About the food of Oman

Jabreen castle wall. Photo by Tristan.

Pull up a chair, grab a steaming cup of Kahwa and a few dates. We’re going to Oman, a boomerang shaped country on the edge of the Arabian pennisula.

Kahwa is omani coffee, made with enough sugar for the biggest smile in your heart, a dusting of dreamy cardamom and brittle, sunset-colored strands of saffron. Sip by sip, let the heat soak into your pores as you dream your day away.

Vista of Sur, Oman. Reconstructed 16th century Portuguese forts dot the landscape. Photo by Dan Soley.

If coffee isn’t your preference, perhaps a cold glass of rosewater lemonade [Recipe], or a salty buttermilk drink called laban, or even a creamy yogurt sipper will help you while away the time among the desert dunes. Whatever you choose, just be sure to heed the traffic signs.

Traffic sign in the Oman Dessert. Photo by Franzfoto.

When it comes time to dine, Oman has an astonishing array of rice dishes (anything from steamed rice to pilafs or even mekboos, a.k.a. machboos). We cooked machboos [recipe] last fall and it was so good it actually inspired me to boil my Thanksgiving turkey. While the house smelled like a far away spice shop mixed with down home flavor, I still need to perfect the cooking time.

Wadi Shab is the most beautiful Wadi in Oman and one of the top attractions. Photo by Ian Sewell.

The rice can come with stewed or roast meats, kabobs or even kofta (slender cigars of hand rolled meat) [Recipe]. Because of Oman’s proximity to the coast, fish dishes are also popular, such as Mezroota, made with dried fish, turmeric, citrus, cumin and hot chili pepper.

Oman is well known for frankincense, which is a resin found abundantly in the boswellia trees. You’ve heard about it in incense, but the resin is also used medicinally, in drinks and even in ice cream [Recipe].

Who knew?

Maps and flag courtesy of CIA World Factbook. Photo of children by Mark Hills.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.