Machboos Laham Recipe: The National Dish of Kuwait

Chances are that living in Kuwait you have a wide range of cuisines to choose from when you dine out. Still, nothing quite beats home cooking and family recipes passed down from previous generations.
That’s why many who love Machboos Laham, the Kuwait national dish, choose to prepare it at home from their own recipe. Traditionally made with lamb, chicken or fish and enhanced with a wide-ranging assortment of flavorful spices, Machboos Laham is not difficult to make once you have a recipe, and is the perfect dish for serving on Kuwait National Day or at family reunions.


There are many variations of the recipe. The following will advise you on the most common and flavorful ingredients, as well as how to prepare and cook the delicious dish.

Machboos Laham ingredients:

For preparing the meat:


Preheat the oven to 200°.
Add the lamb, onion and whole spices to a pot with the lemon juice and oil to a pot with 2½ liters of water. Bring to a boil, removing any froth from the top of the pot. Then cover and cook on medium-low heat for 90 minutes.
Preparing the stuffing:
  • 1kg basmati rice
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 75g yellow split peas, cooked
  • 75g raisins, soaked
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ground cloves
  • black pepper
  1. Sauté the onions in oil until tender and golden brown, then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the raisins, split peas and remaining ingredients except the rice. Continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
  2. When the lamb is ready, drain it and discard the spices, but save the stock.
  3. Mix together all the ground spices and coat the meat with the mixture. Add the meat to a meat pan.
  4. Mix together the remaining meat ingredients and a tablespoon of the stock, and drizzle over the meat. Cover the meat with aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
  5. While meat is cooking, pour meat stock over the rice until just covered, then cook the rice according to package directions.
  6. When cooked, combine the meat and rice, drizzle with saffron water and serve.

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