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As you can read from my previous posts, I love writing about food, especially Arabic food. There is nothing more delicious than a warm home-made Arabic dish. The family is all gathered around kitchen or dining room table, everyone says bismallah al-rahman al Rahim (In the name of God, the most gracious, most merciful) and then everyone just starts digging in and conversing about the current day events. Sorry, I guess I got off the subject and I'm actually hungry now. OK, so I want to tell everyone about the flavorful meal of Kabsa. What makes this meal rich in flavor is the fresh Saudi Arabian spices that are mixed into the basmati rice. A yellowish dye by the name of Tumeric is added to the rice to give it that strong yellow color. Slices of onions and an assortment of peppers ( red, green, yellow, orange) are also added to rice to give it the ultimate taste experience. Cloves of garlic are also added to the rice. The final key ingredient for this meal is chicken, of course. What Arabic meal is cooked without chicken? Very few. :) Pieces of roasted chicken are placed over the rice.

Kabsa can be cooked various ways depending on the middle eastern country you're in. Popular side dishes with Kabsa include yogurt and dakkous, a spicy tomato sauce. I prefer eating Kabsa with yogurt since the plain taste of yogurt compliments the spicy rich rice.

Country of Specialty:
Kabsa is considered the national meal of Saudi Arabia. Kabsa is also popular in countries of the United Arabic Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qater). Thank you Saudi Arabia for introducing us to the wonderful meal of Kabsa. Happy Eating everyone. Seriously, I need to go eat something now.


Another popular Arabic dish is the healthy dish of Mlukhiyah. Mlukhiyah consists of a spinach like herb stew with rice. Of course, you can't serve Mlukhiyah without chicken, which is cooked in the spinach stew. Some people cook mlukhiyah with rabbit instead of chicken. The spinach-like herb used to prepare Mlukhiyah is only found in hot climates with abundant rain. This herb needs lots of moisture in order to grow. As mentioned, Mlukhiyeah is a healthy Arabic dish and it is actually known to reduce cholesterol.

Personal Mlukhiyah Experience:

I have a love-hate relationship with mlukhiyah. When I was between the ages of 5-7, I remember how much I loved mlukhiyah. I remember my grandma used to cook us the most delicious mlukhiya with rabbit. She really made me love mlukhiyah. As I got older, I just stopped liking mlukhiyah.I think I just got sick of it. Now, I will eat mlukhiyah if my mom or wife makes it but I would never ask for it. My wife on other hand, LOVES mlukhiyah. If she had the chance to make mlukhiyah everyday, she would.

Country of Specialty:

Mlukihyah is very popular in Egypt. Egyptians prefer to cook it with rabbit instead of chicken. People in the Sham (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine) also enjoy cooking this Arabic dish.


Musakhan is one of the rare Middle Eastern dishes that doesn't include rice. Musakhan consists of flat bread cooked in a traditional arabic oven (taboon). Onions are fried in a rich olive oil in a deep pan and the cooked onions are spread over the flat bread. Almonds and the popular spice of sumac are also spread over the flat bread. Finally, roasted chicken is placed over the flat bread. Musahkan is a traditional arabic food that can get quite messy as it is usually eaten without utensils. Although it can get messy, I do think it's a good kind of messy where your hands are filled with pieces of chicken, onions and olive oil. Just thinking about eating musakhan gets me hungry.

Country of Specialty:

Musakhan is highly recognized as a Palestinian meal. The city of Jenin is very well known for their delicious Musakhan dishes.


Mansaf is another arabic dish that is a favorite for Middle East households. I rate this meal as my second favorite arabic dish. Typically,like most arabic dishes, this meal's main ingredient is rice but it's the yogurt-like product called jameed (khishik) that makes this meal delicious. Lamb is another main ingredient for this dish as the chopped pieces of lamb are spread over the cooked rice. A layer of flatbread is included under the rice and drenched with the yogurt-like sauce. Almonds and parsley are spread over the lamb and rice and the yogurt-like sauce is poured over the large platter. Mansaf is usually served on special occasions such as weddings and large family gatherings.

