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whiling away time

Cuisine of Bahrain

Bahrain's traditional food includes fish, meat, rice, and dates. One of the most famous dishes is machboos (مجبوس), which is made up of meat or fish served with rice. Another known food is muhammar (محمر), which is sweet rice served with dates or sugar.

Bahrainis also eat other Arabian food such as falafel, fried balls of chickpeas served in a bread, and shawarma, lamb or chicken carved from a rotating spit and wrapped in pita bread. Traditional snacks include samboosa and pastry.

Another important part of the Bahraini diet is the fresh fish of the Gulf, of which the king is the Hamour (هامور) (grouper), typically served grilled, fried, or steamed. Other popular local fish include Safi (صافي) (rabbit fish), Chanad (شند) (mackerel), and Sobaity (صبيطي) (see bream). Most of the time, fish is eaten with rice. A century of British rule in the Gulf has also made fish and chips popular in Bahrain.

Another 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.

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.

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 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 interesting conversation. Nowadays, members of the expatriate population are also found to smoke sheesha in the cafés.

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