10 Arabic dishes that everyone new to Qatar should try

Belonging to the Middle East, Qatar follows the Arabic Culture and tradition of the Bedouins.

The locals have always relished the delicacies that have been served with an Arabian touch.

Gradually, the expats have also become fond of the meals that they come across in the local market or when they dine at prominent Arabian restaurants.

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Some dishes like Machboos are found readily available in the market which we all love to relish.

Let’s find out some more about these delights that the Arabs like to rejoice.


Machboos:  Also referred to as Kabsa, this is a mix of rice dishes on a platter. It is considered as a national dish of some countries in the GCC. This dish constitutes of meat and vegetables along with rice.

Fatayer:   An Arab meat pie pastry that can alternatively be stuffed with spinach (sabanekh), or cheese (jibnah) such as Feta or A’kawi. It is part of Arab cuisine and is eaten in Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and other Arab countries in the region.

Falafel:   This deep fried ball or patty is made from ground chickpeas and fava beans. It is preferred with dips like Tahina. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, commonly served in pita bread, which acts as a pocket. It is also wrapped in a flatbread known as lafa. Falafel, frequently, refers to a wrapped sandwich consisting the patties and is commonly eaten across the Middle East. The fritters are now found around the world as a replacement for meat and as a form of street food.

Shawarma:   Ahh! One amongst my favorites! The word originates from a Turkish name meaning ‘turning’. A rotating or turning spit is used where a block of meat is placed, heated and pieces of the meat are shaved off to fill it in a grilled wrap along with other sauces and stuffing like pickled vegetables.

Tabbouleh:  This is an Arabian vegetarian dish. It is considered as a salad at times. It is traditionally made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur and onion. Then, seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Some variations add garlic or lettuce.

Ghuzi:  This contains whole roast lamb served on a generous bed of rice, vegetables and flavorful nuts to form an extravagant dish.

Harees:  Also called Harissa, is an Arabic dish of boiled, cracked, or coarsely-ground wheat, mixed with meat. Its consistency varies between a porridge and a dumpling. Considered good for health, Harees is popular in the Persian Gulf and is chosen favorite especially during the month of Ramadan.

Mathrooba:  Mathrooba is a Qatari dish that is often eaten as a treat to break the fast of Ramadan and is readily available at some places like the Souq Waqif. Made with chicken in a creamy, buttery porridge; this dish is rich and has hearty flavors that make it delicious.

Kousa Mahshi:  This dish of stuffed zucchini/courgette is popular all over the Middle East and shows the international influences at play in Qatari cuisine. Stuffed with lamb and flavoured with mint and garlic, the courgettes are then baked in the oven before being served hot.
Kousa Mahshi

Wareq Enab:   Wareq enab is another delicacy that Qatar shares with a fellow Arab nation – Lebanon. In this dish, grape leaves are rolled around a filling of ground lamb, rice and spices and served as an appetizer or even main course.

Wareq Enab