Cuisine of Bahrain

Cuisine of Bahrain

Bahraini cuisine refers to the cuisine of The Kingdom of Bahrain, a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. Bahrain produces only a small amount of its food requirements due to limited land space, and imports much of its food.[1] Its primary crops are dates, bananas, citrus fruits, pomegranates, mangoes, cucumbers and tomatoes.[1] Due to limited land space, there are only a few thousand goats, cattle and sheep, but is the fresh fish of the Persian Gulf, of which the king is the Hamour (هامور) (grouper), typically served grilled, fried, or steamed. Other popular local fish include Safi (صافي) (rabbitfish), Chanad (شنعد) (mackerel), and Sobaity (صبيطي) (see bream). Most of the time, fish is eaten with rice.

A delicacy is Qoozi (قوزي) (Ghoozi), which is grilled lamb stuffed with rice, boiled eggs, onions and spices. The traditional flatbread is called Khubz (خبز). It is a large flatbread baked in a special oven. Numerous Khubz bakeries dot the country. It is often served with mahyawa fish sauce.


Coffee, called Gahwa (قهوة) locally, is considered a part of the traditional welcome in Bahrain. It is usually poured into a coffee-pot, which is called dalla (دلة) in Bahrain. It is served in a small cup made for coffee called finjan (فنجان).


The most popular traditional dessert is Halwa Showaiter, also known as Halwa Bahraini. It is a jelly like halwa made with corn starch, saffron and various nuts.


The traditional Sheesha (شيشة) (hookah), containing sweetened and often flavored tobacco, is smoked by many Bahrainis. The sheesha is served in most open-air coffee shops, where local men can be seen whiling away time enjoying the sheesha, and sharing in conversation. Nowadays, members of the expatriate population are also found to smoke sheesha in the cafés.

See also