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Christmas food: a culinary journey

Christmas food: a culinary journey

Every country has its typical food for Christmas. But in the UAE it is really a culinary journey because its cuisine comes from fusions of other nations such as Lebanon or Iran. The truth is that, as a business city, the meals in Dubai, for example, are highly international. Here you can find almost any popular dish of the globalized world. But the idea is to try typical Emirati food for the holidays. The ingredients can be found in any store or supermarket in the country. Make your own cooking experience with the recipes we show you.



It is a chickpea cream to which olive oil, salt and sesame are added. This cream is spread on pita bread or snacks and is traditionally eaten by hand. The chickpea may also have lemon juice and tahini paste. Some chefs prepare it with not-so-Arabic ingredients such as paprika or even garlic. Did you know that the origin of hummus can be traced back to Ancient Egypt where it was served in small portions on a piece of bread? In Arabic hummus simply means “chickpea”.



In this typical dish the protagonist is mutton and rice. In makbus both ingredients are combined and seasoned with various types of spices. If you want to verify that the dish has a really traditional preparation you should check if the meat in the dish is roasted. A vegetarian preparation is eggplant makbus. In addition to this ingredient, you can taste the flavor of various chilies, garlic, oregano, vinegar and paprika.



Shawarma is a very popular dish worldwide. It consists of thin slices of meat all grouped in the shape of a cone and roasted vertically, while turning slowly. The meat you will find here can be varied. Most commonly it is lamb, but it can be turkey, chicken, and even beef or veal. The spices with which the meats are seasoned are allspice, cinnamon, vinegar, cardamom, dried lime and bay leaves. One way to see if the shawarma is of good quality is to feel if it has extra juiciness, which is usually added with lamb fat.



This is one of the most typical meals you can find in the Arab Emirates and all over the Middle East. It is a chickpea or broad bean croquette. Although the most prepared and sold falafel is the chickpea one, we also recommend you to try the broad bean one because its bitterness increases a little bit. If you want to eat it the traditional way, ask for it with pita bread, yogurt or tahini sauce.

Esh asaraya


This sweet and creamy dessert is made with pieces of bread. The bread from which it is prepared is also sweet, topped with cream and pistachios. This dessert is also of Lebanese and Egyptian tradition. The fact is that it is very common to find it on the menus of Dubai restaurants with Middle Eastern cuisine.

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