Welcome to the United Arab Emirates!! This is the start of our new FOOD series from this amazing and diverse country. We are leaving the big city of Dubai to show you the traditional food and culture of the Emirates, starting with a very special family meal, and ending with an awesome desert feast!
BIG thank you to our friends Omar and Salem for their help and hospitality. For our first Emirati family experience and food, we were kindly invited to the guest home of the Royal Al Qasimi family. We ate a delicious Arabic biryani, salads and Khabees (traditional dessert). This food is often what guests will experience when they are invited into a family’s home. After the meal, it is also common to enjoy a cup of Arabic coffee, which was rich with cardamon. The family was also kind enough to show us their vintage car collection, which included the original Land Rover from 1948. Thank you very much for the warm invitation and the wonderful gifts! Next, we explored the town of Ras al-Khaimah to see original architecture, old cafes and experience real Emirati lifestyle.
We visited the oldest cafe in the city, where locals from the mountains and locals from the coast would meet and exchange news and drink tea. We tried their sangini tea and it was very sweet. We also stopped at a traditional juice stall that serves mixed fruit juices with avocado. So refreshing! We then drove into the desert near Sharjah, to visit Omar’s family farm. Along the way we met a camel farmer who offered us tea and Omani halwa.
At Omar’s desert farm, we started cooking Majboos, an Arabic rice dish that is cooked with goat, vegetables, potatoes, dried fruits and tons of spices. The Majboos was then cooked for several hours over wood fire, which worked up a big appetite! The Majboos is served on a massive tray and shared with everyone. The goat was so tender and the rice soaked up all of the flavours of the spices. It was an extremely special experience and we are very grateful.