Emirati chicken Thareed (Salona) – A yummy & comforting dish

by Danni B

Thareed or tharid, also called Salona, is a tasty dish that is similar to a stew in Western countries. Consisting of meat, potatoes and vegetables. The dish has a rich Islamic history, as it was the favourite meal of Prophet Muhammad and is especially popular to eat for Iftar during Ramadan.

Although this is the Emirati-style version, many dishes are shared across the gulf but with slightly different variations in terms of the spices or ingredients used. You’ll find thareed is also popular in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Arabian Gulf

This food is such a good one for comfort food and is also a great meal for iftar, as it’s light enough for a empty stomach while leaving you feeling full for a long time. I’ve cooked it many times for an after-fasting meal.

What kitchenware and utensils do I need?

You really don’t need many items to make thareed, just the following:
– A large pot
– Heat resistant spoon for stirring
– Knife
– Chopping board
– Food processor (if blending tomatoes yourself)

One of my favourite brands of pots and pans due to their high quality with a lifetime guarantee is Le Creuset. Their cast iron range doesn’t use toxic none stick chemicals. Also due to their design you can easily transfer it to the oven when cooking

Chicken Thareed recipe

Serving: 4 small portions or 2 large portions
Time: 20 minutes prepping with 40 minutes cooking time
Total: 1 hour

For a larger portion, just double the amount


1/2 chicken or two chicken thighs
1 small red onion
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 inch of fresh ginger
1 large carrot
1 large potato
1 medium courgette (zucchini)
Half a small cauliflower
2 regular tomatoes blended (or half a tin of tomatoes)
1 tbsp tomato paste
Ghee (or olive oil if you want to be healthier)

1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cardamon pods
1 black lemon
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper

You can change the meat for any other meat you prefer but for items like lamb you will need to increase the cooking time. Along with any other vegetables you prefer such as okra or aubergine (eggplant)

  1. Warm the pan on a medium heat and add the ghee
  2. Once melted, fry the onion and the garlic until slightly soft
  3. Add the chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper
  4. Allow to brown on one side before flipping it to the other side to brown
  5. Once browned. Add the ginger, turmeric, paprika, cumin and cinnamon, giving it a stir. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes
  6. Add the blended tomatoes and tomato paste
  7. Add four cups of water, give it a stir and bring to the boil
  8. Add the bay leaf, cardamon pods and black lemon
  9. Allow to cook for 10 minutes on a medium low heat
  10. Wash, chop and peel the potato and add to the stew
  11. After another 10 minutes add the cauliflower, carrots and courgettes
  12. Cover with a lid and let it cook for another 20 minutes
  13. Remove the bay leaf, black lemon and cardamon pods
  14. Pull the chicken off the bone and mix the meat into the broth
  15. Serve in a bowl with Arabic bread

You can also use Arabic bread that has gone hard to line the bottom of your bowl and pour the stew over it, this is a traditional way to serve tharid

The Emirati version is traditionally served with regag, a very thin crispy bread. To learn more about regag and traditional Emirati food, you can read my article here

Alternative recipe ideas

Thareed is also really popular to cook with lamb instead of chicken, if you do want to do lamb instead just add a longer cooking time before you add the potatoes and vegetables. That way the lamb will come out really tender.

Why not beef? Beef isn’t that traditional here in the Gulf so it’s more commonly done with lamb. You can do beef for a more western style if you prefer. Another popular meat in the region is goat.

In terms of vegetables, you can really add any vegetables you like to this dish. Based on your own personal favourites or preferences. Some also choose to add chickpeas or chilli to make it spicy.

The history of Thareed / Salona

So as I mentioned a little bit in the beginning the history of this dish but as you can tell, this is a dish that has been long enjoyed in the region. As far back as Prophet Muhammed (may peace and blessings be upon him) 1400 years ago

During the month of Ramadan, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to enjoy thareed for many days. Sometimes spelt tharid. This is due to it being a meal that is light on the stomach after hours of fasting but not so light that it leaves you feeling hungry only a short while later!

The dish is popular across many parts of the Middle East and even in North Africa where it has evolved into other similar dishes. It is an especially popular Ramadan recipe for Iftar, when Muslims break their fast

For more information on what Ramadan is like in Dubai or what it was like fasting for the first time, check out my previous articles

I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe and make sure to tag me on my Instagram if you decide to make this recipe!

Read more Dubai Culture Guides

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What more Arabic recipes?
Simple but yummy Mahalabia (Arabic Milk Pudding)
Easy Luqaimat recipe plus make your own Luqaimat machine!
How to make authentic Karak chai at home

Want to learn more about Middle Eastern and Arabic food?
What is the traditional food of the UAE?
9 tasty Arabic desserts you must try

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