Abha, Traditional food, Southern Saudi dishes Abha, Traditional food, Southern Saudi dishes

Vibrant scenes that come before you.

The popular cuisine in Abha

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Discover the best flavours in the following list of the popular dishes in Abha. The preparation of these diverse and highly nutritious dishes portrays a vibrant scene. Moreover, it is a living extension of Asir province, which has long been and remains one of the most regions in Saudi Arabia in preserving its traditional dishes and their methods of preparation. Accordingly, Asir has won the title of World Culinary Arts Zone at the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT), and shall be awarded in 2024.

The ingredients of the popular cuisine in Abha reflect the human relationship with the plains, mountains and food resources. The most important of which are honey of all kinds, coffee, lamb and goats, and most importantly, the whole wheat flour; which is included in the preparation of more than 10 popular dishes in the region. Following are some of the most popular dishes in Abha:

Heneeth

 

Heneeth is a dish associated with the well-known sala and markh trees in Asir. It is one of the most famous dishes in the province. Heneeth is often prepared outdoors, in an iron pot or in a sand pit referred to as "mahnaz". After igniting the firewood in the pit, the heat reaches a high and balanced degree to complete the process of cooking the meat in the best condition. To prepare the recipe, a layer of markh plant is put in the iron pot then the meat pieces that are covered with another layer of markh. Finally, with a piece of cloth is placed on the top before the heneeth is tightly covered. The process of cooking takes between two  to three hours. At last, you can enjoy  heneeth which is usually served with rice. Many restaurants in Abha offer Haneeth in its traditional way of preparation. You can try it at Haneeth Ali Ramzi Restaurant near Talal Maddah Theater.

Aseeda and Areeka 

 

 Aseeda "Porridge" consists of whole wheat flour that is cooked until it becomes thick. And for a savoury taste, some spices can be added to the porridge. It is typically served with soup and yoghurt. To enjoy the traditional way of eating aseeda, you should try eating it by hand with three fingers. You should take into consideration that despite the simplicity of its final shape, it is considered one of the most important recipes that are prepared by hand and require physical effort. As for the arika, it is easier to prepare than aseeda, because it consists of a liquid dough grilled on the griddle, then served in a dish with the addition of ghee and honey in the middle of the dish. Finally, it is decorated with dates on the side.

Tasabea

 

Tasabea is often prepared at traditional events and celebrations. It relies, in its way of preparation, on milk and water; to which flour cooked on fire is added to be cooked until done. At the end, it is served with margarine, cooked with stone or what is known as radfa, in its center.

Mashgotha

 

 Mashgotha is one of the most popular dishes prepared in winter. It is prepared by cooking yoghurt with flour until they form a thick mixture. Radifa comes on the top of them with the additional serving of pieces of beeswax. Small pieces of dough known as "kart" can be added as desired.

Miva bread

 

 Miva bread completes most of the Asiri dishes. Miva is baked in an oven known as Tanour, after its left to ferment for a long time. Miva dough is then spread out into an oval shape. Miva is similar to several Saudi pastries, such as: Southern bread and Khmer bread.