Dining In Doha

Madi Alexander is a a student at Oklahoma City University and an official API Student Blogger. Madi is studying abroad with API this spring in Doha, Qatar.

One of the best parts about living in Doha is the food. And not just Qatari food. Food from countries all across the world. Qatar is eighty-percent immigrants and the variety of restaurants really reflects that.

I keep forgetting to photograph my food (mainly because I’m always so excited to eat), but lately I’ve been remembering, Here are some of the recent highlights of the cuisine here in Doha!

Top right: salad with mushrooms, lemon, and vinegar
Bottom right: hummus, a spread made with chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), garlic, lemon juice and olive oil
Top left: mutabal, dip made from smoked eggplant, yoghurt, and tahini (also known as baba ghanoush)
Bottom left: tabouleh, a salad made with parsley, tomato, and bulgar wheat

Tabouleh, hummus, and baba ganoush are quite common across the Middle East. I’ve seen all three aforementioned dishes at Greek, Iraqi, Qatari, Jordanian, and Indian restaurants both in Doha and back home.

This fabulous dish is known as tashreeb and is considered a poor man’s meal in Iraq. Poor or not, anyone would be crazy to not love this. Layers of bread are covered in a thick stew of tomato sauce, onion, chickpeas, and half of a chicken. So good!

A staple in my diet here in Qatar is the shawarma. A piece of flat bread is filled with grilled chicken or beef, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, French fries, and a delicious cream sauce. I unrolled my shawarma in this photo so you could see what’s inside. It’s basically the Arab version of a burrito. At only 6 QR ($1.65) per shawarma, these fabulous creations are a delectable (and inexpensive) afternoon snack.

This meal was at a Yemeni restaurant in Souq Waqif. Massive pieces of bread were brought out alongside steaming cast-iron pots of different stews consisting of chicken or beef, potatoes, onion, and other vegetables. The meat is eaten by hand with the bread.

Finally, the sweets! I got this assortment of sweets at an Iranian shop in Souq Waqif. The same candies can be found at Lebanese and Qatari stores. They mainly consist of nuts, dried fruits, rose petals, and something that tastes like a cross between taffy and nougat. Whatever you call it, the candy is delicious!

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