Skip to main content

A Study on Bahraini Food & Cuisine


As Bahrain is located in the Middle East, it obviously possesses a Middle Eastern type cuisine, the usual rice and kebabs, lamb or chicken. Fish and olives, herbs of all types (well, not all but you get the picture) such as Parsley and Rosemary and of course, Spices!
Hummus (made from Chick Peas)

Now, it should be said that Bahrain has practically the same dishes made up in other Arabian and Middle Eastern countries, like Hummus and Tabouleh (which are from the Levant region) the Felafels are also very popular here.

Bahrain's Food and Products:

The Shawarma - The Middle Eastern answer to Hamburgers!
But, that doesn't mean Bahrain doesn't have any of its own unique dishes.Bahrain, being the small island that it is, produces a stable amount of fruits and vegetables, especially Dates. Indeed, Dates are the  pride of Bahrain and because of so many Date Palm trees located here, Bahrain was nicknamed the "Land of a Million Date Palms" (sounds better in Arabic!).

Its fair to say that Bahrain has its own livestock industry but not a very big one (like Australia!). But farmers here rear cows and goats for their meat and milk, as well as Chickens (for the meat!). Bahrain imports a majority of their livestock from Australia and such countries (I believe they are alive when brought here). But Bahrain provides itself with a lot of fish and shrimps, the most notable one is the Hamour.

A typical snack in Bahrain almost always features bread or rice. (Its a fact!)

Popular Dishes:

Now, the staple crop of Bahrain is , without a doubt, rice. Its available in almost every dish, rice with fish, rice with chicken, you name it! Rice is always there!

This is regionally called the Kabsa, but known in Bahrain as Machboos
A popular dish where it is used is called Machboos (مجبوس) which is basically rice mixed with either fish or chicken, its appearance is a brownish colour (depending on spices used).
Rice is also used to make sugary treats for festivities such as Eid al Fitr , these are called muhammar(محمر) which is Rice mixed with sugar or dates.

Of course, the hamburger equivalent in Bahrain is the mighty Shawarma. This is made up of chicken or beef along with other sauces and vegetables , jumbled up together with Pita bread to make a delicious (and quick) snack.

A delicacy is Qoozi (قوزي) (Ghoozi), which is grilled lamb stuffed with rice, boiled eggs, onions and spices.

Back to the Fish:

Bahrain sure loves it fish, in fact as mentioned earlier, the most popular fish is the large Hamour fish which I believe comes from the Grouper family.
Bahrain's Favourite Fish- The Hamour (Grouper)

Many other fish are popular here such as the Safi (صافي) which belongs to the Rabbitfish (or Spinefoot) family.

Another delicious one, (and a small one mind you), is the Chan'ad (thats the Mackerel fish).

Sweets and Drinks:

As I've previously said, Bahrain takes a lot of the same cuisine as the rest of the Middle East, so it is no surprise that you get Turkish delights here!

What could be better ? Dates and coffee! (Image not mine)
But a claimed Bahrain-made dessert is the "Halwa Showaiter" or the "Halwa Bahraini". which is a Halva (see link here for description) made from Corn starch, saffron, various types of nuts and other sweeteners like honey.

The only drinks, as far as I'm aware of, that are popular in Bahrain (besides the Pepsi and Cola!) are the Gahwa (قهوة) which is basically Coffee and is typically served with dates.

Its seen as a traditional welcome in Bahrain when you are offered Coffee and dates (Best accept them :)

Well, I hope I've brightened your horizons and gave you a picture of Bahraini cuisine.

I've been talking about the Natural cuisine here but sadly nowadays, we've been too attached to Fast-food restaurants (hence, an Obesity epidemic is gripping Bahrain!)


  1. Hi Mohammed,

    Rosi here. Nice blog you've got going over here. 'Machboos' reminds me of the Indian biryani, my absolute favourite food in the world! I reckon machboos is the same, or in any case highly similar.

  2. While its not actually Biryani, its quite similar. That doesn't mean we don't like Biryani over here :D

    We also have a sizeable majority that love Chappati too :)

  3. Mhm Machboos is the best you could come up with <.<

  4. Nice read! Hummus is my favorite :) Second, machboos.

  5. Good work!
    Machboos! All time favorite. Good work on Bahraini Food & Cuisine!


Post a Comment

Be civil.

Popular posts from this blog

Bahrain - Old Photographs (Part I)

Below is a collection of stunning old photographs of Bahrain taken in the 20th century. I'll try to input as many captions as I can. Enjoy!

(The vast majority of these photographs were taken prior to the 1960s, by which time their copyright expired and is now in the public domain, as stated in Legislative Decree No. 10 of June 7, 1993 in respect of Copyright Law)

Why was King John the most unpopular monarch in English History ?

The title of this post is self-explanatory. And here's why John (reigned from 1199-1216) was so unpopular:

Under his reign, the English lost the land of Normandy to the French (Normandy had been under English control since the time of William the Conqueror). In fact, he was nicknamed "Lackland" because of this.
He was excommunicated from the Church by the Pope in 1209 (this made him even more unpopular)
His fiscal policies: He made people pay very high taxes 
John was a very bad fighter (he was nicknamed "Softsword" too!), and in those times, a bad warrior made a bad king.
John murdered his own nephew for fear of him leading a rebellion against John.
The barons (who were Normans) revolted against him because of the above reasons, and after deciding that he was a bad king (especially after realizing how he spent tax money).
Perhaps the most significant of all his failures (and the most humourous), he lost the original Crown Jewels in a swamp, in Eastern England. But, i…

Vintage Maps of the Arabian Peninsula

Some rather old maps of the Arabian peninsula, details under each respective map.

Embedded text: This map of the Arabian Peninsula, published in 1720, shows Arabia Felix, Arabia Deserta, and Arabia Petraea. Other regions included are Palestine, Mesopotamia, Chaldea, Persia, Aegyptus, and Aethiopia. A large number of towns are shown. The title cartouche includes nine vignette coins. The tribal and town names on the map are those used by Ptolemy. Some are used more than once, with variations. Thus “Indicara,” “Iacara,” “Ichara,” and “Aphana” all could indicate the same place: the spot where Alexander the Great intended to build a capital on an island in the Arabian Gulf, enabling him to control the trade of the region and extend his empire (a scheme that he was unable to accomplish before he died).

 Archeological research suggests that this place was Failakah Island in present-day Kuwait, although some historians place it at Abu Ali Island. The map shows a peninsula near pres…