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Kuwait Cuisine


It is a known fact globally among chefs that Kuwait is a food lovers' heaven. As Kuwait borders the Gulf, fish has been a mainstay of the Kuwaiti diet for centuries.Normally, seafood is consume several times a wekk, including shrimp, hamour (grouper), hamra (red snapper), and the local favorite, zubaidi (pomfret). Chicken is also frequently on the menu. From the bedouin tradition comes grilled, skewered meat, both cubed and ground. Traditionally, the meat would be lamb (mutton), but the ease of international trade has made beef more accessible. Pork is not available in Kuwait, as it is forbidden in Islamic tradition. Salads are usually made with romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, and red onions, dressed with lemon juice and salt. Pickled turnips, tomatoes, and peppers are common side dishes.

The Gulf Arabs played a key role in establishing the ancient trade routes that introduced spices from the East to Europe, and spices remain an important ingredient in Kuwaiti cuisine today. The most popular spices include cardamom, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, paprika and pepper. They are used to flavor chicken, fish, meat, and rice. Other popular flavourings include rose water and tamarind syrup.

Kuwaiti Food

Native cooking reflects Kuwaiti history, its tribes and immigrants, and its international desert and marine trading traditions. It is a unique mélange of Bedouin, Persian, Indian and Eastern Mediterranean influences.

In the early tabeekh (Bedouin way of cooking), the whole meal is cooked in a single large pot over charcoal. Meat or fish, vegetables and spices are first browned at the bottom of the pot. Rice or wheat and water are then added, and the pot is covered and left to simmer for some time. This method is still used in Kuwaiti homes to make meat porridges and some traditional prawn and vegetable dishes.

In a more complicated method known as marang, which was introduced under Indian and Persian influences, the meal is also cooked in a large pot, but the ingredients are first fried or boiled separately before being combined and steamed together. Various kinds of fish and meat marags are very popular in homes and diwaniyahs.

To satisfy the sophisticated native palate, savoury dishes must be spiced and the blending of spices is a highly-sophisticated local art form. However, no two chefs in Kuwait will agree on the exact blend of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, nutmeg, black pepper and paprika found in Baharat, the most common spice-mix.

Coffee and tea are the most popular beverages and are often mixed with spices. Coffee is mixed with cardamom, and tea with saffron or mint. Food and drink are always taken with the right hand.





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