Features of Arabic Cuisine

Arab Cuisine

Arabic cuisine includes the cuisines of the Middle East as well as the Arabian Peninsula. Many experts say that to get acquainted with the features of traditional Arabian cuisine there is no need to go to any expensive restaurants. It is enough to visit a cafe or look in a street tent. You can find there a variety of dinners and snacks.

Arab national cuisine is replete with a variety of delicacies characterized by quite unusual tastes and flavors. Not a single dish is identical to another.

If you decide to visit the United Arab Emirates, it is worth trying a little bit to see what you like best and what you can cook when you get home.

There are various step-by-step recipe photos at ydoo.info which explain how to make Arabic food at home.

Recipes with pictures

Features of Arabic national dishes

The peculiarities of national Arabian cuisine is that it has a huge number of different recipes where the main ingredient is rice, as the Arabs love this product. Also widely popular here are first courses (harira, beizar), appetizers (falafel, manakish), as well as fish (briqui) and meat (biryani, haris) delicacies.

It is worth specifying that the cuisine of the Arab countries is conventionally divided into cuisines:

  1. Arabian. This cuisine abounds in legumes (lentils, beans), milk (camel, goat), rice, baked goods (tortillas) and dates. On ordinary days, Bedouins very rarely eat meat products. It is served only on major feasts. If one has a baby, or a wedding is planned, traditionally the entire goat is baked and served with boiled rice to celebrate the occasion.
  2. Mediterranean. Includes Maghreb cuisine. This cuisine is famous for adding aromatic spices such as saffron, cumin, cinnamon, black red pepper, and ginger to almost every dish. In addition, the Maghreb people eat fish and seafood very often. The Maghreb people also prefer to eat soups and chowder. The most famous and popular first dish is harira, made of lentils.
  3. Syrian. Syrian cuisine is famous for its famous shawarma, which requires special preparation. It is necessary to put butter or yogurt on a warm flatbread, and then only put the filling. Besides, Syrian cuisine is characterized by the fact that in order to create any delicacy ingredients must be finely chopped. © https://ydoo.info/arabskaja-kuhnja.htmlОвощи mostly stuffed. The locals are also very fond of using grains and olive oil. Some items are subjected to several relatively complex cooking steps. What is remarkable is that the food in Syrian cuisine, unlike other Arab cuisines, is not very spicy and greasy. There are no side dishes or soups as such. Most of the delicacies are a mix. For making various products quite often take sour milk drinks, such as labne, which is a yogurt of thick consistency, which is dressed with olive oil, brine cheese and mint. In addition, Syrian cuisine is full of a variety of desserts (baklava, sherbet). The most famous dessert is kunafa, dough with nuts, cheese or cream, dipped in syrup.
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Culinary masterpieces of the Arab states (Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria and Iraq) differ from each other and at the same time have several similarities, namely the use of the same products, as well as the same methods of preparation of similar products. By the way, some of them are prepared identically, differing only in the name. For example, the Iraqi delicacy called “kuzi” is called “haruf bir-rizz” in the cuisine of Syria, and in the cities of Maghreb it is known as “couscous”. That is why experts talk about a common national Arab cuisine.


Traditional Arab cuisine is characterized by the fact that it often uses mutton as a meat ingredient. In addition, the Arabs eat poultry, but they rarely eat veal. Due to the prevalence of Islam in the Arab countries, it is forbidden to eat pork.

The highlight of Arab cuisine is a specific heat treatment of food. Most delicacies of meat are made without the use of fat. For this purpose, frying pans are strongly heated (approximately to three hundred degrees), then the meat pieces are put, which touch the heated surface of the vessel, with lightning speed covered with a thin golden crust. By the way, this crust does not let the meat juice evaporate. In this regard, the meat is always incredibly tender and juicy. Sometimes the pieces of meat are first fried in a well heated dry pan, and then roasted in fat. To garnish the meat, the Arabs like to serve boiled rice or stewed or fried vegetables.

Meat with rice and vegetables

Also cheese (something reminiscent of bryndza), eggs and sour milk products occupy a special place in Arabic cuisine.

Regarding the diet most of the Arab nations prefer to eat twice a day. Breakfast should always be dense, lunch comes before or after the sun goes down.

