists of fried vermicelli topped with a saffron egg. It is soft, crunchy, and sweet; people eat Balaleet both for breakfast and dessert. Depending on your preference, this traditional Qatari food can be served cold or hot.
This sweet, savory, and crunchy (due to the nuts) dish is always very appreciated by people who are trying it even for the first time. Often it would be served with a side of the omelet (saffron egg). The flavor sounds weird but you will not believe how delicious this dish is. Savor this traditional Qatari cuisine.
Saloona, a traditional Qatari dish
Saloona is one of the traditional Qatari dishes which is included tomatoes, aubergine, carrots, and potatoes. It is served both by itself or with rice. Saloona is a classic regale food that is suitable for family dinners that can make it ready with anything available.
It generally starts with beef, lamb, or fish plus seasonal vegetables flavored with garlic, ginger, and lots of tomatoes. All of the traditional restaurants serve Saloona and also a traditional restaurant is part of every market in Qatar.
Waraq enab, a traditional Qatari meal
Waraq Enab is a traditional cuisine of Qatar that is made with a blend of minced meat, rice, and savory spices in grape leaves. Sometimes minced tomatoes are used too.
Qatari Waraq Enab is especially tasty and it is considered heaven on Earth. It’s best to eat this Qatari cuisine with fresh lemon. Warak Enab is a light snack that people can eat at any time of the day.
Margoog, a traditional Qatari food
Another traditional Qatari food that is worth to try is Margoog! This traditional dish is a healthy and hearty combination. It is a mixture of carrots, meat, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini. People of Qatar always tend to add something to their dishes.
They add pieces of bread dough to Margoog, which boil in the vegetables absorbing all the delicious flavor. This food is full of essential vitamins and fiber.
In the end, you can find some of the world’s best food in Qatar, the country which is known for its variety of eye-catching restaurants. There are many things to look for in Qatar and their traditional foods are one of them.
You can enjoy the amazing culinary delights of the country. Moreover, you can see the top places to visit in Qatar to find how your holiday would be.