Abu Dhabi is a place which has nice eating places, but I feel the stress is on Asian dishes. Though McDonalds and KFC and similar outlets dot the streets, yet I feel most Arabs prefer south Asian cuisine. This may surprise many readers, but then the UAE has a long connection with India nd even guru Nanak went on a pilgrimage to Mecca through the UAE. Probably he landed by a dhow from the Gujarat coast on the Arabian sea coast at Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
One of the dishes that is very popular is Biryani. It is a dish that is very popular in the sub-continent. It is a dish that originated from Persia and from there it travelled to South Asia through Persian merchants. In Abu Dhabi two different Biryani preparations were tasted by me and they were wonderful.
a) Pakistani Biryani. This is a Pakistan rice dish with chicken and cooked with spices and succulent chicken. The flavours are simple and it’s very well blended. The chicken pieces are marinated in perfect amount of masala. Pakistani Biryani is popular in the United Arab Emeritus. Another popular dish is Hyderabad Biryani from India.
b) The second dish which I liked is from the Middle East. It is also called Bethlehem Mini and has Jewish origin. This is basmati rice cooked with mild spices and meat. The helpings in this dish are huge and one dish can easily serve 3 people.
These dishes are popular in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and must be eaten. In addition many meat dishes of lamb and mutton (goat meat) is very popular in the UAE. The various recipes from the North West Frontier of India are very popular and relished by the locals as well as the visitors from the West.