Articles/The exotic cuisine of the North

The exotic cuisine of the North

أطباق المنطقة الشمالية تعتمد على الموارد المحلية

03 JUN 2020

Source: Abeer Al-Amoudi

Even though Saudi Arabia’s northern regions prepare many dishes similar to those served in the central region, methods and ingredients can differ slightly. Dishes such as marquq, melihi, matazeez, washek and Jareesh are served across the country, but Wafy has listed the most famous uniquely northern recipes below. They tend to incorporate local staples such dairy, ghee, dates, barley, sprouts, wheat, meat and vegetables.

In the past, cooking utensils were handcrafted from pottery and stone, improving the flavors of the dishes as well as nutrition. Saudi women would then add their own unique touches. Al-Jouf region is known for the fresh bread baked over hot coals. 


Since Tabuk is near the southern Jordan borders, it is famous for this Levant-inspired dish. Mansaf’s main ingredients are meat, rice, thin Shrak bread, and sour and salted sheep's yoghurt. Yeast is added before the mixture is boiled and then sun dried. Gameed yoghurt is defrosted and cooked with the meat broth. Then the rice is garnished with pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews and chopped parsley.


Also called Jamriyah, this is hand-kneaded dough made with whole wheat ground flour that is then buried in coals. After flattening the dough, ghee is added with dates or honey.

North Fattah 

This involves placing kneaded dough directly in the embers. After the bread is cooked, impurities are removed and wild ghee is poured on top with milk before it is ready to eat.

Al-Mojallalah and Khumy’ah

This is a circular-shaped wheat dough prepared on fire not coal. Then it is kneaded and ripened. When ghee is added it is called Al-Mojallalah, but when milk is added it is called Khumy’ah.