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United Arab Emirates - Cooking and Food[edit | edit source]
Overview of Arabian Cuisine History[edit | edit source]
The region of UAE is a superb place to taste the finest of all kinds of Gulf and Middle Eastern food which include Iranian, Moroccan as well as Lebanese cuisines. The Arabian cuisine in UAE reflects the diversity that is embedded in its culture. The fact that the UAE has traditionally been a center for all types of trades since time immemorial now has accounted for an enormous variety of tastes. There is a massive selection of food that is imported as well as locally produced, which makes the region an excellent place for a great culinary experience. Arabic and Middle Eastern food chiefly dominates the overall of cuisine of the region. Majority of the restaurants in UAE serve Lebanese food. It can be a tedious task sometimes to find a restaurant that serves authentic UAE meals, nevertheless the cuisine of UAE is filled with abundant delicacies of all types. One distinctive flavor of the Gulf region’s cuisine is that of the dried lime; grown in Oman or commonly imported from Southeast Asia and dried on trees. This particular ingredient is common in the cuisine of the region.
As the region is quite diverse, therefore it is not surprising to see that the cuisine of Arabia is also quite diverse and come in a lot of variety. Many of the dishes that you will find in the Arabian cuisine are prepared from meat, rice, Wheat, vegetables and a whole lot of spices. The cuisine of Arabia is a mixture of a lot of other cultures. Therefore, you will most definitely find a taste of the Lebanese, Turkish etc. taste in the Arabian cuisine.
rice is an integral part of the Arabian cuisine. Many of the dishes in the cuisine of Arabia use dried fruits in them as well. The local dishes such as Macthbous, which is spiced Lamb served with rice, Hareis, a rich delicacy of slow cooked Wheat along with tender Lamb meat and seafood served with seasoned rice, are very popular dishes in the cuisine of Arabia. A traditional Middle Eastern snack is the shawarma - grilled slice of Lamb or Chicken, mixed with salad and rolled inside a pocket of the traditional Arabic bread. This snack is quite popular not only in the Arabian region but has also gained a lot of international popularity, as you are quite likely to find this snack in a lot of countries in the present day. All in all the cuisine of Arabia is unique and diverse.
Finding the ingredients for an Arabian Recipe is not so easy when you do not know the names of the ingredients. Take time to make a list of ingredients and the name they may be found under at the Local Markets.
- Check out the Arabian Food Glossary
Preparation Methods for Arabian Cooking[edit | edit source]
Although no specific method which is ‘special’ is used while preparing your Arabian cuisine, nevertheless there are various methods used in the preparation process of the Arabian cooking. If you are looking for perfect results to stem out then it is better to stick to the old traditional manner of preparing your Arabian cuisine. Some of the few unique cooking methods and styles applied in Arabian cooking are the Al-Mandi, this type of technique utilizes ancient ways of cooking. These ways were first used when man discovered fire. A Lamb or Chicken which is usually prepared with rice, spices and water is barbequed in a deep hole in the ground that is covered while the meal is being cooked. Al-Mathbi is another way of preparing your Arabian meal. This type of method involves grilling the seasoned Lamb or Chicken on flat stones that are usually placed on top of burning embers. And the last traditional way of preparing your Arabian cuisine is the bulgur technique. This is a quick cooking form of the whole Wheat that is cleaned and parboiled, dried, ground into particles and sifted into distinct sizes. It usually comes in four particular forms of grind sizes which further provide different textures and cooking properties for a range of food applications.
Special Equipment for Arabian Cooking[edit | edit source]
Most of the recipes that you will encounter in the Arabian cuisine will not require any need for special equipment, utensils or special tools for you to purchase. Most of the equipment will already be found in your kitchen if it is up-to-date. Having a common coffee grinder helps with the roasting and grinding spices and maximizes their capricious oils, which in turn provides your Arabian cuisine to have more taste and flavor to it. Large pots are commonly used is in cooking most of the Arabian dishes, as well as huge pans are used over a furnace on fire. This is how most of the Arabian cooks bring in traditional and authentic flavor to their food. However, now in modern homes where you can not fix in a furnace, the food is cooked over normal stoves, but small pieces of charcoal are added at the end of the cooking for a few minutes to give it a slight smoky taste.
Arabian Food Traditions and Festivals[edit | edit source]
If you witness sheer hospitality among the Arabians, then do not be quite surprised. The tradition of hospitality among the Arabians has been coming down from generations to generations now. The old tradition of hospitality that developed still continues till this date. Arabians believe that how well one treats one’s guest is a direct way of judging what kind of a person he or she is. It is a common practice among the Arabians to allow for an extra portion of their meal in order to be prepared for an unexpected guest. Arabians also traditionally believe that a good amount of food should be left over so that one might think that a guest had been fully satisfied and treated well. Coffee constitutes as a major part of the Arabian traditional hospitality. Serving coffee to visitors is an age old custom; this custom is generally known as the gawah and is bound by rules of etiquette. An unsweetened and fresh date which is a staple in the Arabian diet is served along with the coffee. Meals are generally large family affairs, with much sharing and a great deal of warmth over the dinner table. Formal dinners and celebrations generally entail large quantities of Lamb, and every occasion entails large quantities of tea. Other common festivals and traditions are the birth of a child, weddings, funerals etc. on each such occasion there is abundant food from the authentic Arabian cuisine served to guests with much warmth and love.