Traditional Arab Dishes Made with Almonds

Here are some recipes of arab dishes made with almonds for National Almond Day

  • Publish date: Tuesday، 14 February 2023 Last update: Friday، 16 February 2024
Traditional Arab Dishes Made with Almonds

February 16th is designated as National Almond Day to raise awareness about the health benefit of popular nuts. The almond tree is native to Iran and its surrounding countries, and it is prone to growing in drier climates with mild winters. Almonds are the earliest cultivated foods by mankind, and they first originated in China or Central Asia.

Travellers journeying along the Silk Road snacked on almonds, which allowed the almonds to reach the Mediterranean. Almond nuts provide high levels of antioxidants, Vitamin E, and they help control blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

These health benefits and other aspects of almonds have entrenched them in the Arab culture. Almonds are a sign of hospitality in Arab culture because guests in an Arab home are served a bowl of mixed nuts to snack on and to increase their appetite before the main meal. Almonds like other nuts such as pistachio and walnuts are also essential to Ramadan as well because Arab people snack on these after breaking their fast. Other than being perfect to snack on, almonds are important to baking and cooking in Arab culture; from sweet to savoury, here are some dishes that almonds are added to:


Mchewek are Algerian almond cookies, which are similar to French Petits Fours. Ground almonds are mixed with the batter of the cookies, then these almond balls are either rolled into almond flakes or garnished with whole almonds and cherries.


Arayeche are also Algerian cookies that are served at weddings and other kinds of celebrations.  Unlike Mchewek, Arayeche’s recipe uses a simple dough recipe that is stuffed with almond filling.


Traditional Arab Dishes Made with Almonds

Basbousa is a semolina cake that is popular in the Middle East, North Africa, and in some Balkan countries like Turkey, Greece, and Armenia. The key ingredient is semolina and almonds are added to the cake as garnish. The cake is then soaked into flavoured syrup, which make it the sweet delicacy that it is.


Traditional Arab Dishes Made with Almonds

M’hancha is a Moroccon sweet dish that originated in the city of Meknes. It is a pastry dish that is filled with almond paste and garnished with orange flower water. M’hancha is eaten with mint tea during evening tea or family gatherings.

Hijazi Coffee

Hijazi Coffee (almond coffee, white coffee, or sweet coffee) is a beverage, which is popular in Hijazi, Saudi Arabia. The recipe makes use of ground almonds, instead of coffee beans and its other key ingredients are milk, sugar, rice flour, and cinnamon and cardamom for flavour.


Traditional Arab Dishes Made with Almonds

Mahalabia is a milk pudding that originated in Persia during the Umayyad dynasty in the 7th century. The pudding is garnished with almonds or other kinds of nuts. Different variations of the pudding either add ground almonds to the pudding or use almond milk to make the pudding more vegan friendly.

Umm Ali

Traditional Arab Dishes Made with Almonds

Umm Ali is an Egyptian bread pudding that originates from the Mamluk era in Egypt. It is made of puff pastry, milk, sugar, and a variety of nuts including almonds.


Kabsa is a rice and meat dish that has roots in Yemeni culture. However, it has become very popular in the Arabian Peninsula, particularly in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The rice is made with any kind of meat and is garnished with silver roasted almonds for a nutty flavour.

These dishes are the perfect way to celebrate the nutritional benefits and cultural importance of almonds in the Arab World on National Almond Day.

This article was previously published on bahrainmoments.To see the original article, click here

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