Tickle your taste buds with these Bahraini delicacies

 Tuesday, August 16, 2022 

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A hidden gem in the Gulf kingdom, treasures of this tiny island nation of Bahrain often goes unexplored. Away from the pomp and splendour of Emirate nations, Bahrain is a melting pot of cultures brimming with natural beauty. Exquisite architectural structures, mosques, museums, and traditional marketplaces that capture the essence of the nation make up Bahrain’s top tourist attractions. Its location has strategically attracted cultures like Persian, Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Portuguese, Arab, and British. The flavorful Bahraini culinary, thus, allows you to taste a fusion of these influences firsthand.

When it involves food, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the variety of alternatives available at this venue. One gets to choose from a diverse range of culinary options, including both local and foreign cuisines, as well as vegan options.

Bahrainis adore meat. Bahrain’s traditional cuisine includes seafood, beef, rice, and dates. The flavours of the meals range from sweet to salty. Balaleet, a perfect dish to start your breakfast, offers sweetened, fragrant vermicelli noodles in every little crumb topped with eggs. Machboos, a gently flavoured combination of meat or fish and vegetables, is a typical Emirati rice dish. Made using a slow-cooked method to give the meal the most delicious flavour, it’s also a regional specialty in Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait.  It is similar to both the Saudi Kabsa and the meal known as Biryani in India. While in Manama, you should have this delicacy, which is available at most restaurants.

Another popular meal is Qoozi, which is grilled lamb or mutton packed with rice, boiled eggs, onions, and spices. This is a must-try dish from Bahraini cuisine for all meat lovers. Typically served during celebrations and family gatherings, it is also known as Indian food Biryani in Bahrain, and is regarded as a personal favourite. While this specific style of bread has Arabic origin, Bahrain is obsessed with its Khuboos, especially when it’s prepared fresh and served hot from the oven. It’s very soft and a must-have side dish for any meal. Eaten for breakfast with huge amounts of locally made cheese, it compliments any meal to mop up gravy, and occasionally with rice.

Without unique seafood specialties, what good has an island to offer? Fish is prepared and served in a variety of ways due to the region’s abundance of fish and rich marine life. Hamour is one such well-admired meal which is typically eaten with rice and can be grilled, fried, or smoked. Since French fries are a typical complement of fish, the brief time of British administration in the Gulf area has left its imprint in the shape of fish and chips.

While it is crucial to experience the local cuisine, within a few days, one surely develops a longing for food with a unique and recognizable flavour profile. Multiple restaurants in Bahrain provide food from various nations, with the Bahraini touch, such as American, Mexican, Indian, and Italian cuisine, among others. There are restaurants in Bahrain that serve Indian food too, such as Asha’s, Rasoi by Vineet, Tanatan, Copper Chimney, and Lanterns, to mention a few.

Preparation and plating out the Gahwa is a Bahraini cultural custom. Serving this coffee is a sign of respect and hospitality for a visitor. Typically, the host tastes the gahwa to make sure it is excellent before serving it to the visitor. Elderly people and important guests are served first. This Bahraini coffee, which is simply spiced coffee that’s typically served with dates, is produced from freshly ground beans with cardamom and is served alongside oriental delicacies like Bahraini halwa and dates.

An entire area – Block 338, is dubbed as the “dining area.” Restaurants here provide food from all around the world, ranging from  Japanese, Thai, Irish, European, American, seafood, Italian, and Mexican cuisine. No wonder Bahrain is a foodie’s paradise!

Similarly for vegetarian food, Bahrain is raising the bars. Dishes like Vegan Harees, Vegan Bahraini Kabab, Falafel, Veg Biryani , and so on are just some of the favourites among vegans. Plant Café, Baker & Spice Bahrain, Saffron by Jena, Maki Bahrain, and Emmawash Traditional Restaurant offer a diversity of vegetarian options for all non-meat eaters.

Last but not the least (and maybe even the most awaited!), let’s dive into the desserts. The little golden ball of sweet delight is a Ramadan treat, but it is widely accessible throughout the year. Sweet-tooth people adore Luqaimat, best described as sweet dumplings with fried dough balls. Immersed in a thick saffron and cardamom sugar syrup. They look like small doughnuts without the hole in the centre and are delicious. Versions of them may be seen all around the Middle East, and Bahrainis can’t get enough of them. A delicacy for morning bliss, khanfaroosh is a little Arab-style treat sweetened with cardamom and saffron. Along with the other most well-known sweets from Bahrain, such as “Asida,” “Al Khanfroush,” and “Al Qus Al Aqili,” the Rangeena, a famous delicacy made of dates, spices, and almonds on top, is another must-try item there.

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