Qatar has such an international gastronomic diversity that it can be difficult to find typical Qatari dishes if you are traveling to watch some of the matches of the biggest soccer event in the world.
However, it’s worth the effort to seek out traditional restaurants to experience foods in Qatar and incredible cuisine, ranging from hearty homemade stews to delicate desserts.
Over the centuries, food in Qatar has been influenced by the regions of the Levant, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent, as well as the nomadic Bedouin culture. The result is an array of complex flavors that combine slow cooking techniques with a rich blend of spices.
Food in Qatar can easily be the highlight of your trip, so we’ve compiled a list of the most delicious typical Qatari dishes and where to find them.
Food in Qatar: what do you need to try?
Overall, Qatar’s local cuisine is varied, complete with international influences. Here, we bring you a list of foods in Qatar that you cannot miss.
1 — Saloona
Saloona is a classic Arabic stew, usually made at home for family dinners. It is prepared with whatever you have on hand but usually starts with beef, lamb or fish, as well as seasonal vegetables tempered with garlic and ginger. The dish should be eaten with a generous portion of bread to absorb the broth.
2 — Warak enab
Stuffed vine leaves are common throughout most of the Middle East, but the ones from Qatar have a very special flavor. Warak enab is usually ground beef or lamb and rice, seasoned with garlic, pepper and coriander. This food in Qatar is best served with fresh lime wedges.
3 — Majboos
As majboos is the national food in Qatar, you need to try it when you visit Doha. Usually made with lamb or chicken, the dish is cooked very slowly to deepen the flavor. It is served over seasoned rice, accompanied by salad and homemade tomato sauce. You can try this dish almost anywhere that serves Qatari cuisine in Doha.
4 — Madrouba
Madrouba is a tasty rice porridge that can be eaten with any meal. It is made with milk, butter, cardamom and chicken (sometimes beans) and boiled for hours until it reaches the ideal consistency. Each place has its own recipe, but toppings usually include clarified butter with cardamom or fried onions.
5 — Kousa mahshi
Kousa mahshi are Middle Eastern zucchinis stuffed with ground lamb, vegetables and seasoned with parsley and mint. You can also find many restaurants in Doha that serve chickpea versions for vegetarians. Dip them in tomato paste or yogurt for the full flavor experience.
6 — Luqaimat
A ubiquitous dessert in Qatar, luqaimat is a sweet fried dumpling flavored with cardamom and saffron, topped with sugar syrup, reminiscent of a donut. The perfect luqaimat is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
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