Skills associated with traditional handicraft


Cooking utensils


The traditional kitchen was very simple, and despite limited utensils, they were sufficient to fulfil the need of the Bedouin kitchen at that time. The Bedouin woman excelled in preparing delicious meals for her family. Below are some of the utensils that the Bedouin woman used in her kitchen:

Al raha (millstone):
Al raha is a tool for grinding grains. It consists of two round stones on top of each other. The top stone has an opening in the centre through which to fill the mill with grains and it has a wooden handle with which to turn the top stone of the mill. There used to be one millstone in the neighbourhood, which the neighbours used and passed around as needed. 

Al qudour (pots and pans):
These are the vessels that are used to cook food, and they were made of materials that resist flame, such as copper, clay or aluminium (the latter was introduced in the region in recent decades). The most widespread of these were clay pots, which are the oldest kind of pots known in the Emirates – particularly in the first half of the twentieth century and earlier. They were made locally in the clay kilns that were widespread in Ras Al Khaimah.

Al tabi (frying pan):
Al tabi is the local name for the frying pan that is used for frying food. It is round with high edges and was used for frying fish in oil and ghee.

Al malas (ladle):
Almalas is used to stir food during cooking, and it is also used as a ladle to take out the food after it has been cooked. In the past, the al malas was made of wood; then it was made of copper with wood handles, and later it was made of aluminium.

Al mashkhala (strainer or sieve):
Also known as al musfat, it was used to separate solid food from liquids after cooking – including rice and pastas, which were cooked in boiling water. 

Al gafsha (large ladle):
Also known as al khashoga, this is a large spoon used to transfer cooked food from the pot to the serving dish.

Al mihmas (long spoon): 
Made of iron and used to stir the coffee while it’s roasting in the frying pan. 



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