Chabab, Regag, and Luqaimat: These Emirati dishes are a must-try

From starters and mains to dessert, this cuisine makes for a delightful meal

By CT Desk

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Published: Wed 10 Jan 2024, 3:10 PM


Chabab, an Emirati version of pancakes, is a popular local breakfast dish known for its thin, crispy texture and delicious flavour. Made with yeast, cardamom, and turmeric, these pancakes are typically topped with a rich date syrup, making them a wholesome and delightful way to start the day.


Regag is a crispy Emirati flatbread, derived from the word 'raga' meaning 'thin'. Made with waterless dough, it is commonly served for breakfast and dinner alongside various side and main dishes, such as eggs and cheese. A staple in Ramadan, it is frequently served in Emirati households to complement traditional dishes like Thareed among others.


Thareed is a soul-satisfying and comforting slow-cooked meal in Emirati cuisine, featuring a lavish beef stew with large pieces of potatoes and vegetables. This versatile dish can be customised with a choice of meat or vegetables as the centrepiece, offering a warm and satisfying culinary experience. Best paired with salad or breads like Regag.


Madrooba is a traditional Emirati dish that highlights the country's strong connection to fish. Combining salted fish, spices, and a thick sauce, Madrooba is a favoured and hearty meal, often enjoyed as a popular Iftar dish during Ramadan in the coastal city.


Machboos, an iconic Emirati dish, is a testament to the country's rich culinary heritage and a profound love for aromatic spices. This flavourful dish consists of red meat, chicken, or shrimp boiled in a fragrant stock, enhanced with a unique blend of spices, including the local favourite "loomi" or dried lime. Through a slow simmering process, the meat absorbs the enticing flavours, resulting in a delicious meal that is served with layers of rice and vegetables such as chopped onions, potatoes, and tomatoes.


Luqaimat, a cherished Emirati dessert with a legacy spanning generations, is a source of delight for those with a sweet tooth. These deep-fried dough balls encapsulate a perfect balance of textures—crispy on the outside, yet irresistibly soft and fluffy on the inside, all adorned with a generous drizzle of sweet syrup. More than just a treat for the taste buds, Luqaimat carries cultural significance, traditionally being served during Ramadan and other special occasions. Beyond its delectable taste, Luqaimat embodies the spirit of sharing and generosity that lies at the core of Emirati culture, making it not just a dessert but a symbol of communal joy and celebration.


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