It is impossible to visit a country and leave without trying its cuisine, reflecting its rich culture. Qatar has a rich culture. Qatari cuisine combines intense, authentic flavors with healthful, organic ingredients. Fragrantly spiced classic Arabic stews, curries, and quiches are qualities of cooking that are simple, organic, and use straightforward techniques.
Over the years, the Levant, North Africa, the Indian subcontinent, south Asia and nomadic Bedouin culture have all impacted Qatari cuisine. So, if you are a foodie and love to try different cuisines worldwide, you should never miss the taste of rich Qatari cuisine. Below are listed the 18 best dishes from Qatari cuisine:
Best traditional qatari food to try in Qatar
The first dish from Qatari cuisine you should try is Saloona. It is a beef or veggie soup with a kick. It is made in marketplaces, neighborhood restaurants, and guesthouses and is the most consumed soup in Qatar. Onions, carrots, potatoes, and eggplant are the main ingredients.
If the chef utilizes meat, he will use lamb or chicken. Saloona is a flavorful, robust dish that goes well with unleavened rice or a light oriental flatbread. It is spicy and filling.
2. Luqaimat traditional food
If you’ve ever visited a souq where local Arabs sell their goods, you’ll almost certainly have seen them preparing this Luqaimat Recipe, also known as Arabic Sweet Dumplings, in a big frying pan or skillet. It is fascinating to watch how quickly they remove the dough and drop it into the hot oil.
Particularly during the month of Ramadan, the Luqaimat recipe enjoys considerable fame. They come with date syrup and sesame seeds on top and are soft and airy inside with a pleasant crunch on the outside. If you are strolling in Doha, try to get a cup of tea or Arabic coffee to pair with this luqaimat to enjoy the rich taste of traditional Qatari food.
3. Qatari Machboos
The national dish of Qatar is Machboos. The two primary ingredients in this meal are rice and spicy meat. This recipe is deserving of all the praise thanks to the unique ingredients as it is a spiced rice dish.
This savory dish, also popular in other nations like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is slow-cooked to give it the most authentic flavor. This traditional Qatari best food is also known as Kabsa. It is available in every restaurant in Qatar. This is a must-try from Qatari cuisine as it is flavorful, filling and best Qatari food.
4. Harees traditional delicacies
Is eating porridge for breakfast your habit? Relax, your routine will not be disturbed, even in Qatar. Why not try a salty porridge? It is the best breakfast dish.
Arabic Chicken Harees are typically prepared with meat or chicken and boiling barley. It also contains wheat and barley. Harees is a meat dish that is high in calories. You may make it with chicken to make it low-calorie.
Its main ingredient is the “King of Cereals,” barley. It benefits those who want to lose weight because it is high in fiber. Deep-fried onions give it a fantastic twist. You can easily stroll Qatar after having it as it is full-filling and keeps and keeps you full for a longer time.
5. Warak Enab
A surprising variety of international delicious foods are available in Qatar, and these dishes have deep roots in Qatari cuisines. This variety of grape leaves is referred to as Warak Enab.
Each grape leaf is stuffed and rolled with rice, spices, and diced veggies before being placed on top of sliced seasonal vegetables in a saucepan. It is then slow cooked with lemon juice in lemon broth. It looks like finger food. This is the most delicious Qatari dish and is loved by people of all ages. This is a common dish in Qatari family dinners.
Even though shawarma is a traditional food in the Middle East and has gained popularity worldwide, it is prepared with a little more care and affection in Qatar. The people of Qatar adapted the shawarma concept to a broader range of creative ingredients.
The selections available here go much beyond basic chicken or beef. You can enjoy shawarma with deep-fried shrimp and fish to give your taste buds a rich, authentic flavor.
The major attraction of it is that there are wide varieties of shawarma to choose from, including Turkish, Lebanese, and even Indian-style shawarma. So, it would be best if you tingled your taste buds with this dish from Qatari cuisine along with spring potatoes. Shawarma is also becoming famous food in South Asia. Spring potato is also a very liked street food in Qatar.
Balaleet, a popular Gulf Middle Eastern meal, is made of eggs on top of sweetened, fragrant condensed milk and fried vermicelli. Although it seems like an odd combo, it is perfect! The vermicelli noodles are sweetened and flavored with saffron, cardamom, turmeric, and rose water.
