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Visualise a jar of pickle with spicy and tangy flavours. Add a whiff of deliciously strong aroma and tempting colours. Imagine the succulent pieces of vegetables immersed in brine, vinegar, or oil. Isn’t that enough to fire up your taste buds and make you smack your lips? Pickles have been evoking such a response in mankind ever since 2000 BC.

Pickles were made to preserve food for out-of-season use or to carry them for long journeys especially by sailors. Often the word pickle is used to refer to pickled cucumber, which was the first vegetable used in pickling in Mesopotamia by inhabitants who brought them from India. 

Arabic pickles also known as mukhalal are commonly made from cabbage, carrots, turnips, green olives, peppers, cucumbers, green tomatoes, cauliflower, and lemons. They add a tangy taste and refresh the palate, especially when you are having a platter of shawarma or falafel or even rice. Throughout the Middle East, you will be delighted to find these lip-smacking pickles accompanying every meal.

Meandering through the streets of Dubai, you will come across many places where authentic Arabic pickles are available. For a no-frills affair, grab some amazing pickled vegetables at Al Naoora, Dubai's street cafeteria, at 38a Street, where pickles are served as a side dish. Do not miss the signature pickled vegetables at Al Mallah at Aldiyafa Street, which serves Arabic food.

The Al Hallab outlets, present at various places, including Garhoud, Dubai Mall and Mall of Emirates, serve stuffed pickled eggplant apart from other pickles. Automatic Restaurant and Grill at Al Mankhool Road, Zaroob Restaurant at Jumeira Tower (Sheikh Zayed Road), Aroos Damascus Restaurant at Al Jazeera St, and Fuddruckers at Jumeirah Road, Pool Bar at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Zaatar w Zeit at Marina Walk and Massaad Barbecue at City Tower 2 are a few places offering Arabic pickles. If you wish to visit a more chic place, Tal Al Amar at Emirates Grand Hotel would be a good choice.

Move towards Dubai Marina to pick up a good quality of pickles at Waitrose Supermarket and grocery store. At the Wafi Mall, Wafi Gourmet is an amazing place to select from a wide variety of pickles. Also, check out the monthly ARTE Souk at Times Square Mall for some delectable choices. And of course, the Spice Souk also offers a number of pickles including lemon pickles.