Traditional food in Oman
The Omani cuisine is distinguished by its strong influence in the Persian, Indian and African culinary arts, due to the country's association with these countries, whether through successive migrations to and from these countries or commercial relations from before time. The dishes vary from region to region, but they are very similar. Pistachio rice accompanies every meal, and the meat broth rich in tomatoes, potatoes and spices is one of the most common dishes on the lunch table, as is the pressed, which is a rice cooked with various types of spices, such as turmeric, cardamom, coriander, ginger, pepper and garlic, served with a certain type of meat (fish, chicken or meat ).
Also called Kabsa and Makboos, Majboos is a traditional mixed rice dish that originated in Saudi Arabia. It’s famous in the Arab World especially in the Gulf countries including Oman . The dish consists of rice, usually basmati, vegetables, meat or chicken and a mix of spices. It is sometimes, served with either yoghurt or green salad, traditional bread and tomato sauce.
Shuwa means grilled meat in Arabic. It’s a favourite dish in Oman often prepared for special occasions like Eid. The process of cooking the Shuwa dish takes a long time. In fact, Omanis usually prepare the meat on the first day of Eid, and eat it on the second or the third day. The Shuwa is marinated in Omani spices, then wrapped in banana leaves or palm leaves and put in an underground sand oven, where it gets cooked over one to two days. This may seem a strange method but Shuwa meat is one of the tastiest dishes around.
Also known as kebab, Meshkak is marinated beef, mutton or chicken that is grilled on sticks. It is usually marinated with different spices, especially curry, and served with Omani bread. This is another special Omani dish that is prepared everywhere around the country especially during celebrations.
There are several types of Omani breads. One of them is thick and has a large circular shape. Another is crisp and thin, and is the size of a small circular dinner plate. Most Omanis make their own bread at home, and obviously there are bakeries too, bread is also popular in restaurants to be served alongside meals.
Palm trees are the most frequently seen plantations around Oman. They produce mouth-watering dates. Differing in size, color, and tenderness, these dates are one of the essential meal items that are presented to every guest as part of the wonderful Omani hospitality . Sometimes, Omanis mix dried dates with sesame paste and sesame or ground coconut. They also use them in preparing different types of desserts and Omani sweets.
Kahwa means coffee in Arabic. It is famed for its taste and texture, also how it is grown, dried and prepared. Omani kahwa is usually mixed with cardamon powder. Just like dates, it is an essential part of the Omani hospitality and is served with the Omani Halwa (dessert) as well. Most Omanis drink kahwa several times during their day. They also prepare pots and sometimes take them when visiting neighbors.