After cooking, they are topped with an egg omelet or scrambled eggs seasoned with salt, pepper, cardamom, and saffron. It is a sort of bread pudding. Now, your next question: how it is so much tasty? You won’t believe how tasty this meal is! Balaleet is typically prepared on Eid al Fitr, the holiday that follows the fasting month of Ramadan. Must try it out with condensed milk drizzled on the top!
Undoubtedly, you will love this dish as it contains fiber and essential vitamins. Typically, it’s made with tenderized meat, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, and eggplant.
Raw bread dough is used after being thinly rolled out, divided into pieces, and simmered in the broth so it may absorb all the flavor. The Meshwar Al-Khaleej restaurant in Madinat Khalifa is among the most incredible places to try it.
The next pick from Qatari cuisine is for people having a sweet tooth. You will be surprised by the flavor as it combines two rich flavors, cardamom and saffron. Yes, khanfaroosh is a fried cake made with cardamom and saffron.
The cardamom and saffron probably made it clear that it was prepared in Qatar. It is relished as a delightful light snack and delicious dessert with a rich flavor.
10. Qatari Kehwa
In Qatar, the most popular drink is Kehwa. It is cardamom-infused Arabic coffee. It has a specialty dispensed from a special kettle called a Dallah.
It tastes distinctive and energizing. Have a cup of kehwa at traditional Qatari majlis to familiarize yourself with authentic Qatari cuisine.
11. Kousa Mahshi
Kousa Mahshi is one of the favorite Qatari comfort food. It is also known as Lebanese Stuffed Zucchini. This recipe uses cored zucchini filled with perfectly flavored minced meat and rice. It is slow-cooked in a thick tomato sauce to give it a ton of flavor. Aren’t you drooling?
Talking about its filling, it is a traditional beef hashweh, the Arabic word for stuffing, and is used in various cuisines, including stuffed grape leaves. Olive oil, spices, and perhaps onions are sautéed with ground beef before adding uncooked rice and combining.
Some people prefer not to cook the filling, but most think it tastes better. However, as the rice cooks in the subsequent broth, it will acquire a remarkable flavor that will force you to lick your fingers. This is the most demanding dish in family dinners.
12. Kunafa traditional food of Qatar
Here comes the introduction of the Middle East’s famous sweet treat, “Kunafa .”The globe over, people adore this delicious dessert. Delicate semolina dough is used to make the classic Middle Eastern dessert kunafa, which is then stacked with cheese or other components like cream and almonds after being steeped in a sweet syrup made of sugar. Drooling!
The warm, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth dessert is very delicious. When visiting Khobar, try the crisp, crunchy cheese and cream filled kunafa with dripping sugar syrup. One of the venues in Doha where people may treat themselves to a Kunafa is Al Aker Sweets, which is hidden away amid Souq Waqif.
If you’re craving more sweetness, Nutella Kunafa is the perfect solution. People will always want to stay in the Middle East since there is so much variety. Kunafa is considered ideal as a sweet treat in family dinners.
Do you love the beef and vegetable broth combination? Then, thareed is for you. Thareed is a Middle Eastern dish made of chunks of red meat, vegetable broth, and a thick sauce made of tomatoes and tomato paste.
Thareed means “beef stewed with veggies and bread. “Thareed can be paired perfectly with your preferred Middle Eastern spice blend and any fresh veggies you currently have, such as carrots, onions, okra, pumpkin, gourd, etc.
This was very helpful because the bread gets tastier and more accessible to the stomach as it melts in the meat soup. It is also available in famous Indian Restaurants.
Here comes the treat for vegetarians. This is a must-try dish for you as it will take you on the ride of delicious flavor. Falafel, often written “felafel” or “felafil,” is a deep-fried ball or patty composed of either chickpeas or fava mashed beans and seasonings. How is it pronounced? t is pronounced “fell-off-Uhl.”
One of the most popular and well-known meals in the Middle East. It is a trendy fast food sold on street corners in countries where it is the national meal, including Egypt, Syria, and Israel. Must try to satisfy your spic cravings.
15. Khubs Ragag
You can estimate the popularity of Khubs ragag by the fact that Qatar authorities even keep an eye on how they are sold. Nearly every savory dish can be served hot in or on a khubz in all Middle Eastern countries. It is Arabic flat bread.
The “khubz” word in Arabic translates directly as “bread.” It is a flatbread that resembles pita bread greatly since it has a large air pocket. Khubz should swell up and have a bag that can be filled with any delectable meal you like. It is also made from ground wheat.
Most of the time, it is served hot with Thareed. You can dip this yummy bread into the broth of Thareed to give your tongue a burst of flavor.
