Dishes from Saudi female ‘Chef to the Kings’ impresses Dhahran Summit guests

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Saudi Arabia’s young chef, Noura al-Muqaytib, was chosen to introduce popular dishes that promote the local cuisine of Saudi Arabia to guests participating in the 29th Arab Summit in Dhahran.

Noura earned her cooking skills from her mother and grandmother to become the chef of royalty.

She was in charge of Al Khaleej Palace’s kitchen to prepare the special banquet to welcome King Salman’s guests of Arab leaders. It took her 15 days to prepare and experiment with recipes taking over 40 hours of work.

Four young Saudi women gave her a hand to come up with the delicious traditional and original Saudi dishes.

The Jerusalem Summit guests got a taste of the varied options Noura prepared over lunch to impress with food that defines Saudi Arabia’s identity and authenticity, showing them how popular food can be part of rich national heritage.

“My effort is rewarded as a chef when food becomes part of a heritage that is a source of pride for the king before his guests, the big banquets held in the honor of international guests is full of local dishes that is appreciated by them as a historic and social symbol, that can’t be compared to restaurants’,” she said in an exclusive interview with Al Arabiya.

The menu Noura selected for the royal guests included Najdi harees, Maflaq al-Rubian, beans and beef stew, lamb kabsa, lamb samousa, Marasee' with dips, among other dishes as well.

She added: “Saudi dishes in such occasions provide an opportunity for leaders, presidents from the region and abroad to try and discover different flavors.”

Najdi harees is made of wheat and meat, cooked over a long period of time and stirred from time to time continuously until it is slowly cooked to make the wheat grains really mature," said Noura.

Maflaq al-Rubian is made of shrimp, onions, tomatoes, and Saudi spices. It is the main meal of the Gulf countries, especially in Saudi Arabia. It is usually cooked with meat, long grain rice and kabsa spices which gives it a delicious taste and smell, and it is one of the most delicious in Saudi cuisine.