If battling crowds and waking up early to scope out a spot to watch the National Day parade isn’t your cup of tea, you can still celebrate with a party of your own. Stock up on Qatar-themed decorations from Al Rawnaq, fire up the grill and invite friends over for a National Day barbecue celebration at home.
Who can resist succulent, flame-grilled meats, juicy kebabs and delectable dips? The humble barbecue is a regional pastime, and these recipes are inspired by the classic flavours and spices of Qatar and the Middle East. Bite-sized veggies, mini burgers and fruity treats are fun, family-friendly and bursting with flavour. This is everyday food—simple, wholesome, fresh and without fuss. For a real foodie feast, pick up some cold mezze from the salad bar of your favourite grocery store or Arabic restaurant. Tabbouleh, fatoush, hummus, baba ganoush or moutabal served with slices of Arabic-style bread would be a great addition to this barbecue spread. So dust down that barbecue and get grilling! Happy National Day everyone!
Lamb and mint sliders
Makes eight sliders
A barbecue isn’t complete without a hearty, satisfying burger, and lamb and mint is just the winning combination to give your burgers a little Qatari flair. These little beauties are perfect for small hands and so delicious that grown-ups will love them too. Lightly spiced with coriander and cumin, the addition of fresh mint gives a subtle, aromatic flavour. Be sure to finely chop the mint—the finer, the better—no one wants green bits stuck in their teeth!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 500 g of minced lamb
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 8 small dinner rolls
- 1 thinly sliced cucumber
- Plain, unsweetened yoghurt
- In a frying pan, gently heat the oil and lightly fry the garlic, cumin and coriander until aromatic. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the lamb, mint, garlic and spices thoroughly. Let rest for 30 minutes to allow the flavours combine.
- Divide the mixture evenly into eight portions. Roll each portion into a meatball and flatten to form 2 cm thick patties.
- Place onto an oiled grill and cook thoroughly until grill marks appear, approximately three to four minutes each side.
- Remove from heat and assemble burgers, dressing with the cucumber and yoghurt.
Halloumi and veggie kebabs with lemon za’atar drizzle
Barbecues are not just for meat! Veggies are great for grilling too, and these colourful cuties will be an instant hit with the little ones. A terrific side dish for any meat, the skewers help to keep the bite-sized vegetables from falling through the grill. Halloumi is the star of this dish, and it’s the perfect barbecue cheese—firm when cooked, it develops a slightly crispy coating.
Other veggies that go well with this drizzle that don’t need to be skewered include disks of sweet potato, corn on the cob, asparagus or slices of red onion. The possibilities are endless.
Ingredients and special tools
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp za’atar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 large green and 1 large yellow courgette/zucchini, cut into 1 cm thick half-moons
- 200 g halloumi cheese, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 250 g cherry tomatoes
- 8 wooden skewers (approximately 30 cm long)
- Soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent them from burning on the barbecue.
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and za’atar until thoroughly combined.
- Drizzle the mixture over the vegetables and halloumi, and gently toss until coated. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow the flavours combine.
- Alternating between the veggies and halloumi, gently thread onto the skewers.
- Place onto the grill over indirect heat and cook until veggies are slightly soft, approximately three to four minutes.
Fresh pineapple with honey and cinnamon glaze
Let’s not forget fruit! Nature’s candy is a great way to end your meal. There’s nothing better than a sweet treat to top off a memorable barbecue, and this fresh pineapple with honey and cinnamon glaze is incredibly easy to assemble and addictive too! Barbecuing fresh fruit creates a wonderful caramelised flavour and gently softens the fruit. Served with vanilla ice cream, it’s a perfect dessert for the whole family.
- One fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into 2 cm thick slices
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tsp vegetable oil
- Vanilla ice cream
- In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, honey and cinnamon until well combined.
- Add the pineapple slices and toss until coated. Reserve leftover glaze.
- Place pineapple onto the barbecue and cook for approximately three to four minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Remove from heat and cut into bite-sized chunks, removing the core if desired.
- Serve warm in a small bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with leftover glaze.