Taif, with its abundant rainfall and fertile farmlands, has been named the “Garden of the Hejaz.” From time immemorial, Taif’s fresh produce has made its way down its lofty mountain location to other parts of the Hejaz. Some key ingredients vital to Hejazi cooking have a long history of being sourced from Taif.
While many of Taif’s delicacies can be found pretty much across the Hejaz region, it’s the slight variations of the dishes here owing to the city’s climatic conditions and plethora of fresh veggies and herbs that make Taifi fare distinctive.
The flavors on offer are succulent and you’ll be in for a treat as you tuck into regional delicacies that are marked by ladles of buttery ghee and even raw honey at times:
Made using milk, meat, rice, and generous amounts of ghee that’s cooked in a broth of chicken or mutton, saleeg is an age-old Taifi favorite to help keep warm during chilly winters. It’s just what you need on a nippy night in Taif.
Meat lovers are absolutely going to love this quintessential Taifi meaty goodness called mabshoor; unofficially, Taif’s very own take on the kebab. It can be prepared using different kinds of meat, marinated with special spices, and served on top of some yogurt. Food aficionados make journeys from places as far as Jeddah just to have Taif’s celebrated mabshoor.
Eaten all over the Hejaz, savor the tantalizing flavors of this scrupulously-prepared dish of lentils with turmeric and rice. You may need time to start liking it, but once you do you’ll be hooked.
Baking khubz millah is a tradition passed down from generation to generation in Taif. Usually earmarked for special occasions, khubz millah is not to be missed out on.
Masoub is so filling that it can be a meal on its own. It comes in many variants but they all have two key ingredients in common; mashed bananas and ground flatbread. So pick and choose the topping of your liking—fresh breakfast cream, raw honey, buttery ghee dried fruits, or even a combination of them all—until you land a masoub that’s just right for you.
You’ll develop an entirely new affection for mint tea once you’ve had it in Taif, which is slow-cooked to perfection on charcoal. The region’s take on this heartwarming cup is uniquely brewed with a variety of herbs and fresh rose petals added to its mint base. Some of the best mint tea you’ll find is at the roadside vendors who continue serving the aromatic tea late into the night.
Our Restaurant Recommendations To Get A Hang Of Authentic Taifi Fare: