Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Authentic Najdi food at Najd village  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 28/08/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - Arab News) Since I have begun writing about restaurants in Riyadh I have always wondered why there are so few restaurants serving Saudi food. Expatriates often think that Kapsa is the only Saudi dish but this is not the case.

A quick glance at Saudi cuisine highlights the importance of regional cooking as well as foreign influences namely Turkish Indian Syrian Lebanese and Egyptian. The truth is that the best Saudi food is still cooked at home. But if you do not have access to genuine homemade Saudi food I recommend you try the Najd Village. Established since 1996 this restaurant has been consistently serving good Saudi food in a typical Najdi environment. It specializes in the regional cuisine of the Najd hence its name.

There are two Najd Villages operating in Riyadh; one is situated on the Takhassoussi Road and the other on Abu Bakr Road. The restaurants are built in a traditional Najdi architectural style and cannot be missed.

The popular 'Kapsa' also written as 'Kabsah' tops the list of dishes. It is interesting to know that before the advent of planes and refrigeration only dried shrimps were available. Many Najdi people still feel that a traditional 'Shrimp Kapsa' should be made exclusively with dried shrimps. I prefer fresh shrimps and nowadays most of the shrimp kapsas are prepared with fresh shrimps.

A 'Kapsa' incidentally can also be prepared with fish chicken lamb and even camel meat and all these variations are included on the Najd Village menu. The main ingredients are rice dried limes known as 'loomi' cardamom and tomatoes. Loomis are dried on the trees and come mainly from Thailand and Oman. Although its blackish and rubbery appearance might repel you at first do not discard it. The 'loomi' has a delicious fruity sour taste which gives the Kapsa its inimitable flavor. All you need to do is just squeeze the 'loomi' gently with a fork or a spoon and let the richly flavored juice seep into the rice.

Another traditional Najdi dish is 'Gorsan' which despite its appearance is very tasty when it is properly made. Most of the 'Gorsan' I have eaten contained chili but it is optional.

'Gorsan' consists of dough made from whole wheat flour water and yeast. The dough is baked on a griddle. When the thin sheet of bread is cooked it is then broken into pieces which are thrown into a stew made of chunks of boneless meat tomatoes green beans pumpkin courgettes onions black pepper and of course dried limes or 'loomi'.

'Margook' another typical dish is similar to the 'Gorsan' in so far as it uses the same dough rolled into thin sheets which are added to a stew of meat green beans green pumpkin yellow pumpkin courgettes onions and flavored with black pepper cumin chili loomi cinnamon and cardamon seeds.

'Gereesh Bil Laban' which is cracked wheat cooked in a yoghurt sauce is also very popular in the Najd province. Yoghurt and salt are placed over low heat until the mixture reaches the boiling stage. Then the cracked wheat which has been previously washed and drained is folded into the yoghurt sauce flavored with ground cumin and red chili peppers and left to simmer for at least three hours. 'Jareesh' should be served piping hot sprinkled with melted butter or ghee.

The menu also features 'Badya' an elaborate dish which takes at least six hours to prepare. It consists of a layer of 'Jareesh' topped with 'Gorsan' which is itself covered with steaming hot rice and a final layer of roasted lamb or chicken or camel meat sprinkled with raisins almonds and garnished with boiled eggs tomatoes and chili.

If you want to end your meal with a typical Najdi dessert you must ignore the menu's selection of desserts and return to the section of wheat dishes. If you look carefully you will find there three superb date specialties known as 'Hineeny' 'Mihalla' and 'Qishdah'.

I love 'Hineeny' which is generally served in winter but can be prepared and eaten all year round. To prepare 'hineeny' you have to first prepare dough made of rye flour and water and shape it into pancakes which are cooked on a griddle. These thin sheets of bread are subsequently broken into pieces and mixed with soft dates cut into pieces. This mixture of bread and dates is slowly fried with butter in a pan. Some people like to sprinkle 'hineeny' with black pepper. It is in the end all a matter of taste but I definitely prefer 'hineeny' without pepper.

