Wednesday, January 6, 2016

National Dishes of the Middle East

A national dish is a culinary dish that is strongly associated with a particular country. A dish can be considered a national dish for a variety of reasons although many nations have favorite or popular dishes but not necessarily a national dish.

When a Middle Easterner or an Arab think of Mansaf, Jordan instantly comes to mind and same goes to the Egyptian dish Ful Modammes and the Saudi dish Kabsah. So many of the Middle Eastern nations have their own national dish and some nations boast more than one as in the case with  the Palestinian cuisine.

Of course, not all countries have a national dish and some countries share popular or favorite dishes as in the case with the nations of the Arabian (Persian) Gulf.
Since this is not a food blog, we have no recipes to offer you but there are many food blogs and ton of websites that offer thousands of recipes. Here are a few good food blogs: (some are no longer active but they have good archives)

Anissa Helou

Syrian Foodie in London

Turmeric & Saffron:

Allrecipes - Middle Eastern Recipes

Hommus with Tabbouli

Taste of Beirut

Orange Blossom Water

Here is a list of all Middle Eastern countries with their respective national dishes or popular (favorite) dishes. Items in bold indicates an "unofficial" national dish followed by other popular dishes

Jordan - Mansaf, Mjederra, Oozi, Kofta

Lebanon - Kibbeh, Tabouleh, Halawat Al Jebneh, Kofta, Sayadiyah, Sujuk

Egypt - Ful (fool) Muddames, Koshary, Moloukhiya, Falafel

Yemen - Saltah, Mandi, Ogdat

Palestine - Makloobah, Musakhan, Falafel,, Knafeh, Mloukhiyah, Mjederra

Oman - Mashuai, Machboos, Shuwa, Kebab (curried)

Syria - Kibbeh, Kebab Halabi, Shanklish, Kofta, Muhammara, Sujuk

Saudi Arabia - Kabsah, Mutabbag, Oozi

Kuwait- Machboos,  Margoog,  Harees, Mutabbag, Balaleet, Quwarmah Ala Dajaj

Bahrain - MuhammarMachboos Margoog,  Harees, Mutabbag

Qatar- HareesMachboos, Kabsah, Balaleet

United Arab Emirates - Popular dishes are blend of the Levant and the Gulf region but Shawarma seems to be UAE's favorite dish!

Morocco - Couscous, Tajine, Harissa, Harira, B'ssara, Pastilla

Tunisia - couscous, Lablabi, Harissa, Marqa, Brik, Ojja

Algeria - Couscous,  Harisa, Merguez. Harira, Makroudh, Mechoui

Libya - Osban, Asida, Bazeen, Couscous

Iraq - Samak Mashouf,  Kleicha, Iraqi Kebab,

Sudan - Ful (fool) Masri, Kammonia

Non-Arab Middle Eastern Countries:
Armenia - Harissa, Khash, Dolma, Lavash

Afghanistan - Kabuli Pulao, Kabebs, Oorma, Manto, Shoaba

Turkey - Doner Kabob, Yaprak Sarma, Pilav, Dolma, Kofte, Manti, Lahmacun

Iran - Chelo-Kabob, Ghourmeh SabziBademjan, Baghali Polo, Tahdig, Jeweled Rice,

Somalia - Halwa, Canjeero, Anjara, Doro Wat

Mauritana -Thieboudiene , Yassa Poulet, Mahfe


At September 17, 2019 at 5:32 AM , Blogger Robinson said...

Nice post! Thank you for sharing such amazing posts! I am glad to read about national dishes of the Middle East! I appreciate your valuable efforts! Well, I am planning a tour to UAE next month. I have already got my Dubai visa ready! Do I need anything apart from visa?

At March 2, 2021 at 5:04 AM , Blogger Andy smith said...

Excellent post! I am a frequent traveller & I love visiting new & exciting places. I was planning for my next travel destination. That is when I came across your post. The national dishes of Dubai look exquisite & I would love to grab a Dubai visa to savour these mouth-watering delicacies with my better half. I would also love to get a reservation to dine in the tallest restaurant in the world – Atmosphere, Dubai.


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