Kuwait – Muttabaq Samak (Fish and Rice)

by Fariha Saeed

About the dish

Muttabaq Samak is a well-known dish in Kuwait. Muttabaq Samak is one of the most delicious dishes in Kuwait. This dish has so yummy rice and so much flavorful fish in it. The fish is so appetizing and goes very well together with the rice. The rice is also very delicious. The texture of the fish is so juicy and soft. The texture of the rice is a little dry but when you eat rice with the fish it tastes so much better. You can serve this dish at many events like parties, gatherings, etc. You can serve this dish with red sauce. The interesting part of this dish is the rice is cooked in fish stock so the rice has the fish aroma and flavor in it and it is important to cook rice in fish stock otherwise the rice will not have that flavor. Muttabaq Samak is very similar to Kuwait’s national dish which is MACHBOOS but Machboos has lamb and rice in it and Muttabaq Samak has fish and fish stock rice in it. To make this dish most people use Pomfret which is covered in spices and then deep fry until crunchy and fully cooked. The rice is cooked separately and fish is cooked separately and when both you have to put these two things together and then the dish is done. There are two important points you have to follow:

  • You can only use basmati rice.
  • It is better to use Pomfret fish otherwise you can also use it.

You can have this dish as lunch or dinner or you can also gift this to others. It is also very popular in other countries like Iraq, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, etc. You can make this at home but it takes a little more time and effort to make it. You can add sliced ginger, caramelized onions, lemon juice, fresh chopped herbs as garnish and you can serve this with red sauce, salad, and caramelized onions. This dish is very healthy.

Nutrition list

  • Calories 210
  • Fat 12 g
  • carbohydrates 116
  • Protein 14 g

Ingredients and cooking

For the fish

  • 1 Pomfret fish
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • 5 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 green chili (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp dry coriander


Take a bowl and add salt, red chili, garlic paste, lime juice, black pepper, green chili, turmeric, coriander, and lime juice. Mix all the ingredients and make a paste of it. Then take a big tray and place the fish on it and make some cuts of the fish and then add the spices paste on the fish and rub it on all sides. Make sure that the fish is covered in spices.

Now take a cooking pot and fill it with oil and let it heat for 15 minutes and then add the fish in it and deep fry until golden brown and cooked.

For the rice

  • 1 kg rice
  • 3 cups fish stock
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp dry coriander
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 5 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 green chili (chopped)


Take a cooking pot and add fish stock and rice in it and turn the flame low and cover the lid for 10 minutes. Now take a bowl and yogurt, turmeric, red chili, lime juice in it and mix well. Now take another bowl and add tbsp of water in it and then soak the bay leaves in it. Let it soak for 30 minutes.

Now take the lid off and add the bay leaves to water and yogurt mixture in it and mix well. Now you can see that the fish stock is evaporated. Then add the salt in it and again mix well and cover the lid for 15 minutes. Now take a big tray on which you want to serve the dish, first add the rice and flat it a little bit, and then place the fish on top and garnish with some caramelized onion.

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