Yemeni cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the region. Their dishes are well-known such as the best-known mandi, as a staple in many homes in the region.
Yemeni cuisine is similar to Qatari cuisine yet has its own traditional dishes that are sought after in Qatar. There are many Yemeni restaurants in Qatar to explore.
Lahoh is thin Yemeni bread, prepared by dissolving white or maize flour with water until the dough becomes thin and light in consistency. A little of well-mashed onion, finely ground fennel and salt are then all mixed by hand with yeast added at the end. The mixture is left for an hour or two depending on the air temperature.
Malawach is a traditional layered and folded bread that is made with flour, water, salt and ghee. Once baked, it is often sprinkled with black sesame seeds. Traditionally, malawach is served with hard-boiled eggs, chopped and crushed tomatoes, and z’hug, a spicy condiment.
Fahsa is one of the most popular dishes in Yemen, particularly in Sana’a city and the northern regions. It is a main course served with Yemeni bread and Sahawiq, a special Yemeni hot sauce. It is a stew of veal or lamb cooked on a high heat in a stone pot to keep the heat lasting for longer. Broth and fenugreek dip are added to the stew. It is served boiling.
Saltah is the national food of Yemen, and a popular dish in the northern regions of the country, especially in Sana’a. It relies mainly on the broth, which can be made from meat like chicken or lamb, and the dish can be served with fenugreek ground with coriander, leek, Sahawiq sauce, or other additions such as potatoes, rice, eggs and other vegetables. This dish is served hot with bread alongside other dishes for lunch.
Originally from Hadramout in Yemen, Mandi is a traditional dish that has now spread throughout the region to various Arab countries. It consists of rice and red meat or chicken. The red meat or chicken is seasoned with Arabian spices and cooked in special ovens below ground using the heat from hot embers. The juice formed from the smoke is used to boil the rice, which is placed underneath the red meat or chicken inside the oven, adding a unique taste with smoky flavor to the rice.
Similar to the Indian Biryani is the Yemeni delicacy Zurbian, which originates in Aden City, which is famous for its distinctive Zurbian. This dish is made of colorful rice, seasoned lamb or chicken and potato, topped with thin slices of fried onions, nuts such as almonds, peanuts and raisins. It is usually served on important social occasions, including weddings and feasts.
Found in various countries in the MENA region, Asida is a traditional dish in Yemen with different regional variations. The core ingredients of Asida are flour, water and laban. It is round-shaped and has a smooth and consistent texture. Considered a sacred starter or appetiser, it is served hot with broth poured into it. As with most Yemeni dishes, it is eaten with your fingers.
Popular throughout the region, Masoub is a Yemeni dessert that consists of mashed bananas and bread, enriched with butter, cream, spices, honey and dates. Masoub is traditionally served on large plates, and it is meant to be enjoyed as a communal meal. It is often served as a breakfast dish, and usually comes garnished with cream, condensed milk, nuts or honey.
Marhaba Picks: Yemeni restaurants in Qatar:
- Alfanar Restaurant Yemeni Food, Souq Al Wakra | 7787 3355
- Bandar Aden Restaurant, Souq Waqif | 4437 5503, bandaraden.com
- Fan Al Zurbian Restaurant, Al Rayyan | 3099 9821
- Khaleej Adan, Al Gharrafa | 7023 3733
- Kitchens Sheba Foods Yemen, Al Rayyan | 7737 6377
- Mandi House Restaurant, Al Aziziyah | 3304 9666
- Sanaa Yemeni Restaurant, Souq Waqif | 3159 2800
- Yemeni Diwan Restaurant, Al Rayyan | 3377 0111
- Yemen Hadhramout Restaurant, Al Gharrafa | 4441 5002
- Yemeni House, Al Sadd | 4488 1588
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