Food of Arabia

When we go to Makkah for Hajj or Umrah, we eat at restaurants that cater for home-style meals or fast food. But have you ever wondered what Makkans eat? Here’s a sampling:
Harisah: meat with crushed wheat & sugar;
Aysh abu laham: pizza-like dish topped with meat, leeks and tahinah;
Ma‘sub: bananas mashed with sweetened whole-wheat Arab bread;
Lahuh: crepes with meat and yoghurt;
Mutabbaq: pastry with minced meat or cheese, bananas or cream.
Makkans are acclaimed for their meat recipes: kuftah (ground-meat patties) served with lemon wedges and Arab bread or rice. A dish for special occasions is mabshur: lean, finely ground lamb pressed by hand onto skewers and grilled. It is served on a bed of rice with a thick yoghurt salad enriched with a mixture of clarified lamb fat and butter.
Saliq is popular at weddings: Lamb boiled for hours to make a rich broth and rice added, then milk. When the rice is a smooth consistency, it is poured into trays and topped with pieces of lamb.
Spit-roasted lamb is a main dish at gatherings celebrating a birth, marriage, or honoring a guest. Chickens are stuffed with cooked macaroni and are used with hard-boiled eggs to stuff a whole lamb. Aromatic rice, flavored with saffron and cooked with nuts, raisins and caramelized onions, is added until the lamb is fully stuffed. It is sewn up and roasted till the meat is butter-soft. The lamb is carved and served on a bed of the rice that filled it, with a green salad.