Best Traditional Dishes from Qatar

Qatar’s cuisine is influenced heavily by international flavors. This is due to the fact that there are many expats and tourists who have chosen to share their food culture to the country.

Traditionally, though, Qatar’s major influences are Bedouin culture and a little bit of Indian, East African and Persian Gulf cultures. When you’re in Qatar, you should try out these traditional dishes.

qatar food

Try These Delicious Qatari Dishes

#1 – Thareed

Thareed is similar to pot stew. It contains bread, meat (typically chicken or lamb), and a delightful tomato sauce with spices for the relish. A lot of people refer to Thareed as the Qatari version of the lasagna. It is a favorite dish during Ramadhan.

#2 – Margoog

Margoog is a healthy and wholesome food which contains lots of vegetables and fiber-rich ingredients. The ingredients mostly include wheat flour, lamb, vegetables such as eggplant, carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, spices, onions, garlic, tomato sauce. It has dough layers that are cut and boiled with the stock for flavoring.

#3 – Harees

Harees is popular at Iftar, or breaking of the fast during Ramadan. It is also a nutritious meal with lots of nutrients. Essentially, this food is boiled wheat with meat. It also typically contains chili, lemon, curd, ginger, lentils, cloves, black pepper seeds, and more. There are a lot of similar dishes in the region, like the one in Oman which is made of rice and not wheat.

#4 – Kousa Mahshi

Kousa Mahshi’s main ingredient is a stuffed zucchini. To stuff a zucchini, you need a special tool, called a manakra, which hollows out the vegetable. Some of the ingredients you need include natural yogurt, tomato paste, long-grain rice, lean minced beef, tomato, onion, parsley, mint, coriander, chili powder, baharat, black pepper, salt, butter and olive oil.

#5 – Machboos

Machboos is basically meat and rice meals. It has similarities to Biryani of India, and Kabsa of Saudi Arabia. While rice and chicken dishes are pretty common around the world, this particular recipe has two unique ingredients which make it stand out. These are Loomi and Baharat. Loomi has a concentrated lime flavor which is earthy, tangy and smoky. Baharat is an Arabic word which means “spice”, and it usually has paprika, cumin, black pepper, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. These two ingredients give Machboos its Arabic cuisine flavor.

These traditional Qatari dishes are surely worth trying out. When you’re in Qatar, check out the restaurants and see if they serve these dishes.