The Omani cuisine is influenced by Arab, Iranian, Indian, Asian, Eastern Mediterranean, and African cuisine, reflecting Oman’s position as a vast trading empire at the intersection of traditional spice trade routes. Dishes are often based on chicken, fish, and lamb, as well as the staple of rice. Most Omani dishes tend to contain a rich mixture of spices, herbs, and marinades.
Although Omani cuisine varies within different regions of Oman, most dishes across the country have a staple of curry, cooked meat, rice, and vegetables. Soups are also common and are usually made from chicken, lamb, and vegetables (e.g., smoked eggplant). The main meal is usually eaten in the middle of the day, while dinner is lighter.
Omani National Dishes
Shuwaa is a meal eaten only on festive occasions. The dish consists of chunks of goat, sheep, cow, or camel meat marinated in a spicy date paste and roasted in a special oven, which is a pit dug in the ground. This is usually a communal activity by an entire village. The meat is flavored with a variety of spices, then wrapped in sacks made of dry leaves, which are in turn placed into the oven.