A favorite across the Kingdom, matazeez is created using dough that is cut into egg-sized pieces, flattened, and then placed inside a pot of spiced tomato sauce, meat (usually lamb), black lime, truffles, and margarine or olive oil (or both!) This dish is often mistaken for another regional specialty called marqooq or margoog, popular in Qatar.
Versatile and rich, you can modify this hearty dish to your taste by adding a handful of your favorite vegetables as well such as cauliflower, aubergine, carrots, zucchini, and pumpkin, and using other kinds of meats, even fish! According to HalalHomeCooking.com, matazeez takes about 20 minutes of preparation time and a bit over two hours of cooking time. But believe us when we say the delicious goodness in a bowl is well worth the wait.
If you’re not one for spending hours in the kitchen and waiting to see the results of your labor, then a few restaurants across Saudi Arabia offer a plate of this delightful treat. In Jeddah, for instance, Aseil – one of Saudi Arabia’s first restaurants specializing in local cuisine – is a popular spot for matazeez. Eating there is a real treat. Its interior is reminiscent of the old houses of Al Balad and its menu offers a decent selection of traditional favorites. In Riyadh, you can order a bowl of matazeez at The Najdi Village Restaurant, a traditional village restaurant on Abu Bakr Road opposite the Prince Sultan University, located inside a traditional Najdi style mud house.
(Photos: Halal Home Cooking)