There are a few things that come to mind when one thinks about Dubai. We’re familiar with the rising towers and shiny persona of the rising city of Dubai. Also, images of warm deserts come to mind when we think about its location on the United Arab Emirates. Yet, when in Dubai, how do you get your hands on local food? While the luxury hotels serve up international and eclectic dishes, take your taste buds to the heart of Emirati cuisine.
Learning about new cultures during your travels makes the experience so worthwhile. Getting a cheap flight to Dubai is easy, but learning about cultural cuisine is priceless. Harees is a popular Middle Eastern dish that has a consistency that is similar to porridge. It is made of coarsely-ground wheat mixed with meat and chicken. This simple dish was actually made by the wealthy during Ramadan and Eid. It used to only be found during traditional events but is now served in restaurants for anyone to enjoy.
In Dubai, you can ride a camel into the hazy desert, but in town, you can feast on a stuffed camel. Known as one of the most famous and traditional dishes, it also landed a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as one of the biggest dishes served. This elite dish is made of a roasted camel stuffed with one lamb, chickens, rice and other flavorful ingredients. Despite knowing the extensive process of how this dish is made, once it is served on your plate, it is considered an honor to dine on stuffed camel in Dubai.
You may be familiar with shawarmas if you’ve traveled to international cities like Amsterdam or New York. This staple of the Arabic peninsula has crossed international borders. Take a pita and stuff it with fresh grilled meat (chicken, lamb, beef or turkey) on a spit served with vegetables and topped off with creamy tahini sauce. If your tastes are simple, luckily, you can find this traditional and famous eat anywhere- from sit down restaurants to local street vendors.
Though the dish may be native to Yemen, Kabsa is enjoyed all over the UAE, especially in Dubai. Take a mixture of spiced basmati rice, meat and vegetables and you'll have a well-rounded meal. The succulent flavors of cardamom, saffron and cinnamon dominate the dish. Take your dish up a notch and add Arabic hot pepper tomato sauce which is also locally made. Best of all, this dish can easily be made at home with the right blend and knowledge of spices so you can take your Dubai culinary experience back home!
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