Dubai’s record-breaking architecture often overshadows all other impressive aspects of Dubai’s hospitality. Like it’s hard to imagine that Dubai has a glorious desert sprawling just outside the main city while one is busy admiring the awe-inspiring architecture and modern entertainment avenues, it is equally easy to ignore Dubai’s thriving food scene, best experiences at city’s most underrated street markets. So, if you are inspired and decide to go on a food tour of Dubai the next time you visit the dazzling Emirati, here are top five food items that you just can’t miss:
You might have eaten shawarma at various occasions in your life, but nowhere else does it taste better than in the Middle East. After all, it is here that the dish was invented and its recipe perfected over centuries. Made from lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats; a great version of the dish might often been grilled on a spit for as long as a day. Wrapped in a wheat roll with the usual toppings of tahini, hummus, pickled turnips, and amba, shawarma is a great for snacking or to be served as a starter. If you still need motivation for trying the dish, remember even the Iron Man expressed his desire to eat shawarma in order to celebrate in the 2012 blockbuster, The Avengers.
Another popular Arabian delicacy, Al Harees is a simple wheat and meat dish that is especially consumed in the month of Ramadan and at the festival of Eid. The wheat is left to soak overnight and then simmered in water with meat, salt and butter to a reduced consistency (matching that of porridge). Sugar and cinnamon are used to garnish the dish. You can find the dish in most of the leading Arabian restaurants in Dubai.
The whole-roasted lamb or mutton dish, Ghuzi is one of the most popular dishes in Dubai and you will find many versions of it, in up-class restaurants as well street food stalls. Served on top of rice, vegetables and nuts, the dish is preferred for lunch and dinner as it is a complete meal in itself.
A rice dish, similar to biryani, Al Machboos is quite a favourite in Dubai. Consisting of rice, onions and meat seasoned with spices such as cardamom, cassia bark, turmeric and baharat, salt and dried lemon. This traditional dish has rich flavours that are zesty, tangy and spicy in turns. Involving long hours of cooking (as meat is first cooked alone, and then with rice), the final product is lip-smacking and quite fulfilling as a meal.
A traditional Arabic dessert made using toasted bread, sugar syrup, rose water, orange water, caramel, cream and nuts, Esh Hasarya is a dish that leaves a sweet taste in your mouth, literally. Popularly known as the ‘bread of the harem’, the dish has a ‘melt-in-mouth flavour and texture and is easy to located on the restaurant menus across Dubai.