Kuwaiti cuisine

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Kuwaiti cuisine is a fusion of Arabian, Persian, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisines. A prominent dish in Kuwaiti cuisine is machboos, a rice-based specialty usually prepared with basmati rice seasoned with spices, and chicken or mutton (pork is highly restricted due to religious reasons).

Seafood is a very significant part of the Kuwaiti diet, especially fish.[1] Local favourites are hamour (grouper), which is typically served grilled, fried, or with biryani rice because of its texture and taste, zbaidi, safi (rabbitfish), and sobaity (bream).

Kuwait's traditional flatbread is called Iranian khubz. It is a large flatbread baked in a special oven and it is often topped with sesame seeds. Numerous local bakeries dot the country, the bakers are mainly Iranians (hence the name of the bread Iranian khubuz). Bread is often served with mahyawa fish sauce.

There are many other cuisines available due to the international workforce in Kuwait.


Biryani with chicken
  • Biryani (Arabic: برياني‎) – a very common dish, which consists of heavily seasoned rice cooked with chicken or lamb. Originally from the Indian sub-continent.[2]
  • Firga'a (Arabic: فرقاعة‎) – white rice cooked with tomatoes and potatoes and eggplant in the bottom of the pan.
  • Gabout (Arabic: قبوط‎), – stuffed flour dumplings in a thick meat stew.
  • Harees (Arabic: هريس‎) – wheat cooked with meat then mashed, usually topped with cinnamon sugar.
  • Jireesh (Yireesh) (Arabic: يريش‎) – a mash of cooked spelt with chicken or lamb, tomatoes, and some spices.
  • Machboos (Arabic: مجبوس‎) – a dish made with mutton, chicken, or fish accompanied over fragrant rice that has been cooked in chicken/mutton well-spiced broth.[2]
  • Mashkhool (Arabic: مشخول‎) – white rice and at the bottom of the pot, there are rings of onion with turmeric and black pepper. and sometimes potatoes and eggplants are also added at the bottom of the pot.
  • Marabyan (Arabic: مربين‎) – a rice cooked with either fresh or dry shrimp.
  • Mahyawa (Arabic: مهياوة‎) – a tangy fish sauce.
  • Maglooba (Arabic: مقلوبة‎) – rice cooked with meat and potatoes and eggplant.
  • Margoog (Arabic: مرقوق‎) – vegetable stew, usually containing squash and eggplant, cooked with thin pieces of rolled out dough.
  • Mumawwash (Arabic: مموش‎) – rice cooked with green lentils and can be topped with dry shrimp.
  • Muaddas (Arabic: معدس‎) – rice cooked with red lentils and can be topped with dry shrimp.
  • Mutabbaq samak (Arabic: مطبق سمك‎) – fish served over rice. Rice is cooked in well-spiced fish stock.
  • Quzi (Arabic: قوزي‎) – Kuwaiti dish consisting of a roasted lamb stuffed with rice, meat, eggs, and other ingredients.


  • Asida (Arabic: عصيدة‎) – a dish made up of a cooked wheat flour lump of dough, sometimes with added butter or honey.
  • Balaleet (Arabic: بلاليط‎) – sweet saffron noodles served with a savoury omelette on top.
  • Bayth elgitta (Arabic: بيض القطا‎) – a fried cookie filled with a mixture of ground nuts and tossed in powdered sugar. It was named after the egg of the crowned sandgrouse (common to the area) due to its similar shape.
  • Darabeel (Arabic: درابيل‎) – made from millet, eggs, milk and sugar formed into very thin chips, wrapped and folded on each other tightly. Soft sugar, cardamom and ground cinnamon is placed between the chips.
  • Lugaimat (Arabic: لقيمات‎) – fried yeast dumplings soaked in syrup (sugar, lemon).
  • Gers ogaily (Arabic: قرص عقيلي‎) – a traditional cake made with eggs, flour, sugar, cardamom, and saffron. Traditionally served with tea.
  • Zalabia (Arabic: زلابية‎) – fried dough soaked in syrup (sugar, lemon, and saffron, it has a distinctive swirly shape.
  • Ghoriba – brittle cookies made from flour, butter, powdered sugar and cardamom. Usually served with Arabic coffee.
  • Khabeesa – sweet dish made of flour and oil.
  • Sab Alqafsha (Kuwaiti Arabic: صب القفشة) – similar to lugaimat but with additional saffron and cardamom syrup.
  • Elba (Arabic: ألبة‎) – Kuwaiti milk pudding with saffron and cardamom.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Consumption of fish and shellfish and the regional markets". Food and Agriculture Organization. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Riolo, 2007, p.23 - 24
  3. ^ DiPiazza (2006) p.57


Further reading[edit]