Emyaddam Recipe from Kuwait: Rice and Shark with Spices


Emyaddam Recipe from Kuwait: Rice and Shark with Spices
Region / culture: Kuwait | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 6



Emyaddam is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that combines rice and shark meat with a flavorful blend of spices and herbs. This dish is popular in countries like Iraq, Kuwait, and Bahrain, where it is often served at special occasions and family gatherings.


The origins of Emyaddam can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia, where fish was a staple food source for the people living along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Over time, this dish evolved to include rice and a variety of spices, creating a delicious and aromatic meal that is enjoyed by many.


Boiling fish spice

How to prepare

  1. Boil the fish with whole spices until tender. Drain, rinse with cold water, remove the skin and bones, and chop the fish.
  2. Put the onion in a large pan and stir over moderate heat until tender. Add the fish and ghee, and continue stirring over heat for 0.5 hour. Season with salt, black pepper, mixed spices, cardamom, and black lemon. Add coriander and 0.25 cup of dill, and stir over heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Boil the rice in a large amount of boiling water with 1 tbsp of salt for 5 minutes. Drain.
  4. Put 1 tbsp of ghee in a pot. Place a layer of rice, spread 0.5 cup of dill and 0.5 cup of fish mixture. Repeat the layers and put the remaining fish on top. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 45 minutes.
  5. Pour the rice onto a serving plate and place the fish mixture on top. Serve hot.


  • Substitute shark with another type of white fish, such as cod or haddock.
  • Add in some chopped tomatoes or bell peppers for extra flavor and color.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to remove the skin and bones from the shark before chopping it up for the dish.

- Cooking the fish with whole spices adds depth of flavor to the dish.

- Layering the rice and fish mixture in the pot helps to ensure that each bite is packed with flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Emyaddam can be served with a side of salad or pickled vegetables for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Boiling the fish with whole spices infuses it with flavor.

- Layering the rice and fish mixture in the pot helps to ensure even distribution of ingredients.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use vegetable oil instead of ghee for a lighter version of the dish.

- Substitute dried dill for fresh dill if needed.

Make Ahead Tips

Emyaddam can be prepared ahead of time and reheated before serving. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the dish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or mint, for a pop of color and freshness.

Pairing Recommendations

Emyaddam pairs well with a side of yogurt or tahini sauce for added creaminess.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Emyaddam contains approximately 400 calories.


Each serving of Emyaddam contains approximately 50 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of Emyaddam contains approximately 15 grams of fat.


Each serving of Emyaddam contains approximately 20 grams of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Emyaddam is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and calcium.


This recipe contains fish and may not be suitable for those with seafood allergies.


Emyaddam is a nutritious and flavorful dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals.


Emyaddam is a delicious and nutritious dish that combines rice and shark meat with a blend of spices and herbs. Perfect for special occasions or family gatherings, this Middle Eastern dish is sure to impress your guests.

How did I get this recipe?

I have a clear memory of the first time I saw this recipe for Emyaddam. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in a small village in the countryside. My grandmother, who was an amazing cook, had invited a friend over for dinner. As they chatted in the kitchen, I watched intently as they prepared the meal.

I could see that they were using ingredients that were not familiar to me - spices and herbs that I had never seen before. Curious, I asked my grandmother what they were making. She smiled and said it was a special dish called Emyaddam, a traditional recipe that had been passed down through generations in our family.

As I watched them cook, I was amazed at how effortlessly they moved around the kitchen, chopping and stirring with such skill and precision. I could tell that this dish was something truly special, and I wanted to learn how to make it myself.

After dinner, I asked my grandmother if she would teach me how to make Emyaddam. She agreed, and over the next few weeks, she patiently guided me through the process, explaining each step and showing me the proper techniques.

The key to making Emyaddam, she explained, was in the preparation of the spices. We started by toasting whole cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and cardamom pods in a dry skillet until they were fragrant. Then, we ground them with a mortar and pestle to create a flavorful spice blend.

Next, we heated oil in a large pot and sautéed onions, garlic, and ginger until they were soft and golden. Then, we added the spice blend, along with turmeric, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon, and cooked everything together until the aromas filled the kitchen.

Once the spices were well combined, we added diced tomatoes and simmered the mixture until it had thickened into a rich sauce. Finally, we added chickpeas and cooked them until they were tender and the flavors had melded together.

As we sat down to enjoy the finished dish, I marveled at how delicious it was. The flavors were complex and layered, with a subtle warmth from the spices and a hint of sweetness from the tomatoes. I could see why this recipe had been treasured in our family for so long.

Over the years, I have made Emyaddam many times, each time adjusting the recipe slightly to suit my own tastes. Sometimes I add extra garlic for a more pungent flavor, or a touch of honey for a sweeter finish. But no matter how I tweak it, the dish always brings back memories of that first time I learned to make it with my grandmother.

Now, as I pass the recipe on to my own grandchildren, I feel a sense of pride knowing that this tradition will continue to be cherished for generations to come. And I hope that they, too, will find joy in preparing and sharing this special dish with their loved ones, just as I have done for so many years.


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