About 2 weeks ago, when I was in france, I found out that we were having ummawash o hasho rebyan for dinner. I wasn’t really surprised, coz that day it was cloudy and raining, and Kuwaitis can’t be Kuwaitis if they do not eat ummawash or m3addas when its raining! its an unwritten rule.
I asked about the history of this Kuwaiti dish and learned the following:
Kuwaitis back in the day didn’t have refrigerators and they had to be creative and mix it up a bit when it came to cooking. They ate mostly grains with rice, dal (3adas) with rice and other stuff. Sheep were available and was a step up from plain rice, or rice with dal and fish dishes. Chickens weren’t widely available as it is now, chickens were expensive and most of the time a chicken dish would be cooked only for a sick person within the family (morale boost 😛 ). In the summer they had all sort of sea food: Fish, Shrimps, Crabs and so on. But in the winter it was harder, and I think more expensive for people to get fishes and sea food in general, and thats why they started drying fishes and shrimps. The dried shrimps proved to be more resilient to the invention of refrigerators, whereas dried fishes are no where to be found on the Kuwaiti menus (and thank God for that! imagine coming home from work to find an ugly dried fish on the table..).
Inspiration for this post.
Apparently the Kuwaiti menu have atleast one dish of dried fish, that is Marag Khobba6. I have never heard of it.