Bahrain Traditional Food – Manama Food Markets

Get to know Bahraini food while visiting three markets in Manama.
On our recent holiday in Bahrain, we have decided to visit three markets but a Bahrain souk, fish souk and vegetable soak in Manama to find the most popular foods and drinks from this country.

Bab Al-Bahrain Market

The first market that we have visited was called Bab Al Bahrain. The market is located in the city centre of Bahrain so that you can get there by taxi with no problem. The local vendors there are selling just everything. You will find there products not only from Bahrain but also from other countries. They also do have local and international spices. The first thing that grabs our attention was this huge cinnamon stick that comes from Indonesia. The smaller one on the right comes actually from China. I wonder how do they use it while cooking, maybe as a spatula.

Mathai Crisps

Anyway, another thing I would like to show you are those Mathai Crisps. Those crisps are the equivalent of our popcorn as the locals take them to the cinema. Later that day, we have prepared a salad made from Mathai Crisps, so stay tuned for that. They have different shapes and flavours and perfect level crispiness.


Another product that you can find almost in all Arabic markets is Loomi. Loomi is a dried lime, and it comes in two different colours. To make the lighter one you need to dry the lime once, and to make the darker one you need to dry the lime once than put it in the seawater and dry it again.. They are used to cook matchboos, which is a popular dish in Arabic countries.


Bahrain Manama Food Market - Halwa

Another thing that we’ve seen and tried is Halwa. Omani Halwa is very different to the Halwa I know. It has got a pudding consistency. The orange one had saffron in it, therefore, was more expensive. I wish that we have bought this one to try and figure out all the flavours.

Fish Market in Manama

The next two markets that we have visited are the fish and the vegetable one. The advantage is that they are next to each other. We have started with a central fish market, and this one was pretty stinky.

Rabbit Fish / Safi Fish

Bahrain Manama Food Market - Safi Fish

The first fish I would like to tell you about is the Rabbitfish called Safi Fish, and this fish is one of the most favourite ones because it’s got fewer bones and it’s perfect for kids.

Hamour Fish

Bahrain Manama Food Market - Haour Fish

Another fish that you can find in Omani restaurants is a Hamour Fish. Hamour Fish is very popular in the Persian Gulf, and it’s a pretty shy and kind of a lazy fish.

Spanish Mackrel / King Fish

Another beloved fish is the Spanish Mackerel also called King Fish. I love Mackerel. It always has the right among of fat for me.

Sheri Fish / Emperor Fish

And this fish is called Sheri Fish or Emperor Fish, and this one favourite in all kind of the dishes, so they use it for frying, grilling or even in a curry.

Donkey Fish

Bahrain Manama Food Market - Donkey Fish

And another fish that I would like to show you is the Donkey Fish, and this is a hilarious looking fish. So I didn’t want to skip that one.

Vegetable Market in Manama

From the fish market, we went straight to the vegetable market, and there we found bizarre foods.


Bahrain Manama Food Market - Drumsticks

And the first odd thing I would like to show you is the Drumstick. The Drumstick is an Indian tree that has another country in traditional medicine for thousands of years. It is a very nutritious vegetable. They believe that you could live only by eating this. It is rich in antioxidants. It lowers your blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, can lower cholesterol and protects against arsenic toxicity.

Palm Tree for Palm Tree Tea

And this is a Palm Tree, and you can apparently make a tea out of this. I still wonder how the Palm Tree Tea tastes. And this one is a funny one. So the white powder that you can see there is Palm Pollen. It increases the quality and quantity of sperm. So if you want to get pregnant guys that’s apparently what you need.

Cooking Class at House of Coffee in Manama

After visiting the markets, we went to the House of Coffee where we had our cooking classes. The restaurant was very pretty, and it looked very modern. At the beginning we got this Rosewater Drink with Chia that was very delicious, and afterwards we got into cooking. The outcome was than the Mathai Salad that I told you about at the beginning of this video, and that was made from the three different types of crisps, potatoes, dates, chick peas, and the dressing was very surprising because that was a mixture of yogurt and Tamarind. I have really enjoyed the salad.

We have got also a very delicious Naan bread with Tabouleh, and the main course that we cooked was the Machboos with Prawns. Machboos is the national dish of Bahrain. It is a very popular dish in many Gulf countries and across Saudi Arabia. This one was made from this Basmati Rice and Prawns and also a lot of different spices. Recently I have tried this recipe at home and it was very delicious.

As a dessert, we got Faludeh, which is a traditional Iranian cold dessert that consists of thin vermicelli size noodles and flavours syrup that contains sugar and rosewater. Also, we did have Arabica coffee, and this tastes so different in our European coffee. I truly believe that coffee lovers won’t really like it, but I think that the people who don’t like coffee are colours just love it.


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