Lunch on holidays mostly begins with berries such as melon or watermelon. After that, bintas-sakhn (a sweetish pastry, which is topped with butter and honey), boiled meat with spicy sauce, or lamb are served to the table. At the end of dinner necessarily served broth. As an appetizer they eat fresh or pickled vegetables, game, watermelon seeds, nuts and many others. Also, for lunch they usually serve helba (spicy sauce with spices and mustard).

It is worth noting that during the meal, you must eat only with the right hand and only those items that are offered by the owner of the house.

In many recipes of the cuisine of Saudi Arabia there are fruit fruits, in particular dates, which play an important role, as well as cereals. It is quite common to make a paste from such a fruit that can be stored for twelve months. On rare occasions, date paste is combined with barley flour. Also Arab people prefer to eat dried or dried dates.

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date paste in a jar

The secrets of home cooking: soups and main courses

There are not too many secrets for cooking homemade items such as soups and main dishes. As for hot dishes, the Arab people prefer to eat soups cooked in meat broth that also includes rice, potatoes, beans, capers or peas.

The technology of soup cooking implies the following. Before sending the meat to boil, the product is fried in a pan without adding fat, then completely filled with cool water and put to boil until completely cooked. The prepared vegetables are put in the ready and filtered broth.

It should be noted that the soup must be served with kubbe (flatbread stuffed with meat, made of dark, wholemeal flour) or several kinds of sambusa (cakes in the shape of a triangle). The filling for each variety will be different:

The jabna is filled with cheese;

The lakhma will have a meat filling;

sabeneh takes spinach;

Khudar is stuffed with vegetables.

Among the traditional main dishes are meat and fish delicacies, as well as seafood. For instance, the cooks can dry fish, grill it or cook it in the form of kebab. Garnish for the fish delicacy is often vegetables. Spicy spices and spicy sauces enrich the taste. In Arabic cuisine restaurants one may be offered a taste of barracuda, lobster, shark, tuna, and shrimp of many varieties.

fish kebab

Meat products are not inferior to fish products. In the national Arab cuisine is quite a lot of different recipes for cooking with veal, lamb, chicken and other more exotic meats. Most tourists coming to the United Arab Emirates, especially want to try kebab. This dish is quite popular in the Arab cuisine, and it is very liked by locals. The product can be prepared in different ways. However, the taste of the finished product will always be excellent. Sometimes kebab is made from several kinds of meat. Arabs are very fond of cooking the classic recipe of lamb kebab, which is marinated in the juice of lemon and spicy herbs. What is noteworthy, to such a roasted dish without the use of fat requires a special sauce.

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meat kebab with rice and vegetables

Also, almonds, raisins and figs can be added to meat products, in addition to spices.

Do not forget that in this cuisine is quite popular is pilaf, made of rice and lamb meat. It also includes almonds, figs and raisins.

In addition, burghul, a porridge of corn that is either poured over sour milk or served with small pieces of meat, is quite common.

bourgoul with vegetables

Traditional salads, desserts, sauces and appetizers

Traditional salads, desserts, sauces and appetizers of national Arabic cuisine are characterized by excellent taste and a fairly simple recipe. Among the desserts the most popular and widely demanded are:

Baklava (puff pastry with nuts dipped in syrup);

Halva (made from seeds, granulated sugar, and nuts);

candied fruits (fruit fruits cooked in sugar syrup).

Arabian sweets

In addition, in Arabic cuisine there are recipes for creating cakes with various fillings, pies with cheese, nuts or raisins, candied fruit, honey and cream doughnuts.

Another favourite sweet delicacy among the Arabs is dates dipped in honey or chocolate. From such fruit they often make cakes, which are eaten together with butter.

Among the traditional snacks of Arabic cuisine the meze stands out, which is a set of various delicious and quite appetizing appetizers. The table is served in a huge round dish, which is divided into several small compartments. Such cells often contain corn or wheat porridge, several varieties of vegetable salads with the addition of chopped parsley, triangular patties with meat, cheese or vegetables, mutabal or babaganoush, nut and garlic paste.