Personal Mansaf Experience:

I remember when I was young boy growing up in Palestine, mansaf was always served during weddings and the women and men would gather around in an open area where numerous mansaf platters are being served. Everyone would just gather around to eat mansaf with their bare hands. I have to admit that mansaf tastes much better when you eat it with your hands because you get to really taste the meat and the sauce. When my cooks mansaf at home, I sometimes reminisce about this happy childhood moment.

Country of Specialty:

Mansaf is highly recognized as a Jordanian dish. Cities throughout Jordan prepare this meal differently by adding their own family touches to the meal. Mansaf is also very popular in Jordan's neighbor, Palestine.


Like I mentioned in my first article, Maklooba (upside down) is truly my favorite meal ever. I have tried various types of foods including of course, Arabic, American, Indian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese and so many other food types but nothing comes close to maklooba. I would even challenge anyone to try my Mom's maklooba and compare it to a nice juicy porterhouse house steak from Morton's. Maklooba's main ingredient is of course, rice. There are various kinds of rice but the best rice for maklooba is the basmati rice. The rice grains of basmati rich are slightly longer than the rice grains of Uncle Ben's. Maklooba can be cooked with either chicken or meat depending on the family preference. In my experience, if a Palestinian family is cooking maklooba just for a normal meal, it's usually cooked with chicken as it is easier to prepare and chicken is cheaper. However, if a family is preparing maklooba for a large family gathering (Azooma), meat would be used as meat is cooked by Middle Eastern families during formal occasions.

Meal Name:
The name of this meal is self-explanatory. This meal is prepared in a deep pot where the meat or chicken is boiled. Once the meat or chicken is almost ready, rice is then placed in the pot over the cooked meat or chicken. Once the rice is ready, the pot is then turned over into a large plate. The turning over of the pot is the defining moment for this arabic meal's name.

Country of Specialty:
Maklooba is highly recognized as a Palestinian meal. This meal is a favorite in Palestinian households in Palestine and throughout the world. In my house, Maklooba is cooked every Friday. Before I started working in corporate America and became trapped between the hours of 9-5, my mother would prepare the maklooba before we go to Friday prayer and the whole family would sit down together and enjoy a delicious meal of Maklooba after we come back from Friday prayer. Although the ingredients of the meal are generally the same, each city or in some cases, each household, prepares a distinct tasting maklooba by adding different ingredients including herbs, spices, cauliflower, eggplant, or various vegetables.

About This Blog

This is my first blog post so I would like to introduce the purpose of this blog as I believe various people from different ethnicities, cultures, and races would appreciate the delicious information discussed in this blog. As a Palestinian growing up in a traditional arabic family, I have lived in a household where food plays an important role in our daily lives. My mom and my sisters spend several hours each day preparing arabic meals that mainly consist of rice, chicken, beef and various traditional appetizers such as hummus, taboola(arabic salad), and the famously teased baba ghanug. Palestinian families are well-known for having casual family gatherings (Azooomas) where various arabic meals are prepared and the people sit down for hours eating delicious food, catching up with family members, discussing politics or enjoying an arabic soap opera or movie.

Although the ingredients of Middle Eastern food are generally the same, each Middle Eastern country and even cities within a country are well-known for a particular arabic dish. For example, Palestine is highly recognized for its maklooba (upside down) arabic dish. Just a quick side note; maklooba is truly my favorite meal of all time and my mom's maklooba is, in my opinion, the best maklooba ever made. Each city prepares its meals in a different manner as arabic households have different tastes and the variety of herbs and spices lead to distinct tasting arabic dishes. This blog will discuss the assortment of arabic dishes that are enjoyed by middle eastern families. This blog will also mention the routes of the arabic dishes and point out the meal favorites and specialties of each middle eastern country. If you love learning about different cultures and have an interest in learning more about the rich culture of the Middle East, then I think that you would enjoy this blog.