A Foodie Guide to Duqm
Rich curries, delicious sweets, and enticing grilled meat: the cuisine of Oman is sure to impress any serious gastronome. Take a bite out of Duqm the next time you visit and put these must-try dishes on your itinerary.
At our Park Inn by Radisson Hotel & Residence Duqm, you can feast on traditional favourites like grilled lamb kebabs and mint chicken tikka, or take your pick from a wide variety of European classics. If you venture away from the hotel on a day trip around the region, seize the opportunity to savour traditional Omani soups, sweets, and spicy stews.
Especially popular during the month of Ramadan, harees is a typical dish of the Persian Gulf. The dish resembles a savoury porridge, made from coarse wheat instead of oats. The wheat is soaked overnight, then mixed with butter and meat, usually chicken or lamb. Harees has a long history, with its first mention appearing in the 10th century Kitab al-Tabikh, or Book of Recipes, penned by an Arab scribe.
The seas around Oman teem with fish, so you’re never far from a fantastic seafood restaurant. Lots of traditional dishes use fish in some way, but mashuai is certainly one of the most impressive. A whole kingfish, roasted on a spit and served with a side of lemon rice: it’s simple yet fantastic in its presentation. The fish is spiced with fragrant flavours including cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger and turmeric, while the rice often has a slight kick of chilli heat.
The Omani answer to a biryani, machboos or maqbous is made from saffron-scented basmati rice, cooked with spicy meat. Elsewhere in the Arab Peninsula the dish is sometimes called kabsa, but involves the same flavours and cooking methods. The spice mix varies from restaurant to restaurant, and town to town, but typically involves saffron, black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, nutmeg, and black lime. Machboos is often served with a topping of sliced almonds and sultanas.
Made from tripe (stomach lining) and pluck (lungs), this stew is only for adventurous eaters. It’s a festive recipe, and is usually prepared around Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha. If you don’t mind the texture, you’ll adore this fragrant dish, which is spiced with garlic, ginger, cloves, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Sakhana is a thick soup, with sweet flavours that will likely surprise and delight those whose palates are used to western ingredients. Wheat, date molasses, and milk are combined to create this dish, which many Omanis choose to break their fast with during Ramadan.
Omani halwa is more than just a sweet; it’s a symbol of hospitality and friendship. Usually it’s served when you pop round to visit someone at home, but can also be produced in restaurants, souks and cafés. A rich, dense sweet, it’s texturally similar to European nougat. Often filled with nuts, cardamom, saffron, rose water, and other aromatic Arabic spices, halwa is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot, strong Arabic coffee.