'Mihalla' is made with dates and rye flour but it looks more like a very thick and smooth sauce. The dates are boiled strained and then returned to the heat. Rye flour is then slowly added to the date mixture along with melted butter. This is left to simmer over a low heat for at least an hour. Mihalla is served hot and it is very often sprinkled with lots of black pepper which completely blends in with the sweetness of the date. The use of black pepper is optional however and I have met many Saudi people who very much prefer 'Mihalla' and 'Hineeny' without black pepper.

'Qishda' is similar to 'Mihalla' and it is also made with dates butter and rye flour. Butter is melted in a pan to which the flour is added and stirred into the butter until it is brown. Then the dates are mixed thoroughly over a low heat until the dates have a firm texture.

I have only selected a few of the specialties mentioned on the Najd Village Menu which features many more dishes. As I am writing this I am thinking of Temman a superb dish made with vegetables meat and a special variety of rice.

Saudi cuisine doesn't have the variety of dishes found in French or Chinese cooking but it has some very tasty and unique food which reflects the history and generosity of its people.

Email: [emailprotected]

/*
(function{try{var saijrclb=document.getElementsByTagName("script");l=b[b.length-1].previousSibling;a=l.getAttribute('data-cfemail');if(a){s='';r=parseInt(a.substr(02)16);for(j=2;a.length-j;j=2){c=parseInt(a.substr(j2)16)^r;s=String.fromCharCode(c);}s=document.createTextNode(s);l.parentNode.replaceChild(sl);}}catch(e){}});

/* ]]> */

 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Feb 1 2015 - UAE's Lulu to be among the top 250 global retailersMENAFN
(MENAFN) UAE-based Lulu Group which runs the Lulu chain of supermarkets has climbed the latest edition of a list of the biggest retailers in the world, Muscat Daily reported.The company was ranked ...

 Feb 1 2015 - UAE is set to be the second largest crude oil exporter to JapanMENAFN
(MENAFN) The UAE exports of crude oil to Japan amounted to 25,089 million barrels during December last year, representing 22.8 percent of total Japanese imports, which was 110,135 million barrels, ...

 Feb 1 2015 - UAE's Damas to launch 23 new stores in GCCMENAFN
(MENAFN) Damas, the Middle East's leading jewelry and watch retailer, has bolstered its presence in the region with the opening on 23 new outlets during 2014. The expansion complements Damas' new two ...

 Feb 1 2015 - UAE Table PC market to hit USD1.2b by 2019MENAFN
(MENAFN) Increasing demand for tablet PCs from education and healthcare sectors coupled with anticipated decline in average selling prices to drive Tablet PC adoption in UAE through 2019, a report by ...

 Feb 1 2015 - RasGas helps set up 'toy library' in South KoreaGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) RasGas and Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) have jointly established a children's 'toy library' in Anshim Social Welfare Community Center in Daegu Metropolitan City, South Korea. ...

 Feb 1 2015 - Qatari delegation holds key meetings in USGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The Qatari delegation, headed by HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, has held several important meetings as part of its visit to the United States. In Washington ...

 Feb 1 2015 - Top job for Mugabe 'will tarnish AU reputation'Gulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) African leaders are expected today to elect Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to the 54-member African Union's rotating chair, a choice critics say risks tarnishing the ...

 Feb 1 2015 - Several killed in Somalia airstrikeGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Several people are believed to have been killed in an airstrike in southern Somalia apparently targeting a house used by members of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebab militia, ...

 Feb 1 2015 - Three Chad soldiers, 123 militants killedGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Three soldiers and 123 Boko Haram militants were killed when the Islamist group attacked a Chadian army contingent in northern Cameroon, the Chadian military said on ...

 Feb 1 2015 - S Africa's 'Prime Evil' killer freedGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Apartheid death-squad leader Eugene de Kock, dubbed "Prime Evil" for his role in the torture and murder of scores of black South African activists in the 1980s and early 1990s, ...

more...


 






Google

Electronic & Mobile Payment

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help