Oman: Cooking in a storm

78780465-H1-AABS_Ext_BeachView_PoolVilla-02_G_A_M copyFor me, travel and food go hand-in-hand, on a trip to Salalah in Oman I spent the weekend at the recently opened Anantara Resort Al Baleed resort. I was excited to be in Oman for the first time but even more excited about my cooking lesson, an ‘Arabian Culinary Journey’ at Spice Spoons cooking academy with Jordanian Chef de Cuisine, Muath Hamdan. Chef Muath has been with the resort from the beginning of June 2016, he was previously Sous Chef at the KGril Restaurant at the Kempinski, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai before relocating to Salalah.

This was supposed to be an outside cooking experience at the poolside kitchen, but thanks to 80kph winds across the resort we were relocated to Chef Mauth’s test kitchen. At the entrance of the kitchen, a small dining table had been set out with recipe cards, aprons and chef hats.

P1090832 copyChef Mauth explained the menu that he had prepared, starting with a parsley salad, Tabouleh, traditionally served as Mezza sharing dish, followed by Samkeh Harra, fresh Lebanese fish served with rice and bread. This dish hails from Tripoli, Lebanon and although the original recipe has been changed over the years the basis is still the same; baked fish with a delicious pepper, tomato, cumin and coriander spicy sauce. So hat and apron on, I fired up the stove and got cooking under the watchful eye of Chef Mauth. However didn’t mention to chef Mauth the fact that I had some experience in the kitchen when he complimented me on my cooking skills, I did at that point tell him about GMS and that I would share my amazing experience.

FEAT_OMAN_1090837 copySpicy Lebanese Fish

2 large Grouper fish fillets
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 chopped white onion
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 cup of chopped coriander
2 tomatoes cored and cubed
1/2 red pepper diced

1/2 green pepper diced
1/2 yellow pepper diced
2 tbsp of tomato puree
1 tsp of cumin powder
2 tbsp of lemon juice
½ tsp ground coriander
1 cup of warm water
Salt and pepper

Toasted pine nuts to serve
Lemon slices
Coriander sprigs

Marinate the fish fillets with salt, pepper and oil for 2-4 hours. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a pan heat some oil on a low heat and cook the fish for a minute on each side. Remove from the heat and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes. To prepare the sauce, sauté the onions and garlic over a medium heat until softened. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomato, peppers, spices. Stir and simmer on a low heat for about ten minutes. As the sauce thickens, you may need to add some water. When the fish cooked remove from the oven and place on a plate. Pour over the sauce and topped with pine nuts and chopped coriander.

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Parsley salad (Tabouleh)

½ cup of bulgur wheat
2-3 tbsp of olive oil
2 cups of chopped parsley
1 garlic clove chopped

A handful of chopped fresh mint
1 tomato cored and cubed
A squeeze of lemon juice
Salt & pepper

Baby lettuce leaves
Diced tomato
Pomegranate seeds
Lemon slices
Mint leaves

Soak the bulgur wheat in hot water for 10 minutes and then drain the excess water. Place the parsley, mint, garlic in a bowl; then add the oil, lemon juice and season. Stir in the bulgur wheat and serve with the lettuce leaves and top with pomegranate, tomato and fresh mint leaves.

78780465-H1-AABS_Ext_BeachView_PoolVilla-02_G_A_M copyTRAVEL FACTS
Getting there

FlyDubai fly direct flights from Dubai to Salalah, from Dhs300, book at

Staying there
Anantara Resort Al Baleed resort premier sea view rooms start from Dhs1400 per night, for bookings
Tel: +968 2322 8222
For room reservations please contact:

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