Arabian meze

Salads in Arabic home cooking are made from a variety of products (vegetables, fruits, meat). They can be both light (almost dietary) and quite filling.

The traditional sauces in Arabic cooking may be spicy or not so spicy. Famous is the sauce Helba, made from mustard, red pepper and fragrant spices. Also locals use vegetables, yogurt with lard, and tomatoes to prepare this product.

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On our site you can find a variety of recipes with photos of cooking appetizers, salads, sauces and desserts of Arabic cuisine.

Arabic Drinks

Arabic beverages can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Among the latter an important role is given to coffee, which the Arabs prepare by a special recipe. Firstly the beans of coffee are roasted and regularly stirred with a metal stick. Afterwards the roasted beans are ground in a mortar. The coffee is brewed in brass or copper vessels which resemble a kettle. Afterwards, the brewed coffee is poured into cups and served to guests according to seniority. The guests of honor are supposed to be served three times, after that they should generously thank and refuse. Traditional Arabian coffee is served without the addition of sugar. However, cardamom or cloves may be added.

Arabian coffee

The locals also like to drink green tea brewed with mint or sage after eating meat.

They also make a milkshake with grated banana called muz bi-l-l-laban. The Arabs say that this drink, though light, is quite hearty.

The traditional alcoholic drink in Arab cuisine is arak (anise-flavored vodka), originally made from dates and later made from rice and grapes. Arak is poured into glasses with ice around them. Then water and honey are added to the drink. On contact with water, arak becomes cloudy, taking on a milky hue. When the drink is drunk, arak will remain on the walls of the container. Therefore, for a new portion of alcohol, you should take a clean glass that has been chilled beforehand.

bottles of vodka arak

Recommendations on what to try

When you arrive in the Arab Emirates what to try can help you decide what dishes you want to eat first from Arabian cuisine. Below is a list of the most popular and widely demanded dishes that are prepared in this country.

It is considered Arabian fast food. It is a lavash, inside of which there are soft cheese, chopped greens, as well as chopped olives. It is desirable to eat such a dish warm.

It is made with chickpeas, which are first turned into a mashed mass, and then formed into soft balls of such porridge. Then they are enveloped in flour and then fried in olive oil. Often the dish is served to the table either in a pita or in a salad leaf together with sauce.

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It is a pita with meat filling, chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce leaves, which are seasoned with paprika and other seasonings, as well as olive oil.

It is a caviar made from charcoal baked blueberries, which also includes chopped nuts, garlic cloves, cilantro and lemon juice.

Considered a salad that includes blueberries, sesame paste, and olive oil and cumin.

Rolled grape leaves with minced meat or chopped vegetables inside them.

These are patties made of a very thin puff pastry with fish or shrimp stuffing inside. Such a dish is served with a slice of lemon or fresh herbs.

The product is made of brackish fish, which is cooked together with flour and spices. The ready dish is served to the table with a sauce that has a brackish flavor.

It is made of chicken, lamb or fish, as well as rice and mixed vegetables. This dish is characterized by a rich flavor and aroma due to the fact that in a pan on low heat is fried several kinds of spices. Then a layer of meat, then vegetables and rice are placed. Some cooks add more pistachios and raisins.

It is made of shredded boiled wheat, which is mixed with chopped parsley and mint.

This dish consists of lamb meat, which was boiled together with wheat.

It is prepared with lamb. And for the side dish, rice with nuts is taken.

Mutton or chicken is used as the meat basis. Rice is flavored with a rather large amount of fried onions and tomatoes. Meat is fried on skewers.

This is stuffed zucchini where the filling is meat or mixed vegetables.

A sweet dessert where dough is soaked in syrup and nuts, raisins or pieces of dried fruits are taken for stuffing.

It is a sweet pudding soaked in rose water and topped with ground pistachios.

It is a pie with cheese, which is thoroughly smeared with cream.

This is a bean soup.

This is a lentil soup that is prepared in honor of the holy month of Ramadan.

Of course, the table does not list all the dishes that are present in the national Arabic cuisine. You can get acquainted with its flavor only during a visit to the country.

On our site you will find a lot of step by step recipes with photos, which describe the preparation of various delicacies inherent in Arabian cuisine, which you can easily make yourself at home.

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