Cooking Up an Arabian Storm


express news service

Digging into the sweet, creamy flesh of Medjool dates with a cup of strong, black Arabic coffee is the perfect way to end your Emirati meal. But let me start from the beginning. Standing at the crossroads of East and West, Dubai has become the center of the world in a very literal sense. With expatriates streaming in from all parts of the planet, the Emirates has a plethora of restaurants serving a wide range of Western cuisines – from traditional European powerhouses of French and Italian cooking to new trends in Japanese and Korean cuisine.

But it is the traditional Emirati food that should be on your wish list the next time you visit here. Combining elements from the Levant (the eastern Mediterranean region of western Asia) and the Old Persian style of food, it traces its roots back to the nomadic Bedouin culture. Lightly marinated in spices such as turmeric, cinnamon and saffron, served liberally or as part of a curry, there are meats of all kinds – mostly goat, lamb and beef, with the occasional camel thrown in. goes. or flatbread.

Begin your journey at the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cultural Understanding Center (SMCCU) on Al Musallah Road. The local chefs here specialize in their national cuisine, with the help of government initiatives to preserve the heritage of the Emirate, and showcase the best of Emirati hospitality to the world. This is one of the best places to sample the full variety of authentic Emirati cuisine while learning about the culture at the same time.

Like the sands of time, rest on floors with predominant shades of maroon and gold in the deep courtyard in Arabian architecture replete with pale sandstone walls. Discover age-old cuisine with your host as he or she enthralls you with tales, just like Arabian Nights. Visitors can attend breakfast, lunch and dinner tours and lectures through advance booking. The center will give you a glimpse into the customs of Bedouin cuisine – the traditional cuisine starts with saluna (a vegetarian Arabic curry) with millet pilaf and biryani, and ends with liqaimat.

Considered the national dish of the Emirate, kabsa is a fragrant mixture of basmati rice, lamb or chicken and vegetables cooked in a pot with cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, nutmeg and bay leaves and often with a giant mound in the center. is served in. table, to eat community style with friends and family. Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe serves up some of the tastiest kabsa in the city. Its location in the Festival City Mall in Dubai Creek is perhaps the most impressive of the series, featuring a rustic interior adorned with coral walls, an old blue Land Rover, heavy wooden tables surrounding palm trees, and balconies complete with Arabic-carved gates Huh. Facing the dining area.

The next stop on your itinerary, the Spice Souk in Dubai, is an invigorating aromatic experience. With the sweet smell of various herbs and spices, the atmosphere here is filled with a plethora of shops at every turn. Located in the Deira district of Dubai, just north of Dubai Creek, Dubai Spice Souk offers a unique shopping experience. Dig in for a wide range of dates such as khalsa, ajwa, medjool, al khunazi and rotabh, along with spices such as saffron, dried hibiscus flowers, chamomile flowers, cloves, cardamom and black pepper, and all colors and varieties are exclusive to Emirati cuisine. from. You need to work hard, smile a lot and even accept your cup of flowery tea at times.

Looking for some camel meat dishes? Visit Siraj in Souk Al Bahar for a unique blend of Emirati and Levant flavors. Although it is interesting to try Meat Marguea (AED69/`1,400) and Emirati Mixed Grill (AED95/`1,900). The first is a thick tomato gravy-based dish cooked with dough balls, while the latter is a typical kebab platter, the flavor of which is much more subtle than the ones you ate back home, thus serving as a side dish of meat. Focuses on pure taste; This camel steak (AED125/`2,500) is what you must try. Served with Arabian curry potatoes and za’atar pesto sauce, the lean meat has a rich umami flavor that pairs well with slightly spicy sides. There may not be a lot of vegetarian options, but the healthy, veggie-rich signature pudding salad along with warm dates and kale salads is the perfect way to indulge your tastebuds.

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