Kuwaiti Lamb Casserole Recipe with Baharat called Mareg Botat
Mareg Botat - Kuwaiti Lamb casserole
Mareg Botat -- Lamb Casserole the Kuwaiti way
When I worked in Kuwait years ago, I had no idea what kind of food they eat or how they cook their food. Then my ex- employer showed me how to cook. I used my observations and curiosity and learnt how to cook their food in no time. I also learnt from my friends there. It is not hard really as their method of cooking is mostly like casserole and oven– cooked foods. The Kuwaitis are also fun of salads which are easier to prepare. But most of all I like their casseroles. I love their bread called Kubz or Kobaz which is cooked in big clay oven. It is like the nan bread you eat in Indian Restaurants or Indian take away. It is to die for.
In Kuwait, Kuwaiti people eat a lot of rice, bread (kubz as they call it) and pitta bread as well, lamb's meat, salads, minced meat with vegetables wrapped in vine leaves (version of spring rolls but the Kuwaitis use a lot of lemon juice in it so it is tangy),beef and chicken. They do not eat pork. I quite like cooking their food and enjoy eating them as well. They also eat a lot of greek yoghurt.
Here is the recipe which I learnt first, it is called Mareg Botat in Kuwait. This is the very first food I learnt to cook and I love it.
Baharat – one of their main ingredients for the casserole is made up of a mixture of different herbs. Baharat can be bought in Indian or oriental shops. It is already mixed so don't worry about buying the individual ingredients and mixing them.
Here are the list of Baharat mixture: (I researched this through wikipedia): Although I have been using it for years I really don't know what Baharat consist of. When buying baharat, buy the ready mixed one. I just want to show what baharat is made up of.
Typical ingredients of Baharat are:
- All spice
- Black peppercorns
- Cardamom seeds
- Cassia bark
- Coriander seeds
- Cumin seeds
- Dried red chilli or paprika
Baharat is used to season, fish, lamb, chicken, beef, soups and maybe used as a condiment.
Cook Time (This is only a guide, can be less than this)
Kuwaiti Mareg Botat Ingredients
- 2 kilos lamb, with bones or without bones
- 1 1/2 kilo potatoes, peeled and cut into two
- 1 teaspoonful baharat, Ready made mixture
- 1 tablespoon salt, according to your taste
- 1 large onion, sliced into small cubes
- 2 pieces tomatoes, cut up into four pieces
- 1 small tin or tube tomato puree or paste, dilute with warm water before adding
- 3 or 4 tablespoon cooking oil, olive oil or any cooking oil
- 4 litres or more water
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced or crushed
Tasty Lamb Casserole(Kuwaiti Recipe)
- Peel the potatoes, wash and cut them into two, and set aside.
- Slice the onions and tomatoes set aside, can add garlic as well if you like. If you don't like it you can take it off.
- Wash meat, cut them into pieces as you like and set aside. I prefer the lamb's meat with some bones, but you can also use any lamb's meat bony or not. The lambs' meat with bones taste better.
- Heat the olive oil in the saucepan then add onions and garlic then stir, when slightly brown add the lamb and stir, add water and let it cook.
- After about half an hour, add the potatoes and let it cook. When meat is tender, add the baharat, tomatoes, tomato puree, salt and cook further until meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
- While waiting for the Mareg Botat to cook, now is the time to cook your rice and vegetables. This meal is better accompanied by plain rice.
- Some Arab people eat this dish with Khubz or nan bread or rice as well.
- The mareg is cooked and ready when the sauce thickens and the meat is tender.
Mareg Botat - Kuwaiti casserole with potatoes
This casserole has quite a tangy taste due to the tomato and tomato puree and has a lovely orangey colour too. It is a tasty lamb casserole which is so easy to cook. I think this is called mareg botat because the main ingredient is potatoes and lamb. Botat means potato in English.
There is another recipe called mareg bamia wherein Okra is used instead of potato. But the same ingredients and method of cooking. Okra is an Asian vegetable used mostly in Asian countries but I do see them in Asian or Oriental shops here in England. It is also called ladies fingers because of its shape, it is long and tapering. Okra is a very nutritious vegetable. I love this vegetable, it is very unique and delicious to eat.