Ministry health

Saudi ministry launches ‘It’s time’ campaign to support seasonal fruits

JEDDAH: The Asir region of Saudi Arabia is not only beautiful, with lush green mountains and plains, but it is also steeped in history, culture, heritage and heritage. rich gastronomy.

Asir’s cuisine is simple, yet rich and flavorful. Since ancient times, the region has welcomed and honored guests by offering highly nutritious foods such as ghee, honey, wheat, lamb and goat.

Culinary guide Ali Al-Assas, a young chef with an interest in Asiri’s culinary arts, said the dishes stand out for their connection to the region’s natural wealth.

He praised the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Tourism for their support of the region and its gastronomic heritage, which motivated him to develop his culinary skills and obtain a diploma as a culinary guide.

One of the most popular Asiri dishes is haneed, which is also famous in other parts of Saudi Arabia for its delicious taste. It is prepared by putting meat in a muhnath – a traditional oven made by making a hole in the earth which is then covered with bundles of sticks, firewood and charcoal to give the dish a distinct flavor. The meat is then covered with another layer of sticks and a cloth, and the hole is sealed for two hours, with salt added later for taste. It is served with rice or bread and local honey.

Tannour bread, or mifa, is an integral part of Asiri cuisine and accompanies most dishes. It is usually made after the dough has fermented for a long time.

Al-Radhifa is a high calorie meal served for breakfast or dinner. It is prepared with a mixture of ghee, salt, fresh milk and flour.

The region is also famous for Al-Arika and Al-Asseda – two porridge dishes that share similar ingredients and appearances but differ in their method of preparation. The first is easier to prepare and is an ideal breakfast. It consists of a batter which is toasted on a saj (a piece of hot metal), then placed on a plate, and ghee and honey poured into its center while dates are placed on top. its edges. Al-Aseeda is prepared differently as the flour is cooked by adding water and stirring it until it becomes a paste which is served with broth and meat.

The Asiris serve special dishes on important occasions, such as weddings, holidays, and other family gatherings.

One of the special dishes is Al-Tasabi, which consists of milk, flour and finger-shaped dough. Ghee is poured in the middle and it is served with honey.

Al-Mashghouta is another dish eaten by people in winter, as it provides the body with energy and heat. It consists of flour, milk, water, salt, honey, ghee and is served with dates.

Al-Shadkh and Al-Rajla are dishes made with local vegetables cooked together and eaten with mifa.

Another dish is milla, which consists of meat spread on sprigs of myrrh then covered with another layer of myrrh and buried in the earth for about 3 hours. Salt is added before serving with rice.

These dishes have gained great attention among international organizations interested in tourism and heritage, contributing to the nomination of Asir as an international culinary destination.

Asir is set to be awarded the title of World Gastronomy Region 2024 by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism – the first region from a non-European country to be recognized.

The title will be officially bestowed by IGCAT President Diane Dodd at an official ceremony to be held on September 24 at Terra Madre — Salone del Gusto in Turin.

This distinction is the result of considerable efforts by the Saudi Culinary Arts Commission.

The title is usually awarded to regions that have met a number of criteria, the most important of which are supporting sustainable regional development by providing economic opportunities for young people and preserving the authenticity of dishes.