5 Emirati snacks and drinks to begin the National Day celebration

5 Emirati snacks and drinks to begin the National Day celebration

Regag, Karak chai or Gahwa, here are popular Emirati recipes you will need

Gahwa - a traditional Emirati brewed coffee
Gahwa - a traditional Emirati brewed coffee Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Every occasion is celebrated with food, and what better way to mark 50 years of UAE than with traditional Emirati dishes. Starting with a popular street snack – regag, which is best paired with a steaming cup of karak chai, to learning how to make luqaimat and the quintessential spice blend – Bezar, here are Emirati dishes that you can make at home.

1. Karak chai: Begin your day with a cup of refreshing hot tea, stewed to perfection with flavours of cardamom. Karak chai is a UAE popular hot drink, where the word ‘karak’ stands for strong. Every Emirati home or shop will serve this drink. In the UAE, one can come across many teashops that will serve

Have you ever tried the Dh1 karak chai from this restaurant on Jumeirah street?
Have you ever tried the Dh1 karak chai from this restaurant on Jumeirah street? Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News photographer

2. Regag: Exploring the culture of karak chai along Dubai’s Jumeirah street, you will find out that regag is one of the most popular street foods. A crepe-like thin dish, regag is made with unleavened dough batter. You will need a hot griddle and skill to spread it using your hands. Some of the popular toppings are fish sauce and chips, eggs and cheese and Nutella. It is best eaten fresh, right off the hot plate. Watch how the dough is spread and scraped off gently.

Regag with chocolate hazelnut spread and Chips Oman
Regag with chocolate hazelnut spread and Chips Oman Image Credit: Evangeline Elsa/Gulf News

3. Emirati Gahwa or Arabic coffee: There is more to a cup of cup of Arabic coffee than you can think. It is a ritual that represents the cultural significance and hospitality of the Emirati culture. They are usually brought in gahwa pots, known as dallah, a symbol engraved on 1 Dirham coins. With no milk and sugar required, this coffee drink is made with cardamom, saffron and rose water. It is a custom to serve dates with gahwa. How it is traditionally eaten: You first eat a batch of dates, and to rinse the sweetness, sip gahwa. Here is a guide to making and drinking gahwa the right way.

A cup must only be filled halfway with gahwa. “You can fill it up to a quarter too, but the limit is about halfway," says Ahmed Al Jaffla. "If I fill it up fully I’m telling you I don’t want you to come to my house again. If I fill it too less I’m telling you I’m not interested in serving you." Image Credit: Clint Egbert/GN

4. Chebab: These are Emirati pancakes that are infused with sweet aromatic flavours of cardamom, fennel and saffron. Use traditional syrups such as date molasses or honey or go with the all-time classic – cream cheese and strawberries.

Emirati Chebab
Pancakes rises with yeast, a popular UAE breakfast dish. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

5. Aseeda Bobbar: This is a traditional Emirati dessert made with saffron and cardamom, which gives it its distinctive flavour. This recipe uses pistachios to garnish, but you can use any other dry fruit of your choice and dig into this sweetness. Here is the recipe.

Aseeda Bobar
Image Credit:

Have a favourite Emirati recipe you would like to share? Tell us at food@gulfnews.com

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