Let’s face it, one of the best parts of Ramadan is looking forward to seeing what’s on your iftar and Eid table (not counting the spiritual aspect of this holy month, which should be the main highlight of your Ramadan, but I digress). We all have fond childhood memories of the food that our mothers used to prepare during Ramadan.
Top dishes in Dubai, and Arabic food in general, are robust with mouthwatering flavors that run deep, be it savory or sweet. And let’s not forget the portion sizes which are definitely generous. One thing’s for sure, these Eid food items in UAE will fill you up and leave you wanting for more!
Here are 5 must-try traditional food in UAE to fill up your Iftar and Eid table this precious month!
is a sweet fried vermicelli dish that is topped with an egg omelet. It is often served as a breakfast dish, but some also eat it as dessert. The sweet, crunchy, and yet soft dish is a popular Eid dish in Dubai. Have it for breakfast before heading out to prayers, or save it for dessert time!
8 oz. whole wheat vermicelli
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon saffron
2 tablespoons of warm water
7 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 cups canola oil
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon curry powder
1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 bay leaves
1⁄2 teaspoon rose water
6 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the vermicelli and cook until half done.
- Drain and transfer to a bowl.
- Add sugar and toss until dissolved. Set aside.
- Whisk together saffron and 2 tablespoons of warm water in a separate bowl; let sit for 10 minutes.
- Heat 3 tablespoon butter and the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add cardamom, cinnamon, curry powder, pepper, turmeric, and bay leaves, and cook, stirring continuously until fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Add vermicelli and toss to coat evenly with spices.
- Spread out into an even layer, sprinkle evenly with saffron-water mixture and rose water.
- Toast on each side without stirring, for about 15 minutes each, taking extra care when flipping.
- Transfer to a cutting board and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Return skillet to the heat and add the remaining butter. Add remaining saffron and eggs, and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the omelet for about 5 minutes, stirring gently at first.
- Cut omelet into wedges and serve over toasted vermicelli while it’s still hot!
2) Shorbat Adas
This Middle Eastern lentil soup
is one of the top dishes in Dubai for iftar and Eid tables. Not only is it healthy, nutritious, and filling, it is also easy to prepare and requires only a few ingredients. It is also utterly delicious and you don’t have to feel guilty about re-filling your bowl for the third time!
8 cups water
1 1⁄2 cups small red lentils
3 chicken soup cubes
1⁄2 cup finely diced onion
1 garlic clove (grated)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh parsley
3⁄4 teaspoon cumin
1⁄2-1 teaspoon turmeric
- Wash and drain lentils.
- Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot.
- Bring the soup to a boil, then let simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally to keep the lentils from burning or sticking to the pot.
- Remove from heat and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
3) Lamb Thareed
is a hearty soup/stew that holds a special place in the heart of all Emiratis. It is in fact, said to have been mentioned in hadeeth as a favorite of the Prophet Muhammed (sal)! Other varieties of Thareed made using lamb and chicken are also common.
600g lamb shoulder
200g red onion, chopped
100g tomatoes, chopped
200g yellow and green courgettes, chopped
100g carrots, chopped
200g dry lemon
100g tomato paste
30g Arabic spices
10g black pepper
10g turmeric powder
10g cinnamon powder
10g cardamom powder
4 liters water
Salt, to taste
2 packets Arabic Regag bread
- Wash and strain the lamb shoulders.
- Rip the Regag bread into smaller pieces and set aside.
- In a large pot, place the lamb shoulders in four liters of water with diced onion, tomato, tomato paste and spices.
- Bring to the boil and cook on low heat until the lamb is tender.
- Check the lamb to see if its cooked. If the meat easily comes off the bone, it’s done. Remove the lamb and mix in the Regag bread until it absorbs the stock.
- Place the Regag bread mixture into a mold in the center of your plate, place the lamb shoulder on top and garnish with the courgetti and carrot as desired.
This is a delicious dried apricot drink is a must-try traditional food in UAE. It’s a unique and refreshing accompaniment to your Iftar and Eid table, something that is definitely a must given the hot weather!
400 gm kamarudeen (dried apricot) sheet
3 cups warm water
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
Cold water, as required
Pine nuts, for garnish
- Shred the kamarudeen sheet and soak in the warm water for around two hours or till the sheet turns soft.
- Add the softened sheets along with the soaked water and orange blossom water into a blender and blitz. Although the drink is supposed to be thick, you can add more water, if you want.
- Let it chill in the fridge for half an hour and serve garnished with pine nuts.
Note: You can also use rosewater instead of orange blossom water.
Other than savory dishes and drinks, Luqaimat
- sweet and crunchy dumplings - are also one of the most popular Eid food items in Dubai. One bite and you’ll keep coming back for more, that’s for sure!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon oil
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
¾ cup warm water (start with less at first)
½ teaspoon dry yeast
Pinch of saffron
2 cups oil for frying
- Add all ingredients into a blender, and whiz until a smooth batter is formed.
- Pour in a bowl, cover and let rest in warm place, for around 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Set a pan on medium high heat and fill with oil.
- Once the oil has come up to temperature, drop heaped teaspoons of the batter in and cook until they turn light brown. Make sure to keep the dumplings moving so they color evenly.
- Drain on a kitchen paper to get rid of excess oil.
- Serve while warm with a drizzle of your favorite syrup on top (we’d suggest date syrup).