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.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 at 1:23 am

17 Responses to “Ummawash & Hasho Rebyan”

  1. armagadon says:

    MMMM … wallah you make me hungry .. some families name this dish as UMMAWASH RBYAN YABS (solid shrimp) … i think there is a dried fish in the kuwaiti menu its called BYA7 MMLA7 .wright?

  2. Ya7laailhom walla cool fantegaw :p

  3. Yousef says:

    armagadon we say rebyan yabis or 6ery when we want to distinguish between the 2 dishes as in “ummmawash o 7asho rebyan? inzain 3ad rebyan 6ery wila yabis?” chithee 🙂

    Bya7 Mmmala7? hmm.. Never heard of it. I’ll ask about it 🙂

    Abi-Omi-Abi-Oboy eee ma77ad hayyin 😛

  4. Intlxpatr says:

    I love this post. I love it that you asked, and that you came back with the story. I only wish that Umm Yousef had given you a recipe along with those fabulous photos! It looks totally yummy.

  5. Ahmad says:

    What’s wrong with dried fish? I personally like Marag Khobba6 with mashkhool.

  6. RODUAN says:


  7. Ansam says:

    I was hoping that Intlxpatr would read this 😀
    I actually discussed that same issue with our professor in college who was also curious to know why they used to eat grasshoppers in here back in the day… some still do? right?

  8. Yousef says:

    Intlxpatr Will make sure to post a recipe of this dish one day 🙂

    Ahmad This is the first time I hear the word Khobba6! I need to ask about this dish and maybe taste it one day… 🙂

    RODUAN bulls eye! 😛

    Ansam Grasshoppers (ew!) yeah it was very famous dish in Kuwait, but I don’t think its available anymore (or maybe very rare?).. with all the pollution and toxic stuff they spray in the air to kill those insects.

    You should’ve told your professor that there are people out there who STILL eat snails and frogs as appetizers 😛 I can’t believe that I used to love escargots *shivers*

  9. z'3an6oo6ah says:

    While I was reading ur post I was wondering “who don’t know 5obba6!!??”
    Thank u Ahmad coz u mention it 🙂
    Marag 5obba6 + 3aish mash5ool or 3aish m7ammar (rice cooked with sugar) is very tasty meal.

    Ummawash o rbyan yabis m3a 7ashoo is my irresistable meal 🙂
    ur photos nag9een eldaqoos welajar elq8i welajar el hindi welma3booooooch :d

    I simply LOVE IT!

  10. pumkinah says:

    khoba6 !! mn esma shakla salty 😛 .. never heard of that ..
    while i was reading g3dt ath7ak oooooooooohhh 7ta a7na lma y9eer bard wayd lazm ensawe emawash rebyaan 😛 bss habeen yesawooon white rice oo fooga 7ashoo rebyan yabess it tastes also yummy try it.
    oo thab6oona bl recopies ermithan yayna 3l beeeeban 😛

  11. almama says:

    how do you not know about dry fish khooba6, this a salty fish we make with marag and we eat it with mohamar [ sweet rice ]. but we don’t make it much .

  12. Yousef says:

    z’3an6oo6ah all of a sudden everybody knows about khobba6 except me! lol and yeah i should’ve taken pictures of the achars and other condiments 🙂

    pumkinah eee limmawash lazim wagt ilbard lol madry laish 😛 inshallah the recipe will be posted one day, soon inshallah 🙂

    almama we don’t make it much? give me ONE time in the last 26 years where we’ve had khobba6 in our house 😀

  13. Intlxpatr says:

    🙂 I think it’s time for another guest blog from your Mom on Kuwaiti cuisine! If Grandmother is around, get her to help, too! (PLLLLEEEEEAAAAASSSSEEEE!!!)

  14. Adrenaline says:

    That looks really tasty and spicy…SAHTAIN

  15. Ansam says:

    i actually tried both LOL snails and frogs

  16. Englishbloke says:

    The plural of fish is fish (the same as the plural of rice is rice)… Unless you are using the corrupt form English called American English.. Then again there’s Indian English, Australian English, and many others that practice there own forms of corrupt English.

    Sorry for going on about it, but its just that the word “fishes” really pisses me off, along with “you and me” (which should be “you and I”).

  17. shayo0oma says:

    waaaw vary vary nice