10 Arabic Foods That Are Famous All Across The World

Arabic cuisine infuses a combination of spice blends to bring us the most delectable and enticing dishes. Stretching from Iran to Egypt, Oman, and UAE, the region is rich in countries that offer unique, yet tasteful cuisines.

From flatbreads to desserts and stews, Arabic food has a lot to offer. With irresistible aromas, and distinct flavours, Middle Eastern countries have blessed us with some of the best food dishes in the world.

A List Of The Globally Recognized Arabic Dishes:

While there are a lot of delicious options in Arabic foods, some have gained more global recognition than others. Here is a list of the most famous Arabic dishes that are definitely a must-try for everyone.

1.   Hummus:

Hummus is one of the most popular foods in the world, and features an Arabic origin. Spread the flavourful dip on your burger or sandwich, or have it with pita bread. Either way, this yummy and creamy chickpea fusion will have you hooked.

One thumb rule to remember about this Arabic dip; the more the garlic, the better the hummus. Here are the main ingredients used in the preparation of this globally recognized dip sauce:

  • Chickpeas
  • Herbs & Spices
  • Tahini sauce (sesame seeds, olive oil)
  • Garlic

2.   Falafel:

Falafel comes next to hummus in the most popular Arabic dishes. This Middle Eastern fritter is a staple Arabic snack. These high-protein chickpea balls can be eaten as a sandwich, an appetizer, or a full vegetarian meal with a side of salad.

The ingredients and preparation of falafel are simple and straightforward. Here is a list of standard ingredients you need to make this falafel patty:

  • Chickpeas/ Fava beans/ Broad beans
  • Cumin
  • Onion
  • Parsley
  • Oil (for frying)

3.   Machboos:

Made with chicken or lamb, this traditional Arabic food is a delight to eat. Served in a large tray and placed in the Middle of an Arabic household, this yummy rice dish is enjoyed by the whole family. A go-to option for special occasions, Bahrain proudly owns Machboos as its national food.

Made with a combination of gulf spices and basmati rice, this dish makes one of the most beloved Arabic foods in the world. Here is a list of the main ingredients for machboss.

  • Rice
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Herbs & spices (Coriander, Turmeric, Red Pepper, etc)

4.   Shawarma:

Shawarma isn’t only a well-known Arabic food but is also one of the most widely served street foods in the world. Find it at the local vendor stall in Istanbul, Dammam, and Dubai, and enjoy the yummy skewered meat.

Lamb, chicken, or beef, pick your preferred meat and devour the delicious weekend-night comfort food. To make Arabic shawarma, the meat is cut into fine slices, marinated in spices and herbs, and skewered on a cone-shaped rotisserie or spit.

Order one from your favorite restaurant or street food stall. Your server will mix some veggies, sauces, and seasonings with the shawarma meat to put together a mouthwatering pita sandwich for you.

5.   Pita Bread:

Talking about pita sandwiches, our next popular Arabic food has to be pita bread. Puffed-up dough circles cooked in a high-heat oven to make a cloudy-soft flatbread, ready to eat with your choice of stew or curry.

Stuff it with your choice of meat, vegetables, and sauces to make a hearty sandwich, enclosed in a soft bread pocket. Take one fluffy bite, and don’t blame us if you get hooked!

Ingredients of Arabic pita bread are

  • Flour
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Yeast

6.   Kebabs:

Kebabs are the heart of every Middle Eastern barbeque party, in addition to being one of the most desired Arabic foods worldwide. Marinated minced meat, charred on a grill until juicy is something no one wants to miss out on.

Make them with chicken or lamb, either way, the tender and flavourful bite is going to make you a fan for life. The recipe may slightly vary from country to country, but here are some standard ingredients that go into almost every kebab marinade.

  • Meat
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Spices
  • Garlic & Ginger paste

Often termed kofta on restaurant menus, skewered kebabs present a great appeal and flavor.

7.   Kunafe:

If you haven’t heard of kunafe, you might just be missing out big time. It is an Arabic version of cheesecake with an intense and rich flavor. Served with a drizzle of sugar syrup, this phyllo pastry has the heart of many natives and non-natives.

The crunchy pan-seared delight is stuffed with either Nabulsi cheese or custard clotted cream and sprinkled with some pistachios. Here are the main ingredients used in the preparation of the most widely-recognized Arabic dessert, Kunafe:

  • Semonila dough/ Phyllo dough noodles
  • Nabulsi Cheese/ Custard Cream
  • Sugar Syrup
  • Nuts (Walnuts, Pistachios)


8. Arabic Grilled Chicken:

Arabic Grilled Chicken, aka Dajjaj Rostilj, is one of the few Emirati dishes that suit every type of palate. This yummy grilled chicken is unlike Western variants, as it is marinated in tikka spices, and grilled on charcoal.

A delicious integration of meat and spices, this traditional Arabic food is sure to direct you to your food coma state. Here is a non-comprehensive list of marinating herbs and spices used in the preparation of Arabic grilled chicken:

  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Red chilly powder
  • Lime juice
  • Turmeric, and more

9. Mandi:

A popular Yemeni rice dish cooked in an underground pit, Mandi is one of the most well-known names in Arabic cuisine. The underground pit cooks food via the earth’s heat element, steaming and smoking the food generously.

A large piece of lamb meat is served on a bed of flavourful rice, ready to be devoured. Mandi is a fancy dish, often served at weddings and parties in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf countries.

Here is a list of mandi ingredients:

  • Rice
  • Onion
  • Chicken
  • Spices (coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, turmeric, cinnamon)
  • Saffron
  • Dry Lime
  • Bay Leaves
  • Almond & Raisins

10. Harees:

Indigenous to Saudi Arabia, Harees is a traditional Arabic dish that can warm your soul. The wheat pudding is easy to digest, and quite a competitor in the taste as well. Order Harees from your favorite Arabic restaurant, and enjoy the comfort of home-cooked food even while dining out.

A staple food for Ramadan, Harees is made with:

  • Boiled wheat
  • Meat
  • Rice
  • Spices (cumin, coriander, parsley, etc)

Here is a list of some of the most famous Arabic foods in the world. The Arab region has harbored many recipes throughout its history. Some of them have gained more global recognition than others due to their palate-pleasing ingredients, and well-balanced flavors.

If you are new to Arabic food, try these traditional dishes to get yourself familiarized with the cuisine. Head over to a nearby Arabic restaurant to have an authentic bite of these aromatic and succulent foods.

Arabian Tea House is glad to bring you some of the most popular and beloved dishes from Arabic cuisine. All recipes are put together and cooked by a native chef, meaning you are in for a real treat, featuring original Gulf flavors and a divine dining experience.