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Kuwaiti Lamb Casserole Recipe With Potatoes Called Mareg Botat

I love Mareg Botat recipe. It is the first Kuwaiti food that I learnt how to cook and I love eating this food. It is tangy and delicious.

Mareg Botat - Kuwaiti Lamb casserole

Mareg Botat(Kuwaiti Lamb Casserole)

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, 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 easy 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 (kubaz 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(liben in Kuwaiti Arabic)

Here is the recipe which I learnt first, it is called Mareg Botat in Kuwait. This is the very first Kuwaiti 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 or spices. 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
  • Cloves
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Nutmeg
  • Dried red chilli or paprika

Baharat is used to season, fish, lamb, chicken, beef, soups and maybe used as a condiment. It has a nice aroma. Baharat is their widely used food seasoning in Kuwait.

Mareg Botat cooking time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

1 hour 15 min

1 hour 30 min

Serve 4 or 5 people

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

Kuwaiti Lamb caserrole with potatoes

  1. Peel the potatoes, wash and cut them into two, and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Some Arab people eat this dish with Khubz or nan bread or rice as well.
  8. The mareg is cooked and ready when the sauce thickens and the meat is tender.
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Mareg Botat - Kuwaiti lamb 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.

Mareg botat

Baharat - spice used in Mareg Botat

© 2013 Linda Bryen

Mareg Botat comments

Linda Bryen (author) from United Kingdom on January 27, 2015:

Ann, thank you for your lovely comment, I hope the recipe helps you. I learnt this when I worked in Kuwait years ago.

Linda Bryen (author) from United Kingdom on May 14, 2013:

Thank you, Ceres Schwarz for your comment. It is very easy to cook and tasty to eat, you should try it.

Ceres Schwarz on May 14, 2013:

Sounds like an interesting recipe. I've never heard of this mareg botat Kuwait lamb casserole before but it does sound tasty. This doesn't seem all that hard to make too.

Linda Bryen (author) from United Kingdom on May 13, 2013:

Thank you whizzer for your kind comment. It is a tasty dish.

whizzer from Ireland on May 13, 2013:

Sounds fantastic...I'm going to give this a go.

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