Kuwaiti cuisine is a lovely blend of four cuisines which are Arabian, Indian, Persian, and Mediterranean cuisines. Brought together, they create something sensational for our taste buds. So when in Kuwait, you got to try these dishes.
It is considered to be the national dish of Kuwait. Machboos is a rice dish that is served with meat, be it lamb, chicken or even fish. Rice is cooked with saffron and rose water. The meat is cooked separately and served on top of the rice. This is eaten with a red sauce that is called Dakkous which is made up of tomatoes, black pepper, and garlic.
Quzi is a rice-based dish. It is served with very slow-cooked lamb, roasted nuts, raisins and served over rice. It is usually prepared by stuffing the whole lamb with rice, vegetables, spices and nuts, and slowly cooking it in a closed or submerged oven.
Muttabaq Samak is a delicacy where fish is served on rice which is cooked in nicely spiced fish stock. You can find numerous variations of this dish in various regions of the Gulf. In Kuwait, Muttabaq Samak is served with Zubaidi fish (i.e. pomfret), which is well-known as the national fish of Kuwait.
Jareesh is a dish of cracked wheat, mixed with meat and seasoned. Its consistency varies between that of a porridge and a dumpling. It used to be found only in homes, but it is now served in restaurants as well.
Maqluba is a dish which consists of meat, rice, and vegetables, which are fried, placed in a pot which is flipped upside down when served. Hence the name maqluba, which translates literally as “upside-down.” It is served nice and hot.
Murabyan is loaded with shrimp in rice and has more of it in the topping. The dish is flavored with sautéed onions, turmeric, coriander and dried loomi (a dried black lime). The result is a delicious combination of flavors that is sure to satisfy. It is enjoyed with pickled turnips and a simple salad.
Hummus with Khubz
Hummus is a dip or a spread. It is made using cooked, mashed chickpeas or other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and garlic. Khubz is a round leavened flatbread originating in the Middle East. Khubz is used to have shawarmas or simply consumed as a snack with various dips, the staple dip being hummus.
Warak Enab is basically grape leaves that are stuffed. The leaves are stuffed with rice, tomatoes, parsley, onions, fresh mint and simmered slowly in olive oil and lemon juice. Stuffed grape leaves are best when made with love at home instead of being purchased.
Margoog is typically poured over Arabic flatbread or thin discs of dough are dropped into the hot pot and cooked in the liquid. It contains dietary fiber and a load of vitamins from the vegetables. Most traditional dishes in Kuwait are made from rice or with Arabic bread but some, including Margoog, use wheat flour.
Gabout is a traditional dish that isn’t very known. It is simply flour dumplings, stuffed, in a thick meat stew. It is eaten directly the way it is or accompanied with Arabic bread.
Fatayer is a meat pie that can be stuffed with spinach (known as sabanekh), or cheese (known as jibnah). Cheeses such as Feta or Akkawi are used. It is coated lightly in a lemon and olive oil dressing before sealing it inside circles of dough and baking them until golden and flaky. Fatayer’s small size makes it the perfect appetizer or simply a light snack.
Kushari is an Egyptian dish made out of rice, macaroni, and lentils mixed together and topped with a spiced tomato sauce and garlic vinegar. It is garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions. Sprinklings of garlic juice, garlic vinegar, and hot sauce are up to you. As traditional kushari does not contain any animal products, it can also be considered vegan, as long as all the frying is done using vegetable oils.
Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish consisting of meat. The meat is cut into thin slices, stacked up, and roasted on a slowly-rotating vertical rotisserie. Thin slices are shaved off of the cooked surface of the stack as it rotates. Shawarma is one of the world’s most popular street foods and it is commonly served as a wrap, in any kind of flatbread such as pita .
Kebabs are cooked meat dishes that have their origins in the Middle East. Many versions of it are popular around the world. Kebabs are usually cooked on a skewer but many types are not. Kebabs can consist of cut or ground meat or seafood. Among the popular ones we have shish taouk, which is grilled chicken skewers, and lahem meshwi, which is charcoal-grilled skewers of seasoned lamb cubes.
Gers Ogaily is a traditional Kuwaiti cake with cardamom, rose water, saffron, and sesame. These ingredients give a beautiful scent to the cake. The cake itself is moist with a unique texture. It is popularly known as the Arabian perfumed cake.