Saudi Arabia’s southern region has some distinct dishes that are especially enjoyed in Ramadan, in addition to those that are not exclusive to the region but are savored in other parts of the Kingdom as well. W7Worldwide asked a group of residents from the south about their most favorite Ramadan meals, and here is what they said:

1- Arika

One of the most traditional southern foods, arika is often prepared as a meal for suhoor. It is made with flour, ghee, dates and honey, and is decorated with dates, nuts and cream. Even though arika is enjoyed in other regions as well, its flavor and preparation differs in the south.

2-Date porridge

 It is a popular Saudi food savored especially in the winter season. It is one of the most famous southern dishes. This sweet and nutritious meal is generally prepared with dates, date molasses, brown flour, and ghee. Other varieties include flour, meat and chicken.

3-Yeast and fenugreek

 The southern table is incomplete without bread made with brown flour and yeast.

4- Madghout

 It is a popular dish made with yogurt or milk, flour, dates, honey and ghee. Usually, this dish is served when families gather together in large numbers.

5. Sambusa & Luqaimat

Luqaimat, which is made with flour, water, and sugar syrup, is a Ramadan favorite not just in the southern region, but across the Kingdom. These round dumplings are fried and dipped in date syrup, honey or other sweet syrups. Meanwhile, the sambusa, a type of fried pastry stuffed with meat, vegetables or cheese, is one of the most loved items in Ramadan. The sambusa seems to have replaced more traditional items such as pies and koshna.

6-Soup and Jareesh

A red soup or an oats soup, in addition to jareesh – made with crushed wheat – completes the iftar table in the south.

7-Balila and noodles

Balila, comprising boiled chickpeas served with lemon juice, garlic and spices, is another popular item. Noodles, too, are savored generally in suhoor.

In addition to the above, people in the south are fond of modern dishes that are consumed alongside the more traditional Ramadan dishes. These include: Raqash (small pieces of brown bread), wafd, broth, mursa, mixed fish, muflat, madhan, tasabi’, masoub, porridge, and haneeth.