If there’s anything that is a MUST in every Kuwaiti household for a weekly groceries,that is a bunch of Iranian Bread and Zubaidi fish (or Silver Pomfret).
While in Western culture ,the bread ( loaf or any other type ) is the queen of every table and for Asians, it is rice, then here in Kuwait, this is every family’s staple. For Kuwaitis, Iranian bread is as almost as important as oil. They have eaten Iranian bread since they were born and start solids. Their grandfathers also did the same. Every morning after prayers, people dash to the Iranian bakeries and queue to get their stock. Since Kuwait became richer, maids and drivers now queue up instead, but still there are a lot of people waiting. They eat it with almost anything. With grilled fish, kebabs, chicken, hummus, tahini or just as it is. Its simply delicious.
The Kuwaiti nation eats also rice, and other things but you cannot compensate them with something else. I love Arabic bread (smaller pita bread or Kubz) that you can usually find in packs at the co-op). It’s very nice, but it cannot replace warm Iranian bread. Sometimes when I go to buy the bread, I eat one on the way back because it’s so warm and fresh and tasty, especially if you pay a bit extra like 5 fils and get sesame seeds on them. As an Expat, I have grown fond of eating this especially when its fresh and I used it to make home made shawerma. My Dutch husband taught me an very awesome trick to preserve breads, and that is putting it in the fridge and just take it out to defrost when I would like to eat it. It tastes as fresh as it was & surely, we don’t have stale & wasted bread anymore! This is how I preserve Iranian bread & Kubz.
When I visit the Mubarakiya, I still see locals who make Iranian bread in a very old fashioned stone ovens. Normally you can find these small bakeries tucked in any governorate but mostly in nearby Co-op. One place I visited before was the one in Shamiya where I really love the taste of it. The smell and the sight of it is very interesting and every Expat should try this. Whenever you eat out in a restaurant ( or locally called as Matam ) they normally served hot & freshly baked Iranian bread along with any meal, while in any other fancy restaurant they also served different types of bread like the one we have tried in Leila’s ( a Lebanese restaurant ) which is more of hot buns. I could finish the bread while waiting for our orders!
Although Kuwait is abundant in all types of food, having a home cooked meal of Zubaidi & rice is always special. This very tasty fish with rice is often served in homes in the Arabian Gulf. Zubaidi (Silver Pomfret) fish is Kuwait’s national fish that is local but can be found in the frozen section of many Middle Eastern or Asian shops. (You may have to degut them yourself). While some prefer to eat them with rice alone, others make Kuwaiti Tomato Sauce (Dukkous Al-Tamat) to serve as an accompaniment.
Have you tried any Arabic dish with Zubaidi or the Iranian Bread? How was your experience?
Read more on my Expat guides & tips in my Life as an Expat in Kuwait section and learn to embrace the Arabic culture to beat your culture shock.