Are you a rice lover? If yes, then madrooba is a must-try for you. Madrouba means “battered rice” in the literal sense. After being cooked for a very long time, it is mashed. This dish is prepared with chicken and various fantastic Middle Eastern spices.
A rice porridge flavored with butter, cardamom, milk, and chicken. This might resemble porridge, but occasionally it contains herbs and spices that give it a soup-like flavor. If you are feeling lethargic, then you can enjoy it to give yourself a boost of power.
Do you want to enjoy a fancy yet healthy spread? Arabic mezze is the best dish to try. It is a favorite appetizer of Qataris. The meze-style space consists of tiny plates, dips, and salads meant to be shared as an appetizer course or light dinner.
The central focus of a meze dinner is bread. Pita cooked from scratch is simple and superior to most store-bought options. It tastes fantastic when grilled with za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice mixture of wild thyme, tart sumac, and toasted sesame seeds. Yummy! This Qatari food tastes exactly like spice market.
18. Kabab Nakhi
Now comes the turn of Kabab Nakhi. With its excellent and well-balanced flavors of vegetables and meat, the protein-rich and healthful Kabab Nakhi is simple to prepare. In a classic Kabab Nakhi, veggies are marinated in batter before deep-fried. The kababs are made from marinated meat.
This lovely appetizer has robust, enduring flavors thanks to the mystical spices. The Kabab Nakhi is an excellent choice if you’re sick of meat-based dishes and want a more enjoyable lunch.
· What are some famous restaurants to dine at in Qatar?
Here are two of the top traditional restaurants serving traditional Qatari food that will offer you the whole Arabic nation experience if you desire the flavors of authentic Qatari cuisine:
One of the best dining restaurants in Doha is the Jasmine Palace Restaurant. At first appearance, the cuisine at Qasr Jasmine Restaurant appears to be a fusion of Andalusian and Syrian foods prepared in a Qatari manner.
It stands out for both its traditional Arabian décor and traditional food. Because jasmine can be smelled from every side of this restaurant, it has a distinctive fragrance. Al shami home restaurant is also famous for Qatari foods.
The other best restaurant is Al Mancha. It is a cozy eatery with a friendly atmosphere. This restaurant is undoubtedly one of Qatar’s most incredible venues to try authentic traditional food. Try the renowned Zahabiya rice; it is one of the most popular.
· Which meal is best in Qatar?
In Doha, Qatar, some are the most popular and delicious dishes are Warak Enab, Majboos, Umm Ali, and Balaleet. Streets food are also choice of most of tourists.
· Which is the national dish of Qatar?
Majboos is a must-try in Doha because it is the national dish of Qatar. It is often made with chicken or lamb and is slow-cooked to enhance the flavor. It comes with a salad and homemade tomato sauce and is served over seasoned rice.
· Which is the traditional sweet in Qatar?
The famous and traditional food of Qatar is Malhaba. It has thick layers and is comparable to milk pudding. Rose water, cardamom, and creamy milk make this delectable dessert.
Dried fruits like nuts and pistachios are also used as toppings to improve the flavor. Umm Ali is also a famous Qatari sweet treat.
· Is it allowed to drink alcohol in Qatar?
Qatar has no laws against drinking. However, there is a zero-tolerance policy for doing so in public. You can only consume alcohol in specially designated, licensed public spaces. If you drink in public, it can result in a fine of up to 3,000 Riyals.
· What is Al-Waha restaurant?
One of the most well-known traditional restaurants in Qatar’s capital, Al Doha, is Al Waha, which serves local delicacies. This restaurant serves traditional Asian and Arabic cuisine with an Arabian touch. Due to Al Waha’s reputation for serving significant amounts, prepare to bring some food home. Must try out their Umm Ali.
· Which Qatari street food is the best?
The most popular Arabic street food in Qatar is shawarma. Famous restaurants to try shawarma in Qatar are Chtuora restaurant, Jabal Lebnana restaurant, Marhaba Istanbul restaurant, and Mashawi Al Arabi restaurant. If you are a fan of spring potatoes, then you will find a lot of stalls selling this street food.
Above are the top picks for you from Qatari cuisine. What ingredients in this cuisine from Qatar and Doha attracted your attention? These dishes are delicious and healthy, but they only scratch the surface of Qatar’s rich and diverse culinary tradition.
Whether you are a foodie or love to try different cuisine, these dishes should be a must-pick. Many restaurants offer traditional Qatari food; you can also find them at stalls in Souq Waqif. Try them and make your Qatar trip memorable!