What is a typical Saudi breakfast?

Thanks for asking this question in my post requesting your feedback and requests.  A typical and traditional Saudi breakfast can have variations depending on the region of Saudi Arabia where one is from.  But to give you a general idea, here are some of the breakfasts which my husband and I will enjoy which are representative of the tradition. 

Sometimes we may start with Arabic coffee and dates to get that initial burst of caffeine and energy.  On other days our preference may be for Saudi style tea which uses dried tea leaves.  In an aside, I typical place the tea leaves in a small teapot, add enough sugar to cover the bottom of the teapot and bring the tea to a boil,  As the tea boils the tea leaves rise to the top.  I use a spoon to collect and remove the tea leaves from the boiling water and then let the tea boil for about 3-5 more minutes without the leaves.  It is served piping hot in tall slender glasses.  It is also customary to fill the glass to the very brim with this hot tea as to serve less could be interpreted as a lack of hospitality and generosity.


Saudi breakfasts are usually served with items on a variety of small plates and bowls.  These items can include olives, differing soft cheeses, honey, helwa (traditional soft Saudi sweet), homemade jams (my favorite is made with apricot), fuhl, dahl, eggs (or Shashukah – which is a Saudi variation of scrambled eggs) and of course fresh hot bread.  The bread can come in many variations ranging from Afghan or Pakistani style nan or chipotti and other types as well which are circular, flat and large in shape.  Some breads may also be filled with cheese or chocolate or a variety of different flavored spices.


In the true traditional style, breakfast would be served after first placing plastic sheeting on the floor (which is sold in large rolls in all supermarkets here) and the various plates and bowls are laid out in an attractive and appetizing manner along with the tea or coffee.  My husband and I also enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice or kiwi and lime juice with our breakfast too.  The traditional breakfast would be served without any utensils.  One would tear off pieces of bread and use it as a spoon to dip into the various dishes. 

 Sometimes though my Americanism will show through and I will alternate the Saudi breakfast with pancakes, scrambled egge, hashbrowns and other items more associated with an American breakfast served on the table in individual plates.


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