Bahraini cuisine

Bahraini cuisine
 A man in a restaurant kitchen making fritters
A man using an aleb falafel while frying falafel

Bahraini cuisine refers to the cuisine of The Kingdom of Bahrain, a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. Bahrain produces only a small amount of its food requirements due to limited land space, and imports much of its food.[1] Its primary crops are dates, bananas, citrus fruits, pomegranates, mangoes, cucumbers and tomatoes.[1] Due to limited land space, there are only a few thousand goats, cattle and sheep, but fishing provides significant amounts of fish and shrimp.[1]


Main dishes and ingredients

Dried dates
Khubz (flatbread) during preparation
Bahrain political map, 2003

Bahraini cuisine includes food staples such as meat, fish, rice, and dates.[1] One of the traditional dishes is machboos (مجبوس), which consists of meat or fish served with rice. Another known food is muhammar (محمر), which is sweet rice served with dates or sugar. Bahrainis also eat other Arabian food such as falafel, fried balls of chickpeas served in a bread, and shawarma, lamb or chicken carved from a rotating spit and wrapped in pita bread. Traditional snacks include samboosa and pastry.

Another significant part of the Bahraini diet is the fresh fish of the Persian Gulf, of which the king is the Hamour (هامور) (grouper), typically served grilled, fried, or steamed. Other popular local fish include Safi (صافي) (rabbitfish), Chanad (شند) (mackerel), and Sobaity (صبيطي) (see bream). Most of the time, fish is eaten with rice. A century of British rule in the Persian Gulf has also made fish and chips popular in Bahrain.

A delicacy is Qoozi (قوزي) (Ghoozi), which is grilled lamb stuffed with rice, boiled eggs, onions and spices. The traditional flatbread is called Khubz (خبز). It is a large flatbread baked in a special oven. Numerous Khubz bakeries dot the country. It is often served with mahyawa fish sauce.


Coffee, called Gahwa (قهوة) locally, is considered a part of the traditional welcome in Bahrain. It is usually poured into a coffee-pot, which is called dalla (دلة) in Bahrain. It is served in a small cup made for coffee called finjan (فنجان).


The most popular traditional dessert is Halwa Showaiter, also known as Halwa Bahraini. It is a jelly like halwa made with corn starch, saffron and various nuts.


The traditional Sheesha (شيشة) (hookah), containing sweetened and often flavored tobacco, is smoked by many Bahrainis. The sheesha is served in most open-air coffee shops, where local men can be seen whiling away time enjoying the sheesha, and sharing in conversation. Nowadays, members of the expatriate population are also found to smoke sheesha in the cafés.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Cuisine in Bahrain. Allo' Expat Bahrain (Website). Accessed April 2011.

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