Arab Cuisines, Arab Foods and Arab Recipes
Arab Cuisine of the Persian Gulf
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Originally, the Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula relied heavily on a diet of dates, wheat, barley, rice and meat, with little variety, with a heavy emphasis on yogurt products, such as leben (لبن) (yoghurt without butterfat). As the indigenous Semitic people of the peninsula wandered, so did their tastes and favored ingredients.
Persian Gulf cuisine today is the result of a combination of richly diverse cuisines, incorporating Lebanese cooking, Indian cooking, and many items not indigenous to the Persian Gulf region, which were imported on the dhows and caravans. There is a strong emphasis on the following items in Arabian cuisine: lamb, yogurt, mint, thyme (often in a mix called za'atar), the inescapable tea (preferably Ceylon), sesame, curry powder, saffron, turmeric, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, rice (the staple), and fish.
In addition, the cuisine is heavily dosed with anything hot, from hot sauces to every variety of pepper, to tea drunk the hotter the better. This cuisine also favors vegetables such as cucumbers, eggplants, and onions, and fruits (primarily citrus), and often used as seasonings for entrees. Notably, many of the same spices used in Arabian cuisine are also those emphasized in Indian cuisine. This is a result of heavy trading between the two regions, and of the current state of affairs in the wealthy oil states, in which many South Asian workers are living abroad in the Persian Gulf states.
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