Food and Wine

what is the national food of saudi arabia

what is the national food of saudi arabia

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Indulging in Saudi Arabian Delicacies: A Culinary Exploration of Saudi Arabia’s Rich Flavors


Saudi Arabia, a land of rich traditions and captivating landscapes, offers a culinary experience that reflects the country’s heritage, hospitality, and diverse cultural influences. From aromatic spices to succulent meats and indulgent desserts, Saudi Arabian cuisine delights the senses and provides a taste of the kingdom’s unique flavors. In this article, we will embark on a gastronomic journey through Saudi Arabia, highlighting some of the best foods you can savor while immersing yourself in the country’s vibrant culture.

1. Kabsa:

Considered the national dish of Saudi Arabia, Kabsa is a fragrant and flavorful rice dish that combines spices, meat (such as chicken, lamb, or camel), and vegetables. The rice is typically cooked with an aromatic blend of spices including cardamom, cloves, saffron, and cinnamon, giving it a distinctive and mouthwatering taste. Kabsa is often served with a side of tomato sauce or a yogurt-based salad.

2. Mandi:

Mandi is another beloved Saudi Arabian rice dish that is known for its tender and juicy meat. The meat, traditionally lamb or chicken, is marinated with a blend of spices and slow-cooked in an underground oven, infusing it with smoky flavors. The meat is then served atop fragrant rice, accompanied by a variety of condiments and sauces, creating a truly satisfying meal.

3. Mutabbaq:

Mutabbaq is a popular street food in Saudi Arabia, consisting of a flaky pastry filled with a savory mixture. The filling can vary, but a common version includes spiced minced meat, onions, and herbs. Mutabbaq is typically folded and cooked until crispy, creating a delightful contrast of textures and flavors. It’s an ideal snack to enjoy on the go while exploring Saudi Arabian cities.

4. Jareesh:

Jareesh is a traditional Saudi Arabian dish made from crushed wheat that is cooked with meat (usually chicken or lamb) and flavored with a blend of aromatic spices. The result is a creamy and savory porridge-like dish with a satisfying texture. Jareesh is often enjoyed during special occasions and social gatherings, reflecting the country’s warm hospitality and culinary traditions.

5. Harees:

Harees is a comforting dish that is commonly served during the holy month of Ramadan. It is made by slow-cooking a mixture of wheat and meat until it reaches a creamy consistency. The dish is seasoned with spices and often garnished with ghee (clarified butter), creating a rich and nourishing dish that is enjoyed for its simplicity and comforting flavors.

6. Dates and Arabic Coffee:

No culinary exploration of Saudi Arabia would be complete without savoring the nation’s prized dates and traditional Arabic coffee. Dates hold a significant cultural and historical importance in Saudi Arabia and are often served as a gesture of hospitality. Pair them with a cup of aromatic Arabic coffee (qahwa) flavored with cardamom for a traditional and refreshing experience.


Saudi Arabian cuisine offers a rich tapestry of flavors, blending traditional Arabian influences with local ingredients and culinary techniques. From the aromatic Kabsa and Mandi to the savory Mutabbaq and comforting Harees, Saudi Arabian cuisine delights food enthusiasts with its diverse and delectable offerings. As you explore the wonders of Saudi Arabia, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in these culinary treasures, allowing your taste buds to embark on a journey through the kingdom’s rich culinary heritage.

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